After Max Scherzer took himself out of the game in the middle of an at-bat against Albert Pujols in the sixth innings of the Mets-Cardinals game, Mets Twitter was quick to go to the worst-case scenario. Because that, after all, is Mets fans’ MO. And rightly so, as major injuries to star players have happened and kept them sidelined for long stretches.
Plus, fans took into account Scherzer’s tenacity to be on the mound, and the fact that he said he needed to be taken out was… concerning, to say the least.
The Mets announced a few innings later that Scherzer left the game with left side discomfort.
Fans online speculated that Scherzer’s hamstring may have tightened up or that he was dealing with an oblique injury. They went as far to try to lip-read what pitching coach Jeremy Hefner was saying in the dugout after meeting with Scherzer in the tunnel.
Ultimately, fans ended the night a bit relieved when it was confirmed there was nothing wrong with his arm since his last pitch was an undersirable and flat slider that fell in for a ball against Pujols.
Scherzer told press after the game he felt tight all day and after what would be his last pitch, he knew he was done because he felt a “zing” in his left side.
Though Scherzer doesn’t think the injury is a major strain, only time will tell how long this discomfort will keep him off the hill.
Scherzer exited the tied ball with a 6-2 lead. He had 87 pitches in 5.2 innings and allowed one earned run, struck out four, and did not concede a walk. It was his fifth win of the season (5-1).
The Mets’ bats came alive in the bottom of the fifth and finally cashed in on having RISP. Pitcher Jake Walsh was on the mound for the Cardinals making just his third professional appearance in the Majors and gave up a walk to Mark Canha then hit Francisco Lindor with a pitch. Pete Alonso hit a single to left to bring home Canha and Jeff McNeil reached on an infield single to load the bases.
Walsh was replaced with Nick Wittgren who gave up a sac fly to Eduardo Escobar that brought Lindor home from third. Dominic Smith then hit an RBI single, and Luis Guillorme followed with a sacrifice drag bunt that resulted in McNeil scoring the fourth run of the inning to break open what was a tie game going into the inning.
The Cardinals closed the gap in the eighth inning after Nolan Arenado hit a two-run home run off Seth Lugo to make it 6-4.
But in the bottom of the inning, the Mets tacked on five runs off an RBI triple by Nimmo, an RBI single by Canha, and a three-run home run by Alonso (ninth of the season).
The New York Mets would hold onto the 11-4 lead and clinch the season series win against St. Louis.
With the win last night, the Mets (25-14) sit six games up in first place in the NL East.
The Mets play their last game of the home stand against the Cardinals (20-17) this afternoon at 1:10 p.m. before hitting the road for a three-game series in Colorado against the Rockies (18-19) and a three-game series against the San Francisco Giants (22-15).
(Photo: (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images/Cropped)