Max Scherzer ‘trying like hell’ not to go on IL as Mets ace fights through lingering injury
Mets’ starter Max Scherzer said he is "trying like hell not to join the IL" as he attempts to pitch through an injury.
“I’m doing everything I can to get through this without having it linger through the rest of the season,’’ Scherzer told the New York Post’s Mike Puma ahead of the team’s seven-game road trip. “I’m in a good spot… I’m not going backward [with the injury], I’m moving forward. That’s the good part.”
Scherzer, who is scheduled to pitch Tuesday night against the Reds in Cincinnati, struggled in his most recent start, allowing six runs on eight hits in just 3.1 innings, after serving a 10-game suspension for using an illegal substance.
“That outing sucked, but I didn’t get hurt,’’ Scherzer told Puma. “The first part of progress of getting through an injury is being able to pitch and not get hurt.”
For the Mets’ ace, the goal is to continue pitching and avoid an absence.
“Just don’t break,’’ Scherzer told Puma. “I’m trying like hell not to join the IL. I’m fighting through this and doing everything I can. But this is the big leagues and no one cares if you’re hurt. You’ve got to go out there and perform, so I get it.”
In his five starts this season, Scherzer has allowed 14 runs (all earned) on 22 hits for a 5.56 ERA (6.35 FIP) with 10 walks and 20 strikeouts and a 1.412 WHIP.
The 38-year-old missed a start last month due to what manager Buck Showalter said was “lingering soreness” he experienced after a five-inning outing on April 10 against San Diego.
“I know exactly what this is. It just needs some time,” Scherzer told reporters on April 15. “It was similar to what I was dealing with in 2019. I respect it, know what it is. I know if you just give it a little rest it goes away.”
Scherzer characterized the soreness he experienced as “south” of the scapula or shoulder blade, and not the oblique that kept him out of the rotation for part of last season.
MLB.com's Anthony DiComo reported later on Monday that Scherzer has been managing the back tightness, and, per a source, the Mets' ace came out of his last start "without issue" physically.
While pitching for the Washington Nationals, Scherzer had stints on the IL in July and August of 2019 with a handful of nagging injuries – a mid-back strain, bursitis in the scapula beneath his shoulder, and a mild strain of the rhomboid muscle, which is below his right shoulder in the upper back.
“That’s how bad this can get,’’ Scherzer told Puma about the 2019 injury. “I respect that. I’ve learned from that and I’m trying like hell to not have that happen.”