It appears that Max Scherzer is no worse for wear following a stint on the injured list.
The New York Mets starter returned to the mound Monday after a brief stint on the injured list with an oblique injury. He proceeded to pitch six perfect innings against the Milwaukee Brewers in a tidy 68 pitches.
Alas, history was not in the cards for the three-time Cy Young winner. Manager Buck Showalter pulled him after the sixth, presumably not wanting to extend Scherzer fresh off a trip to the injured list. The Mets led 5-0 when Scherzer left the game.
Were it not for his recent injury, Scherzer's night on an otherwise low pitch count looked like a prime candidate to secure the 24th perfect game in MLB history. Scherzer didn't appear to be upset with the decision when his night was done.
Handshakes and smiles for Max Scherzer in the dugout as he closes in on his 200th career victory pic.twitter.com/4FefR0v0vT
— SNY Mets (@SNY_Mets) September 20, 2022
The Mets are in a battle with the Atlanta Braves for the NL East title and have their sights set on a World Series championship. Keeping Scherzer and fellow Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom healthy is a big part of both goals. And at 38 years old, Scherzer certainly values prioritizing his health. But a missed opportunity at a perfect game surely stings nonetheless.
The combined perfect game and no-hitter didn't last long. Reliever Tylor Megill, fresh off his own stint on the injured list, allowed a double to Christian Yelich to lead off the seventh. Rowdy Tellez brought Yelich home with a two-run home run.
Scherzer is not the first future Hall of Famer to have a perfect game bid cut short in 2022. Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts pulled Clayton Kershaw after seven perfect innings in April. Like Scherzer, a pitch count was in play for Kershaw, who was making his first start of the season following a truncated spring training.