Jason Isringhausen is currently unavailable for at least the next several days because of a herniated disk in his back, but the 38-year-old reliever told Adam Rubin of ESPN New York that he plans to pitch in 2012.
Isringhausen managed only a minor-league contract offer from the Mets after missing all of 2010 following Tommy John elbow surgery, but has avoided arm problems all season while throwing 47 innings with a 4.05 ERA and 44/24 K/BB ratio.
His raw stuff is diminished from his peak as closer for the A’s and Cardinals, but Isringhausen’s fastball has averaged 90.6 miles per hour and he’s held opponents to a .206 batting average.
He’s even saved seven games for the Mets to reach 300 saves for his career. He’ll be a free agent after the season and it’s unlikely that any teams–the Mets included–will view him as a closer option, but Isringhausen should be able to secure a one-year deal for a setup gig.
I hope you don’t have any plans tonight at around 10PM Eastern time, because that’s when we get a pitching matchup for the ages as Max Scherzer will take on Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. When they meet tonight it will be the first time two pitchers with three or more Cy Young Awards have matched up since 2006. That year, and in 2005 and 2000, Roger Clemens faced Greg Maddux. In 2001 Clemens faced Pedro Martinez.
Kershaw won his hardware in 2011, 2013 and 2014, with an MVP award in 2014 to boot. Scherzer collected trophies in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Each has started the 2018 season in Cy Young form. Kershaw is 1-2, but that record is due to poor run support. He has a 1.73 ERA and has struck out 31 batters and has walked only three in 26 innings. Scherzer is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA and a whopping 38 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 27 innings.
This will be the third time that Kershaw and Scherzer faced each other if you include the playoffs. The first meeting was a decade ago when both were rookies. They most recently faced off in Game 1 of the 2016 NLDS, way back when Scherzer only had one Cy Young Award to his credit. Kershaw beat Scherzer in that playoff game and the Dodgers beat Scherzer’s teams in the two regular season matchups, with neither guy setting the world on fire. As so often happens in baseball, the hype hasn’t been matched by reality.
Still, there’s always a chance it will. And even if, in the end, this turns into a slugfest, the first couple of innings should at least give us some hope of something good. I’ll be watching.