We’re less than a month away from the Midsummer Classic, occurring on July 17 at Nationals Park.
In theory, this will be a time for the Nationals to celebrate their own, putting Max Scherzer on the hill to start the game and fans will get a big stage to plead their case for Bryce Harper to stay put in the Nation's Capital. The Mets might be looking up at the Nationals in the standings, but they can certainly play spoiler for the hometown fans at the All-Star Game.
Jacob deGrom is pitching at an unreal level. Scherzer has been tremendous himself. I won’t knock that guy, mostly because his different colored eyes freak me out and I’m kind of scared of him. I’m just saying you’d be hard-pressed not to start deGrom with the numbers he’s posting. Forget about wins, a starting pitcher with an ERA of 1.51, half a run better than his closest counterpart, should be starting the game. Case closed.
Some Hall of Fame company here. Per Elias, lowest ERA through 15 starts of a season since 2000:— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) June 19, 2018
Randy Johnson, 1.47 (2000)
Jacob deGrom, 1.51 (2018)
Pedro Martinez, 1.51 (2000)
Roger Clemens, 1.51 (2005)
Tom Glavine, 1.53 (2002)
As for Harper, he’ll likely start in right field at the ASG…for the last time in a Nationals uniform. No chance he sticks around after this season. He and agent Scott Boras have bigger things, and bigger money on their minds.
You might have noticed of late that this Brandon Nimmo guy is actually good. Like, All-Star Game good. At the very least, he’s in the discussion at this moment to make the roster as a reserve. Starting is out of the question because, well, he’s not even on the ballot. We’ll save that for another discussion…
Nimmo is just shy of qualifying for the stats leaderboard. Some of that has to do with being sent back down to the minors in April for a short stint.
I'm old enough to remember when the Mets sent Brandon Nimmo to the minors for three days in April— Tim Healey (@timbhealey) June 19, 2018
If Nimmo’s current stats were to hold or stay within reason for another 22 at-bats, he would lead all NL outfielders in OBP, SLG and OPS. His 12 home runs have him tied for fifth, just two behind second. Those are the kind of numbers that get you sent to an All-Star Game.
My dream scenario is to see Jake get the ball first for the NL. There’s nothing better than watching “Mad Max” go mad, and deGrom starting on his own mound would certainly do that. National fans will still have their opportunities to cheer when Harper takes the field behind deGrom. The crowd will be full of half-smiles as they watch their superstar knowing full well this is the beginning of the end.
When it’s deGrom’s turn in the lineup, I can’t think of a better pinch hitter than Nimmo to take him out of the game. Mets fans will be smiling ear-to-ear, knowing the “happiest man in baseball” is with us for years to come, right in the Nationals face as Harper’s star begins to burn out in D.C.
How's two shutout innings from deGrom with 5 Ks and a home run from Nimmo sound? Hey, it could happen.