MIAMI — Though the Mets won’t make it official for another day, go time for Jacob deGrom is Tuesday.
The Mets ace will start against the Nationals on that day, an industry source confirmed Saturday, putting him on a major league mound in a regular-season game for the first time since July 7, 2021.
DeGrom is expected to speak with reporters before the game Sunday against the Marlins.
The Mets ace threw 67 pitches in a start for Triple-A Syracuse on Wednesday, in which he allowed two homers. But manager Buck Showalter said deGrom was bothered by leg cramps during the outing.
Max Scherzer will start against the Nationals in the series opener on Monday, before deGrom pitches the following day. It will give the Mets their long-awaited 1-2 punch.
Scherzer would then align to pitch one of the doubleheader games against the Braves at Citi Field on Saturday before deGrom receives the start the following day in the series finale.
Edwin Diaz, who did not pitch in the Mets’ 4-0 win over the Marlins on Saturday, said he was laughing following the penultimate pitch of the game Friday night, because Joey Wendle’s foul tip on a slider denied the right-hander an “immaculate inning” of three strikeouts on nine pitches.
“I thought it was a nasty pitch and he fouled it off and then he swung at the next one,” said Diaz, who completed his strikeout of the side in 10 pitches.
Showalter was unaware of Diaz’s flirtation with an immaculate inning until after the game, when it was brought to his attention.
“[Diaz] is a failure,” Showalter said jokingly. “He’s on the trade block.”
Diaz said he has never had an immaculate inning in a regular-season game; it happened once in spring training.
He entered Saturday with a strikeout rate per nine innings of 18.14, which is the highest in MLB among relievers with at least 30 innings pitched.
With the Mets in need of lefty relief help, the team could be considering Thomas Szapucki in the role. Szapucki threw a scoreless inning with two strikeouts — his first relief appearance of the season — on Friday for Triple-A Syracuse. In 63 innings this season for Syracuse, he has struck out 86 batters.
The Mets signed catcher Kevin Parada, their first-round pick (11th overall) in the draft this year. Parada received an over-slot signing bonus of $5.019 million. Parada hit 26 homers at Georgia Tech this year to set the program’s single-season record.