Vintage power from the Polar Bear, and an analysis of Max Scherzer's postgame
Max Scherzer and Pete Alonso lead the Mets to a 5-1 victory. Plus, an in-depth analysis of what Scherzer was really saying in last night's postgame.
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
The Mets won their second straight vs the Nationals by a score of 5-1 on Friday night at Citi Field (box)
1B Pete Alonso crushed two home runs (29, 30) and drove home all five of the team’s runs in the win
RHP Max Scherzer had one of his better outings of the season, allowing one run over seven innings while striking out seven
RHP Adam Ottavino and LHP Brooks Raley combined to pitch two scoreless innings in relief to close out the game
Max Scherzer told reporters after the game that he would need to speak to the club’s front office about the direction of the team following the trade of David Robertson
The Rangers are considered to be the frontrunner to acquire RHP Justin Verlander if the Mets decide to trade him, with the Astros also showing interest (MLB.com)
The Brewers are expressing interest in acquiring OF Mark Canha, while the Dodgers are interested in both Canha and OF Tommy Pham (The Athletic)
Bartolo Colon will officially retire as a member of the Mets at Citi Field on Sunday, September 17th (Mets)
Roster Moves 🗞️
RHP Reed Garrett recalled from Triple-A Syracuse
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (49-54) vs Nationals (43-61)
Starting pitchers: RHP Carlos Carrasco (3-4, 5.82 ERA) vs. LHP Patrick Corbin (6-11, 5.01 ERA)
Where: Citi Field – Flushing, NY
When: 7:10 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
Analyzing Max Scherzer’s postgame comments… ✍️
Following last night’s game, there was quite a bit of instant reactions and vitriol in response to some of Max Scherzer’s postgame comments.
When partial quotes were trickling their way onto Twitter – or whatever the hell they want us to call it now – after the club’s 5-1 win, it was easy to have a negative gut response to what was being shared.
“Probably got to have to have a conversation with the front office,” Scherzer said on Friday night. “You traded our closer away.”
When greeted with these words out of the larger context, I myself did not have a particularly positive reaction to them. My mind instantly went to the “we’re all trying to find the guy who did this” meme from ‘I Think You Should Leave’ and I began to wonder about Photoshopping Scherzer’s face into the infamous hot dog costume.
But life is about nuance, and it’s important for us to have the full context of Scherzer’s postgame quotes before we can digest it and have a true discussion.
One day following the team trading away closer David Robertson, admitting to the baseball world that they were indeed acting as sellers in a season where they had lofty expectations, Scherzer met with the media following his start against the Nationals. When asked how he felt about the move, his first instinct was to point the flash light back to himself and the team at large, rather than blaming the front office.
“We put ourselves in this position,” Scherzer said. “We haven’t played well as a team. I’ve had a hand in that for why we’re in the position that we’re at. Can’t get mad at anybody but yourself, but it stinks.”
To me, this context already instantly changes the conversation. Scherzer isn’t an idiot, he knows that his performance and the performance of others on the team have directly contributed to the Mets having no other choice but to sell and punt to the 2024 season. Be mad at him all you want for his 4.01 ERA this season – he would probably agree with you – but realize that he is taking responsibility for where the club is at right now.
“I mean, look at where we’re at in the standings. Our record is our record.” Scherzer continued. “Obviously the front office has decisions to make, [Steve Cohen] has decisions to make, and we have to understand where the direction of the organization is going to be.”
For Scherzer, what I take away most here after parsing through his comments more and more is that while he and other members of the team are taking fault for putting the organization in this position in the first place, those players who are under contract to be here for the remainder of this season and more importantly next year want to feel confident in what the team’s plan and direction are going to be. Despite the challenges and difficulties of this year this is a team that is expecting to bounce back next year, something that Scherzer echoed himself.
“This isn’t like the trade for me out of Washington,” Scherzer said. “This time around, I’m not going to be a free agent. I have another year here. We did great things last year, won 100 ballgames last year. Unfortunately this year it’s not. With Steve and the rest of the organization, you see a path forward — a path to contend next year. That’s where the calculus is different.”
Again, this, to me, tells you all you need to know about how Scherzer is viewing this situation right now. He’s frustrated at himself for the performance, disappointed that the club has to sell pieces off and give up on 2023, but is also hopeful for the team’s chances next season and wants to hear from the front office themselves – Billy Eppler and Steve Cohen – what their plans are to make next year a more fruitful one.
“You have to talk to the brass. You have to understand what they see and what they are going to do,” Scherzer said.
It’s easy to have gut reactions to these types of quotes especially when they’re parsed and posted in partial or no context, separated from the rest of his quotes due to the limitations of social media. I sometimes fall into that trap myself. But upon further review, this merely reads to me as a man that is frustrated with himself and the consequences he and his team now must face due to their own poor play.
Around the League 🚩
Orioles OF Anthony Santander hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 9th to defeat the Yankees, 1-0
Cardinals 3B Nolan Arenado said he has not been asked by the organization if he would be willing to waive his no-trade clause
The Dodgers acquired RHPs Lance Lynn and Joe Kelly from the White Sox in exchange for OF Trayce Thompson and prospects Nick Nastrini and Jordan Leasure
Angels RHP/DH Shohei Ohtani blasted his league-leading 39th home run in the club’s 4-1 loss to the Blue Jays
Cubs CF Mike Tauchman robbed what would have been a walk-off home run to clinch Chicago’s seventh straight victory, beating the Cardinals 4-3
The Astros acquired RHP Kendall Graveman from the White Sox in exchange for catching prospect Korey Lee