December 5, 2023

Max Scherzer, the New York Mets right-back, got off to a good start on Tuesday with a loss to the Cincinnati Reds (box points) in his first league appearance since picking up an injury in May. Scherzer left when the match was tied 0-0, meaning he did not take into account the decision.

Scherzer’s last streak saw him throw six closing frames, during which he allowed two hits and hits with a pitch. He also hit 11 hitters, and threw 57 of his 79 hits (that’s 72 percent, for who’s wondering). Scherzer’s fastball averaged 94.6 mph, a full mark better than his seasonal benchmark according to Statcast calculations. He also generated 15 puffs, including seven on the nine swings captured on his slider.

Prior to the injury, Scherzer had posted a 2.54 ERA (160 ERA+) and 5.36 strike-to-walk ratio in eight starts since joining the Mets during his sabbatical. Scherzer, of course, signed a two-year, $86 million contract that includes a player option for the 2024 season.

Scherzer was one of four Mets players on the injured list, along with Jacob deGrom (on the cusp of his comeback and debut of the season), Chris Bassett and Taylor Miguel. (Joe Lucchesi, another potential member of the New York tournament, has been sidelined since last summer due to Tommy John’s surgery.) Despite these players’ absence, the Mets nonetheless remained number one in the Eastern National League.

In fact, the Mets entered Tuesday’s play with a record 50-30 this year, putting them 3 games ahead of the Atlanta Braves in the division. Mets’ plus-60 differential is rated the best in the department as well, albeit by a small margin over both Braves (plus-58) and Philadelphia Phillies (plus-56).

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