It had started well. The Mets brought a little bit of everything to the bottom of the 5th inning. An RBI sinble by Pete Alonso made it 3-2. Eduardo Escobar’s supreme approach of swinging for the moon until two strikes, and then not swinging for the moon with two strikes resulted in a sac fly to make it 4-2. (It was the most impressive at-bat of the night for me and it was a representation of the Mets’ improved approach from last year to this.) Dom Smith then singled to make it 5-2 because the Cardinals for some reason decided to throw an outside fastball while playing Smith to pull. Then a safety squeeze by Luis Guillorme made it 6-2.
It had ended well also. After … Brandon Nimmo drive home Kid Rock Jankowski to make it 7-4, Mark Canha drove him home with a single to make it 8-4, and then Pete Alonso made it 11-4 with a booming three run homer and put the game away while giving Edwin Diaz a break. If that was it, then it would have been a great night.
But in between, this happened:
Max Scherzer motions to the dugout and leaves the game in the middle of the 6th: pic.twitter.com/EG5DkMTBN2
— SNY (@SNYtv) May 19, 2022
Late in the game, the Mets called it “left side discomfort”, and Max will get some imaging tomorrow. It sure as hell isn’t a good sign when a warrior like Max Scherzer takes himself out of the game. But perhaps Max Scherzer’s smarts have simply caught up to his nerve. And no, I’m not saying Max was ever dumb, just getting wiser with his advancing age. (I wish I could say the same for myself.) Look, we saw Max and the Mets get extremely cautious late in spring training with the hamstring. The fact that he felt something and said “that’s it” is actually encouraging. Maybe at age 27 he tries to pitch through it. But at age 37, he knows that if he feels something a little strange (and he knows his physiology better than anyone), he knows that it’s better to do what he did than wait until he collapses in a heap on the mound. Better to lose him for 15 days than for the season. Not everyone who pitches in the league has that code embedded in them yet.
Maybe this is all stuff that I tell myself to make myself feel better (or tweet to make everyone else feel better), especially after a decade plus of Pedro Martinez being forced to pitch in a meaningless game for the extra gate, Ryan Church flying with a concussion, and many instances of “we’re not worried” turning into “out for the season” within a span of hours. Maybe Jomboy’s lip reading skills were on point where he surmised that Jeremy Hefner told Buck “just his back, nothing bad”. Maybe tonight looked bad, but we’ve known worse. We can have this bounce off us like bullets off of RoboCop. Hopefully the imaging brings us good news and we’re good to go the rest of the way.
Max is hopeful too:
🎥 "I don't think this is a major strain."
Max Scherzer updates his status: pic.twitter.com/jUeFW14vNq
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) May 19, 2022
If not? Well, Jordan Yamamoto is back in Brooklyn.
Today’s Hate List
1. Nolan Arenado
2. Tyler O’Neill
3. Brendan Donovan
4. Paul DeJong
5. Jack Clark