The Mets want a manager in place by the end of the month

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As we mentioned this morning, the Mets will be on to their second round of managerial interviews shortly. Yesterday, Sandy Alderson said that he wants this wrapped up by the end of the month at the latest:

“It would probably be helpful for us to have a manager by the end of the month,” the new Mets general manager said during a conference call yesterday. “Another sort of logical deadline is Thanksgiving. I’m not sure we’re going to make that.”
Dude was a Marine. I imagine he’s pretty good at keeping a schedule.
Anyway, this is also an opportunity to revisit some of my Wally Backman comments from this morning. They’re not exactly going over well in some quarters. I can see why.  Suggesting that the Mets are merely humoring the fan base in interviewing Backman a rather un-Occam’s Razor-like position to take, and I’ve always prided myself on adhering as close as I can to obvious explanations that explain all of the facts rather than coming up with conspiracy theories.  That doesn’t mean I’m backtracking from this morning’s comments — I just can’t shake the notion that Alderson’s consideration of Backman is strange given both men’s histories — but I’m prepared to admit that I may be completely out to lunch.  Doesn’t help that Heyman as exactly the same take I do, which is rarely a good sign.
Oh well, we’ll see what happens.  In the meantime, enjoy this insightful list of the candidates the Mets apparently aren’t considering for some reason, and which provide further evidence that the Mets just don’t get it as an organization.

Dusty Baker expects Stephen Strasburg to make his next scheduled start

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Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg lasted only two innings in Sunday’s start against the Diamondbacks. The right-hander reportedly had trouble getting loose and it showed: he yielded a hit and three walks to the 10 batters he faced. According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Strasburg had “some nerve impingement that has been alleviated.”

Manager Dusty Baker expects Strasburg to make his next scheduled start on Saturday at home against the Rockies, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports. Strasburg was examined by doctors, who deemed him to be in good shape — enough to not warrant undergoing an MRI.

Through 20 starts, Strasburg owns a 3.25 ERA with a 141/37 K/BB ratio across 121 2/3 innings. Though the injury scare isn’t what the Nationals hoped for, he’s done well in the first year of his seven-year, $175 million contract extension.

John Lackey hit four White Sox batters today

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Cubs starter John Lackey didn’t have his best stuff on Tuesday afternoon at Wrigley Field against the White Sox. The right-hander hit four White Sox batters over the course of five innings. He yielded just two runs, though, on five hits and two walks with five strikeouts. He left with a 4-2 lead.

Lackey hit Jose Abreu with one out in the first inning, then hit Abreu again in the fifth. He then hit Matt Davidson and Yoan Moncada shortly thereafter. Chris Beck relieved Carlos Rodon for the White Sox in the bottom of the fifth and promptly hit Ian Happ with a fastball to lead off the frame. Home plate umpire Lance Barksdale issued warnings to both benches and the beanings stopped.

So, how often do pitchers hit four batters in a game? Not that often! The last to do it was the Reds’ Josh Smith on July 4, 2015 against the Brewers. Before that, it was the Nationals’ Livan Hernandez on July 20, 2005 against the Rockies. Lackey is only the ninth pitcher to hit four batters in a game since 2000 and the 26th since 1913. The only other Cubs pitcher to do it besides Lackey was Moe Drabowsky in 1957.