Joey Lucchesi would like to think he has earned a shot at working through the batting order a third time, but will the Mets give him that opportunity?
The left-hander was removed at 72 pitches Sunday after allowing one earned run on four hits with six strikeouts and one walk over five innings. After the Mets’ bullpen squandered a one-run lead in a 7-3 loss to the Padres, he was asked about potentially working a third time through the lineup.
“I want to pitch as long as I can,” Lucchesi said. “I only threw 72 pitches, I wasn’t tired at the time, and I told them I wanted to keep going, but you have got to respect the manager’s decision. I guess I have to keep showing them … that I can pitch.”
Lucchesi, over his last four starts, has pitched to a 1.56 ERA, and manager Luis Rojas said it’s possible he will get a chance to work through the lineup a third time. But he wanted Jeurys Familia against Tommy Pham, Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado on Sunday.
“The game is going to speak to us when we make that decision,” Rojas said.
Jeff McNeil began his minor league rehab assignment by going 0-for-2 and playing five innings at second base for Single-A Brooklyn. McNeil was placed on the injured list on May 16 with a strained left hamstring.
Michael Conforto, was at 95-100 percent strength running the bases over the weekend, according to Rojas, and could soon begin a minor league rehab assignment. Conforto has been sidelined with a strained right hamstring.
“It could be by the end of this week, just by the way I saw him running [Saturday],” Rojas said. “What else is there to test when you come off that hamstring?”
Conforto last played for the Mets on May 16.
“I’m getting the itch,” he said.
Jacob deGrom played catch for a second straight day and later said he felt “good,” after leaving Friday’s start with right flexor tendinitis. The Mets ace was asked if he will take his next turn in the rotation, on Wednesday: “That’s the plan,” deGrom said.
Rojas said he is still taking it day by day with deGrom, but the tentative rotation for the Cubs series is David Peterson, Taijuan Walker, deGrom and Marcus Stroman over the four days, beginning Monday.
Dellin Betances threw a scoreless inning with two strikeouts as he began a minor league rehab assignment for Single-A St. Lucie. The right-hander was in his first game action since the first week of the season.