WASHINGTON (AP) — Max Scherzer declared himself “good to go” for his New York Mets debut in Friday’s second recreation of the season in opposition to the Washington Nationals, the membership he helped win the 2019 World Series.
The three-time Cy Young Award winner developed an issue along with his proper hamstring late in spring coaching camp in Florida and there had been some uncertainty about when he would have the ability to make his first look of the common season.
With fellow Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom, twice a Cy Young honoree himself, sidelined for at the very least a month or two due to a shoulder blade concern, New York’s vaunted rotation gave the impression to be headed for a gradual begin beneath new supervisor Buck Showalter.
But Scherzer mentioned he got here by way of some fielding work simply high quality at Nationals Park earlier than Thursday’s recreation on opening day.
“I knew it was a hiccup. I knew it wasn’t a major, like, injury. I’ve done this a couple times and had an idea what it was,” Scherzer mentioned, talking to reporters in entrance of a locker within the visiting group’s clubhouse on the stadium he known as residence for six 1/2 seasons till getting despatched to the Los Angeles Dodgers on the commerce deadline in late July.
“I was able to tell Buck: ‘Hey, Buck, I’m good to go,’” he mentioned.
Scherzer turned a free agent and signed a three-year, $130 million contract with the Mets, a part of a big-spending offseason for proprietor Steve Cohen.
During his time in Washington after getting a seven-year, $210 million deal earlier than the 2015 season, Scherzer gained a pair of NL Cy Young Awards (his different got here in 2013 within the AL with Detroit), tossed two no-hitters and had a 20-strikeout recreation, along with serving to win a championship two years in the past.
Loud applause greeted Scherzer when he got here out of the dugout for pregame introductions earlier than Game 1 on Thursday evening. A video tribute was proven on the outfield scoreboard, that includes clips from the information convention when he signed with the Nationals and recreation highlights. It closed with the message “Thank you, Max” and a picture of the World Series trophy.
Asked what he expects his return to the mound within the nation’s capital to be like on Friday, Scherzer mentioned: “It’s just going to be a crazy, wild atmosphere.”
“You get used to it — you get used to playing for another team. You go out there and just compete and have fun. A lot of good memories here. There always will be good memories here,” Scherzer mentioned. “But nothing lasts forever. As my baseball journey goes on, I’m here in New York and excited about what the future holds.”
Last season, he went 15-4 with a 2.46 ERA and 236 strikeouts in 179 1/3 innings for the Nationals and Dodgers.
“It’s going to be fun. He’s going to try to strike me out. And I will try my best to not strike out, because I know he wants that, really bad,” mentioned Washington proper fielder Juan Soto, the 2021 NL MVP runner-up.
He known as Scherzer a mentor. Nationals pitcher Erick Fedde described the righty in comparable phrases.
“Him leaving last year was tough, for me, especially. I hadn’t been in the big leagues without him by my side,” Fedde mentioned. “So it’ll definitely be weird. It’s not going to be fun, knowing the kind of player and competitor he is. But it’s one of those things where you step on the field and he’s on the other side, so hopefully we beat him up.”
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