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#pounditSaturday, May 21, 2022

Max Scherzer

Mets get bad injury news on Max Scherzer

Max Scherzer signals he is done

The New York Mets will be without ace Max Scherzer for quite some time after he left Wednesday night’s start.

The Mets announced Thursday that Scherzer has a significant oblique strain and will be placed on the IL. He may be out for as much as two months as he works his way back from the muscle injury.

The issue flared up in Wednesday’s start against the St. Louis Cardinals. Scherzer is notorious for his toughness, so it was clear something was notably wrong when he asked out of the game himself.

The Mets have had a great start to the season, but this will hurt. Scherzer, the team’s marquee free agent addition, has been as advertised this season. He has paced the staff with a 5-1 record and a 2.54 ERA in eight starts.

To make matters worse, the Mets’ other top pitcher does not appear close to making his season debut either.

Max Scherzer asks out of start due to injury issue

Max Scherzer signals he is done

Max Scherzer is as big of a competitor as it gets, so you know something has to be wrong if he asks out of a game. But that’s what happened on Wednesday night.

Scherzer was pitching in the top of the sixth inning with his New York Mets holding a 6-2 lead over the St. Louis Cardinals. After throwing a 0-1 pitch to Albert Pujols in the dirt, Scherzer looked over to the Mets’ dugout to get the attention of his coaches and trainers. The ace then waved his hand by his neck to signify that he was done.

The ace had allowed two runs (one earned) on seven hits and one walk over 5.2 innings before exiting the game. Scherzer entered the game 4-1 with a 2.66 ERA. He was looking like his usual dominant self.

In addition to Scherzer, the Mets have starters Chris Bassitt, Tylor McGill and Carlos Carrasco, who have looked good this season. But the team is still without ace Jacob deGrom, who remains far from a return. If Scherzer misses any time as well, the Mets’ dominant rotation will suddenly have some vulnerability.

Video: Max Scherzer prevented ceremonial first pitch

Max Scherzer ready to pitch

May 13, 2022; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer (21) pitches against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets hosted the Seattle Mariners at Citi Field on Friday night, and there was a special first pitch ceremony scheduled for Japanese Heritage Night. But Max Scherzer wasn’t interested in any of that.

As Mikio Mori, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States, attempted to the take the mound, he found himself blocked by Scherzer. The Mets ace was warming up and proceeded as if Mori didn’t exist.

Eventually, a Mets employee came onto the field and call Mori off.

There’s a level of intensity to Scherzer that every team would love, but it’s unfortunate Mori paid the price for that. He likely had his entire family in the stands for what was supposed to be a magical moment. Instead, he jogged off with baseball in hand and a mild level of embarrassment.

Scherzer, meanwhile, gave up just one run and struck out six over seven innings. But in the end, the Mets blew it late and fell to the Mariners, 2-1.

Insane fact about Max Scherzer goes viral ahead of his first start of season

Max Scherzer looking on

Max Scherzer will definitely be in some largely uncharted territory as he makes his first start of the season for the New York Mets.

An insane fact about the former Cy Young winner went viral Friday ahead of his 2022 debut against his old team, the Washington Nationals. Scherzer, who pitched for Washington for the previous seven seasons before he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers last summer, went a whopping 11 years and 297 days in between starts against the Nationals.

Mets writer Michael Mayer shared what Washington’s lineup looked like the last time that Scherzer started against them.

The start in question took place during interleague play in June 2010 when Scherzer was still on the Detroit Tigers. He held Washington to three earned runs on seven hits in six innings pitched and earned the victory for Detroit.

Of the players in that Nationals starting lineup last faced by Scherzer, not a single one is still in the league. Franchise icon Ryan Zimmerman, who just announced his retirement this past February, was the last man standing. The changing of the guard is also apparent considering that the Washington lineup Scherzer is facing on Friday has multiple players age 23 or younger.

Scherzer, who won a World Series with Washington in 2019, is obviously still plenty beloved by the Nationals in many different ways. But Friday’s start against them certainly has to feel extremely weird for Mad Max.

Photo: Oct 17, 2021; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) has his glove and hat inspected between innings against the Atlanta Braves during the fourth inning in game two of the 2021 NLCS at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Mets respond to concerning rumors about Max Scherzer’s health

Max Scherzer looking on

Opening Day 2022 is not even here yet, but New York Mets fans are already feeling like the sky is falling. Now the Mets themselves are clarifying some troubling recent rumors about the health of star pitcher Max Scherzer.

Speaking Friday on WFAN in New York, local radio host Evan Roberts said that Scherzer is potentially dealing with a hamstring injury. Roberts noted that Mets manager Buck Showalter would not commit to Scherzer pitching on Opening Day, which was indeed the case this week.

The rumor sent Mets fans into a mad panic, so much so that the team issued an apparent response. Andy Martino of SportsNet New York reported on the air that he has been told by the team that they believe (for the moment) that Scherzer will be ready for Opening Day on Apr. 7.

Any potential issue with Scherzer’s health is especially concerning with the news this week that the Mets’ other top pitcher, Jacob deGrom, has an arm injury and will miss a good chunk of time to start the season. Scherzer is the next man up in the rotation, but there is a slight drop-off beyond that with Chris Bassitt (a 2021 All-Star but not quite deGrom or Scherzer material), Taijuan Walker, and Carlos Carrasco rounding out the rest of the starters.

The Mets just made a big investment in the 37-year-old Scherzer, signing him to a three-year, $130 million contract. While he also dealt with injury issues last season, it does not sound like there is much to be concerned about with Scherzer’s health just yet.

Photo: Oct 17, 2021; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) has his glove and hat inspected between innings against the Atlanta Braves during the fourth inning in game two of the 2021 NLCS at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Max Scherzer hilariously reveals how he celebrated lockout ending

Max Scherzer in a Dodgers uniform

As a member of the MLBPA’s executive subcommittee, Max Scherzer has been deeply involved in the labor negotiations that ultimately produced a new collective bargaining agreement. Once the deal was done, the New York Mets pitcher celebrated the way a lot of others would have in his shoes.

Scherzer was asked Saturday what he did to celebrate the conclusion of labor negotiations, and responded with a simple answer: a lot of drinking.

Pretty tough to blame Scherzer for that. Ending the lockout required a good three months of negotiating, and some of it, particularly in recent weeks, involved a lot of late nights and long hours. Like most involved, Scherzer was probably pretty exhausted by it all at the end.

Scherzer could certainly afford his choice of liquor, as the Mets handed him an enormous contract prior to the lockout. Now he can focus on getting ready for the regular season.

Photo: Aug 10, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) walks towards the dugout against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Max Scherzer thinks Dodgers misused him

Max Scherzer in a Dodgers uniform

Max Scherzer did not have the postseason he was hoping for, and he seems to feel like the Los Angeles Dodgers misused him.

The Los Angeles Dodgers lost in six games to the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS. The team ran out of pitching, largely due to their mismanagement of the pitching staff. They turned Julio Urias, the only 20-game winner in MLB, into a reliever. They had Walker Buehler pitching on short rest. And they had Scherzer both pitching out of the bullpen and on short rest. He ultimately was scratched from an elimination start due to a dead arm.

Changing up everyone’s roles backfired and left the Dodgers without enough quality pitchers to get the necessary outs against the Braves.

Scherzer, who was acquired along with Trea Turner from Washington at the trade deadline, did great in the regular season, going 7-0 with a 1.98 ERA with the Dodgers. However, he chose to sign with the New York Mets in free agency this offseason rather than return to Los Angeles.

The Mets’ financial offer was hard to pass up, but it could also be that Scherzer did not want to return to the Dodgers in part because of philosophical differences.

Scherzer said in an interview with SNY a few weeks ago that he spent time reflecting on the postseason to see what went wrong. He ultimately concluded that the Dodgers reducing his pitch counts towards the end of the regular season caused his body to get used to less of a workload. He believes that led his body to be uncooperative when a higher workload was needed in the postseason, resulting in his dead arm.

“In Washington, I was asked to pitch on the 5 day and pitch 100, 110 pitches consistently, and I loved it. I was built-up to throw a higher work capacity in D.C. So when I got asked to do that (by the Dodgers in 2021), I felt like my arm could respond to that. … (the Dodgers) made decisions to give extra days out and watch our pitch counts for the postseason.

“I just feel that lowered my work capacity so that when I tried to the 2019 formula of being able to pitch out of the pen, my arm was not able to respond to that, because I came out of the lower pitch count.”

Scherzer even described himself as “compromised” when trying to pitch extra in the postseason.

Let this be a lesson to teams that are so concerned about preserving players, keeping them in bubble wrap, and avoiding harm, that sometimes it’s best to just let the athletes do their thing and not overmanage or place too many limitations. This is yet another example of how “load management” can have negative effects.

Photo: Aug 10, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) walks towards the dugout against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Mets reportedly make Max Scherzer highest-paid MLB player by far

Max Scherzer in a Dodgers uniform

The New York Mets have landed one of the biggest free agents on the market, and they did so by making him the highest-paid player in Major League Baseball.

The Mets are finalizing a contract with pitcher Max Scherzer, as SNY’s Andy Martino first reported. According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network and others, the deal is worth $130 million over three seasons.

That means the Mets will be paying Scherzer $43 million per year, which is more than any other player in baseball from an average annual value standpoint. Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom is set to earn $36 million in 2022, which was previously tied with New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole for the highest pitcher’s salary.

Scherzer’s deal will also have a significantly higher AAV than Mike Trout’s. The slugger will make $37 million with the Los Angeles Angels next season.

Scherzer pitched at a Cy Young level last season and was said to be seeking a four-year deal. Considering he is 37, it would make sense if the Mets preferred to give him a higher salary over three years rather than adding an additional year onto the deal.

Though he had some issues with arm fatigue in the playoffs, Scherzer went 15-4 with a 2.46 ERA last season. He was 7-0 with a 1.98 ERA after being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Mets have already signed several other big-name free agents. They should be a clear World Series contender after pairing Scherzer with deGrom at the top of their rotation.

Photo: Aug 10, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) walks towards the dugout against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Max Scherzer close to signing with Mets

Max Scherzer in a Dodgers uniform

The New York Mets may be poised to land one of the biggest free agents on the market.

Reports throughout Sunday evening suggested the Mets were swooping in on the Max Scherzer sweepstakes. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi took things further by saying the Mets were close to finalizing a multi-year deal for the ace.

Scherzer pitched at a Cy Young level last season and is still an extremely valuable weapon. But at 37, teams likely are reluctant to give him too long-term of a deal.

If needed, the Mets could reportedly give Scherzer a four-year deal to secure his services.

Scherzer went 15-4 with a 2.46 ERA last season. He was 7-0 with a 1.98 ERA after being traded to the Dodgers. He is still very much a coveted asset.

If the Mets add Scherzer, that would give them a stout free agent class that also includes Starling Marte, Mark Canha and Eduardo Escobar.

Photo: Aug 10, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) walks towards the dugout against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Mets targeting 3 big names in free agency

Max Scherzer in a Dodgers uniform

The New York Mets have already been one of the busiest teams in free agency, and if they have their way, their biggest addition is yet to come.

The Mets are eyeing the top starting pitchers on the market, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network. That includes reigning AL Cy Young winner Robbie Ray, and it even includes Max Scherzer.

Scherzer is the headliner here, and would be a massive addition. There are clear questions about whether he’d be interested, however. At this stage in his career, he will be prioritizing winning, and the Mets did not make the playoffs last season. Plus, Scherzer’s preference for a West Coast team was a factor at the trade deadline, and the Mets certainly cannot offer that. There are certainly some other clubs that can that might be interested.

The Mets have already significantly bolstered their offense. Maybe that will help them attract top-tier pitching like Scherzer.

Photo: Aug 10, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) walks towards the dugout against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports