Amid rumors of the Mets preparing to possibly be a trade-deadline seller, starting pitcher Justin Verlander stated he was still committed to the club. He backed that up with a vintage performance on Wednesday night at Citi Field against the White Sox. He then celebrated his dominant outing by having fun with reporters during his postgame comments.
Verlander’s second half didn’t get off to the best start on Friday in Queens. He allowed just three runs in five innings, but it was accompanied by six walks in New York’s 6-0 loss to the Dodgers. His appearance against Chicago was much better. He was quite economical with his pitches, needing just 100 to complete eight innings while allowing one run on three hits, one walk, and seven strikeouts. He needed 104 to complete those five frames against Los Angeles.
This was the Mets’ third straight win, moving them to 45-50 and seven games out of the final NL Wild Card spot. And with each victory, the chances of the front office keeping the club together go up slightly. It’s not like New York’s postseason odds are all the great, though. Entering Thursday’s finale against Chicago, FanGraphs gives them a 16.6% chance of returning to October.
But at least it’s not zero yet, right?
After the game, Verlander stood at his locker and took questions from the media. That’s a lot easier to do after you throw eight innings of one-run ball. The 40-year-old was obviously in a great mood and had jokes ready when he heard someone’s phone go off.
— GENY Mets Report (@genymets) July 20, 2023
This jives with what he did earlier in the season after a terrific outing against the Guardians on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. It wasn’t him getting interviewed that time, though — it was shortstop Francisco Lindor. Here’s a quick reminder for you:
— dianna (@runwildkian) May 22, 2023
So, let this be a warning to everyone. If Verlander twirls a gem, be prepared for some sass/humor after the fact. Whether you’re interviewing him or not.