NEW YORK – Banker-turned-reliever Nate Fisher found out the hard way Monday that baseball really is a numbers game.
A day after a sparkling major league debut that brightened the sports world, Fisher was cut by the New York Mets.
The NL East leaders made the move heading into the two-game Subway Series against the New York Yankees. In fact, Fisher actually was in the Mets' clubhouse at Yankee Stadium two hours before game time, then was designated for assignment.
Now completely off the 40-man roster, Fisher could be traded or placed on waivers during a seven-day period. If unclaimed, he could be assigned outright back to the minors with the Mets.
Going into these matchups against the Yankees, the 26-year-old lefty likely wouldn’t have been able to pitch after throwing three scoreless innings Sunday against Philadelphia. And with the Mets needing fresh arms, he was let go.
“I think these guys kind of know where we are," manager Buck Showalter said after a 4-2 loss to the Yankees. “They understand what’s going on as far as trying to keep our bullpen through a really hard, long stretch with Atlanta, four in Philadelphia before and trying to get through here.”
“So they understand, but it’s still kind of tough to have those conversations,” he said.
The move came while many were still reveling in the sheer improbability of Fisher's path.
After once giving up his hopes of a baseball career and moving into the financial world with a job in Nebraska, he dazzled in his debut.
Fisher allowed just one hit against the Phillies, giving the Mets a chance to rally in a game they eventually won 10-9.
From determining whether to approve commercial loans at the First National Bank of Omaha in June 2021 to pitching in a pennant race at Citizens Bank Park in 2022.
“It’s pretty surreal right now,” Fisher said after the game. “I’m so thankful and so blessed for the opportunity. It hasn’t even sunk in yet.”
Fisher gave up one hit, walked two and struck out one. His outing spanned a 46-minute rain delay, making his work even more valuable.
When he was introduced and made his way to the mound to begin the fifth inning, the fans weren't the only ones wondering about this newcomer.
“I didn’t even know who this guy was when he came into the game today,” said Mark Canha, who hit two home runs in the win.
Fisher wasn't drafted out of the University of Nebraska, then pitched 12 games at Single-A for the Seattle Mariners organization in 2019.
In the wake of COVID-19 uncertainty, Fisher left baseball and joined a former coach in the banking world in 2020 in his hometown. He re-signed with the Mariners last summer and reached Triple-A.
This year in the Mets system, Fisher was 0-1 with a 3.77 ERA in 12 games at Double-A Binghamton and 1-2 with a 3.12 ERA in 12 games at Triple-A Syracuse before his call-up prior to Sunday’s game.
And hours later, he was on the mound.
“This is my dream,” he said after that outing — for now, his only big league appearance.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports