Mets Planning A Surprising Rotation Wrinkle For Wild Card Series

The New York Mets weren't supposed to be here. They spent the entire season in top spot in the National League East, and were planning to be resting this weekend while the two NL Wild Card series were being played. But alas, the Atlanta Braves had other plans. 

Now, the Mets have to devise a starting rotation for the WC Series, and reports today say they've got a potential surprise planned. 

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Mets are leaning toward Max Scherzer for Game 1 of their three-game set with the San Diego Padres, which isn't the biggest surprise. But not starting Jacob deGrom in Game 2 is an interesting strategy. 

The thinking is, if the Mets win Game 1, they'd go with Chris Bassitt in the 2nd game, and save deGrom for a potential deciding Game 3. And if they end winning it in two straight, deGrom would be available for Game 1 of the NLDS. 

But if the Mets were to lose Game 1, then deGrom would go in Game 2.

This is similar to some of the talk around the Toronto Blue Jays, who some were speculating could go with Ross Stripling in Game 2 if they win Alek Manoah's start in the 1st game, and save Kevin Gausman for a potential Game 3 if needed. 

As for the Padres, they come into their series with the Mets confident, as they won their season series with New York, 4-2. 

The Padres beat Scherzer the one time they faced him, but they did not face deGrom. The Mets' real problem is that San Diego's likely Game 1 starter Yu Darvish allowed just one run in 14 innings against the Mets over two starts this season. 

Photo: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports