Mike’s Mets Player Review Series: Max Scherzer

Max Scherzer Look

Now that the 2022 season is over for the New York Mets, we have been looking back at the year that was. After taking a more general view of the offense, pitching, and coaching staff, it’s time to take a deeper dive into the Mets’ players. This series will take a look at every player on the roster for the Mets at the end of the season from A (Pete Alonso) to W (Trevor Williams). The review will look at their season statistics, stories, and what role (if any) they will have next season. We continue the series today with a look at starting pitcher Max Scherzer.

Player Review: Max Scherzer

2022 Stats:

Regular Season: 23 Starts, 145.1 Innings Pitched, 11-5 Won-Loss Record, 2.29 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 173:24 K:BB Ratio, .207 Batting Average Against, 5.3 WAR

Postseason: 1 Start, 4.2 Innings Pitched, 0-1 Won-Loss Record, 13.50 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 4:0 K:BB Ratio

Story: As the big ticket acquisition of the 2021 offseason, Max Scherzer entered his first year as a Met with sky-high expectations. The Mets planned on having a dominant duo of co-aces as Scherzer teamed with Jacob deGrom, but those plans quickly went awry as deGrom went down with a shoulder injury at the end of spring training. Scherzer took on the role of staff ace and was dominant over the first month and a half of the season before injuring his oblique against the St. Louis Cardinals on May 18. In a proactive move, Scherzer pulled himself from that game to prevent further damage but did end up missing six weeks on the injured list as a result of the strain.

Scherzer returned in early July and pretty much picked up right where he left off, delivering dominant results for the team in the stretch run, although a recurrence of the oblique issue led to another two-week IL stint in September. The Mets got Scherzer back on September 19 and he delivered one of his best outings of the season, tossing six perfect innings to defeat the Milwaukee Brewers and help the Mets clinch their first playoff berth in six years. Scherzer’s final regular season start came in Atlanta and he delivered a poor performance, allowing four runs in 5.2 innings as the Mets were swept by the Braves en route to losing the National League East despite winning 101 games.

That sweep sent the Mets into the Wild Card Series against the San Diego Padres and they tapped Scherzer to start Game 1 against Yu Darvish. Scherzer delivered one of the worst postseason performances of his career, allowing seven runs (including four home runs) in 4.2 innings of work to set a bad tone for the series. Mets’ fans booed Scherzer off the mound in his final start of the year as the Mets went on to lose the series to the Padres in three games. There is no question that Scherzer’s meltdown set the tone for what followed for the Mets in the disappointing finish to their 101 win season.

Grade: A

It’s hard for Mets fans to ignore Scherzer’s dud in the playoffs but he still delivered his best single season ERA at age 38 while being a dominant pitcher when on the mound. Scherzer also came through in plenty of big spots throughout the season although his last two starts saw ill-timed poor performances.

Contract Status: Signed Through 2024 (Will Earn $43.3 Million In 2023)

Odds Of Returning: 100%

2023 Role: Co-Ace

deGrom left but the Mets signed Justin Verlander to replace him, allowing the team to run back the same two ace model with Verlander and Scherzer, who were teammates on the Detroit Tigers earlier in Scherzer’s career. There is an increased injury risk as Scherzer ages but he will be highly motivated to pitch well in 2023 to both get the bad taste from the end of 2022 out of his mouth as well as set himself up to capitalize on the opt-out built into his contract that Scherzer can exercise after the season.

Check back next week as our Player Review Series continues with a look at first baseman Dominic Smith!

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