Max Scherzer of the New York Mets, who started Game 1 of the National League Wild Card Series against the San Diego Padres, received jeers as he left the field on Friday night. In his final line, Scherzer allowed seven runs on seven hits, including four home runs, over 4 2/3 innings. In the end, the Mets lost 7-1 after he left the game with a seven-run deficit.
After the game, Scherzer said to reporters, “Baseball can take you to the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.” “This is among the very lowest lows.”
Prior to his 26 prior playoff appearances, Scherzer, who is 38 years old, had never given up more than seven runs. A dreadful 2011 American League Championship Series start against the Texas Rangers while a member of the Detroit Tigers was the only time he had ever allowed more than six runs, and that was also the most. Additionally, in a postseason game, Scherzer had never allowed more than two home runs.
It is important to remember that Scherzer missed time in September because to an oblique ailment. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic wrote on how he was still dealing with the affects of the injury, raising concerns for his health recently.
Scherzer said to Rosenthal, “You’re digesting everything between innings, not when you’re pitching. “You’re assessing your current situation and focusing on where your exhaustion is coming from. We’re pitching if I’m tiring at the same rate, if my arm and side are fatigued. If I’m still going in the third inning and (the side alone) is exhausted, I know I’m in trouble.”
Blame the oblique, an off night, or a combination of these, but Scherzer’s pitching style on Friday night was different from his usual for the season. His fastball velocity was about the same, but Statcast data showed that each of his throws had much less spin than usual.
Of course, the outcomes are more important than the velocity or the spin. Unfortunately, Scherzer and the Mets’ effort on Friday night fell short of the mark.