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Lost day in Detroit only emphasizes Mets red flags
The Mets are swept for the first time in their last 26 doubleheaders. Plus, how the losses only underscore the issues on this team.
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
RHP Adam Ottavino blew a chance for New York to take the first game, allowing a two-run, game-winning single with four outs to go in the game
RHP Max Scherzer made his return to the club in Game 2 and continued his rough season, allowing eight hits and six earned runs in 3.1 innings
RF Starling Marte, LF Mark Canha and SS Francisco Lindor all homered in the first game of the twin bill
LHP Zach Muckenhirn made his major league debut in the nightcap, pitching 1.2 scoreless innings while only allowing one baserunner
RHP Justin Verlander is slated to make his Mets debut later this afternoon
The Mets were swept for the first time in their last 26 doubleheaders
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (16-15) at Tigers (12-17)
Where: Comerica Park - Detroit, Michigan
Starters: RHP Justin Verlander (2023 debut) vs LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (2-2, 2.21 ERA)
When: 1:10 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
Maybe Max Scherzer can’t do this anymore ✍🏻
They say Father Time is undefeated and right now, it’s kicking Max Scherzer in the ass.
After finally returning the the Mets starting rotation after serving a suspension for illegal substances for two weeks, things did not go as planned for the veteran Scherzer. In total, Max was battered for eight hits and six earned runs in just 3.1 innings pitched, a performance that only continued a trend for the man who is supposed to be one of the two aces on this team.
Five starts into the season, Scherzer now has a 5.56 ERA and a 6.36 FIP. His 1.412 WHIP, 2.4 home runs per nine and four walks per nine are all the highest marks of his 16-year career, while his 7.9 strikeouts per nine is the lowest of his career.
Scherzer has been incapable of missing bats in an alarming manner, as well, as he is generating swings-and-misses on 26.4 percent of the time, down five percent from last season. The veteran right-hander’s velocity has also be noticeably down — with his fastball often sitting around 92 miles per hour — to the point that Scherzer himself has taken notice.
“To have velo down like that, I’ve gotta figure out answers for that,” Scherzer said on Tuesday night. “I don’t have them tonight.”
To say that Scherzer’s struggles raise alarm bells would be an understatement as not only has he had a really difficult time this season, but it’s also coming off of the end of last year where he blew up in his final two starts of the year with everything on the line. In a pivotal game in the final weekend of the regular season in Atlanta and in his only playoff start last year, Scherzer allowed 11 earned runs and six home runs in 10.1 innings pitched (9.58 ERA).
While it is early this season, you now have to begin to wonder whether or not the Mets $40 million a year man can do this anymore. Scherzer’s velocity, innings and spin rate is down, while nearly every other mark would be the worst of his career. Soon-to-be 39 years old, it is safe to ask the question has age finally caught up with Max Scherzer?
And if it has, which all signs currently point to, the Mets are in trouble. They built this team around Scherzer and Justin Verlander acting as the veteran co-aces. If one of them can’t hold up that end of the bargain than this team does not work and they’re going to be in a whole lot of trouble in 2023. We’ve seen that negative impact already, as Scherzer’s struggles and Verlander’s injury are the number one reason why this team is currently only a single game over the .500 mark in May.
When Scherzer came to this team, we all had visions of grandeur of a veteran ace coming to a team to help carry them to a championship. Instead, at this point, the only vision that Mets fans have seen is one that looks all-too familiar.
Watching Scherzer of late is beginning to feel a lot like watching Tom Glavine pitching in orange and blue in the twilight of his career. He was a longtime pitcher for a division rival, won a World Series with that team and surprisingly signed with the Mets. And after a good start, he ultimately wasn’t able to hold up his end of the bargain in the postseason and things only tailed off from there. Sound familiar?
I don’t want to be overly harsh this early into a 162-game grind, but all of the recent evidence for Scherzer has not been kind. There is time for the veteran to still turn things around and be a contributing factor for this team but if he can’t reclaim his velocity or reinvent himself on the fly, this team is in big trouble. And if that happens, it may be close to the end for Mad Max.
Around the League 🚩
Angels RHP/DH Shohei Ohtani became the second player in MLB history to record 500 career strikeouts and 100 career home runs (Babe Ruth)
Dodgers 1B Max Muncy crushed a walk-off grand slam to complete a sweep of the Phillies, winning 10-6
Yankees C Jose Trivino lined a walk-off single in extras to defeat the Guardians after blowing a 9th inning lead
Mariners LHP Robbie Ray will likely miss the start of next season after undergoing Tommy John surgery
The Braves won again, by a lot to a little, against the Marlins