Buck Taps Into Old Yankees Strategy For New York Mets Playoff Run
Conventional wisdom for most New York Mets fans would see right-handed ace Jacob deGrom starting Game 1 of this weekend's Wild Card series. Ace (1A) Max Scherzer would get the nod for Game 2 followed by Chris Bassitt in Game 3, if necessary. These are the precise circumstances owner Steve Cohen and general manager Billy Eppler hired Buck Showalter to manage their baseball team. In most Major League Baseball situations, Buck's been there and a little unconventional wisdom, from his Yankees managerial days, may get the Mets deep into the playoffs.
According to Joel Sherman of nypost.com, in 1995, Showalter’s ace was David Cone. The former Mets pitcher won on September 27th of that year, pitching on three days’ rest, something Cone had not done in five years. The following weekend, the Yankees went into the final three games in Toronto with a one-game lead on the Angels for the AL wild-card spot. Showalter decided that he would only use Cone on three days’ rest only if the Yankees faced elimination.
Why did Buck do this? According to Joel Sherman, at the time, Showalter talked about trusting all of his starters, as he almost certainly will with the Mets. However, Sherman noted that Yankee officials would come to admit that at the time the front office did not believe the Yankees had a chance against the Seattle Mariners’ lethal lineup unless Cone started Games 1 and 5. This is where 2022 comes in.
The Mets are planning on starting Max Scherzer in Game 1 and Chris Bassitt in Game 2 against the San Diego Padres this weekend in the best-of-three Wild Card series. The Amazin's, under Buck's plan, are hoping that they won't have to use Jake deGrom in a Game 3. Therefore, deGrom would be available for a Game 1 & a Game 5 start vs. the Los Angelas Dodgers in a best-of-five series. I tend to be a "win the game in front of you" kind of guy. The Padres line-up is stacked and they have some solid front-line pitchers that can throw up a ton of zeros. What if Scherzer and the Mets lose on Friday in Game 1? Then the season is riding on Chris Bassitt and not $33 million Jake deGrom? Understandable but this would not be my choice given the circumstances.