Max Scherzer's left side injury puts damper on Mets win over Cardinals

·2 min read

NEW YORK — Few things can keep Max Scherzer out of a baseball game he starts.

So when the ace right-hander motioned to the Mets dugout in the top of the sixth inning Wednesday, a genuine air of concern filled Citi Field.

In the end, it put a damper on New York’s 11-4 victory over the Cardinals, which ensured the club’s first season-series win over St. Louis since 2014.

The Mets announced that Scherzer left the game due to "discomfort in his left side" and that he will undergo "imaging" on Thursday.

Afterward, he said he felt a "zing" in his side while pitching to Albert Pujols. He walked off the mound with a trainer, leaving a 1-1 count that reliever Adam Ottavino turned into a strikeout.

New York Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer hands the ball to manager Buck Showalter during the sixth inning of the team's baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
New York Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer hands the ball to manager Buck Showalter during the sixth inning of the team's baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

“I had never had a left-side injury before," Scherzer said. "When I felt it, I knew, 'there’s no way you can throw another pitch, so just get out of there'.”

“I don’t think this is a major strain," he added. "Hopefully, I got out of there quick enough to prevent a major injury here – because I know obliques, intercostals, those things can be nasty.”

Scherzer threw 87 pitches, 61 for strikes, in his 5⅔ innings, allowing two runs (one unearned) on seven hits with no walks and four strikeouts. The latter stat was a season low, though he did earn his team-leading fifth win, departing with a 6-2 lead.

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New York's major free-agent acquisition – who inked a three-year, $130 million deal – has been placed on the injured list just once since the start of 2020. He missed a week last June due to a groin inflammation when he was with the Nationals.

He recalled that he had asked out of that game because he could not continue pitching due to the discomfort.

May 18, 2022; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer (21) is taken out because of an injury in the sixth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
May 18, 2022; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer (21) is taken out because of an injury in the sixth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Scherzer's absence, should he miss a start, leaves another major hole in the rotation for a Mets team that is already down Jacob deGrom (right scapula, 60-day DL) and his understudy, Tylor Megill (biceps inflammation, 15-day DL).

“We don’t try to live in that world," manager Buck Showalter said. "If we have to make adjustments, we make them. Max is a really good pitcher, obviously,… we’d like to have him, but if we don’t, the season keeps going, right? They don’t wait for us. Ask Jake.”

Scherzer would not speculate as to whether he would make or miss his next start, either.

“I’ve got to wake up tomorrow and get in an MRI tube [to] see the exact nature of what we’ve got here,” he said.

Showalter, for one, remained optimistic.

“This is not a sky-is-falling team,” he said.

Email: tartaglia@northjersey.com 

Twitter: @njtags13 

This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: Max Scherzer injury: NY Mets pitcher leaves vs. Cardinals