Max Scherzer Is Pitching Injured And The Mets Are Proving There Is No Quick Way To Win In Baseball

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SOURCE - When Max Scherzer takes the mound on Tuesday in Cincinnati in an attempt to turn the Mets — and his own — season around, he’ll be doing so while still pitching with discomfort in his right scapula, around his shoulder blade.

“I’m doing everything I can to get through this without having it linger through the rest of the season,’’ Scherzer said before the team left for the 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.”

That sounds bad for any pitcher. It's even worse when the guy is almost 39 years old. 

This Mets season has been an unmitigated disaster. They are currently in the easiest stretch of the entire season. I thought they'd go 9-4 against the likes of the Tigers, Rockies, Reds and Nationals. They've started this stretch off going 1-5. Yesterday's game featured a Daniel Vogelbach base running error by being too aggressive. That's hard to do when you are far closer to 300 pounds than 200. 

Yesterday's shitshow loss showcased a bullpen that features illustrious names like Jimmy Yacabonis, Tommy Hunter and Jeff Brigham. The Rockies have an 86 OPS+. They scored 13 runs against the Mets in Citi Field yesterday. The Mets are 3-11 in their last 14 games. This is a waking nightmare.

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Can you throw enough money where you can win a World Series team instantly? The 1997 Marlins pulled it off. They spent that previous off-season acquiring Bobby Bonilla, Moises Alou, Devon White and Alex Fernandez. Obviously the owner Wayne Huizenga blew it all up immediately after the World Series…but it did work. The Marlins had won it all. He got his ring.

Steve Cohen tried a similar tactic last off-season with the Mets. The difference was that rather than bring in new bodies, he was forced to either re-sign or replace the old ones. Now, the 2022 Mets won 101 games. They were also built on the fragile or old arms of Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer. He replaced fragility with more age and got Justin Verlander. Everything seems to be breaking apart in real time.

Not what you want to hear from a guy born in the first term of the Reagan administration. To make matters worse, the other old guy Verlander has only made one start all season because he had a shoulder strain. The Mets will owe these two pitchers (assuming Scherzer doesn't opt out) a total of over $86 million dollars next year.

Giphy Images.


This Mets team can not win without Scherzer and Verlander having good seasons. The bottom of the lineup has some massive holes. Daniel Vogelbach is a good hitter and would be a very valuable baseball player if every pitcher was right handed and he was never asked to run. Unfortunately, having a guy who can only DH clogs up a roster and almost forces the team to play a man down when there is a southpaw on the mound.

Vogelbach is not the key issue but one of several. Losing Edwin Diaz in the World Baseball Classic forced Adam Ottovino and David Robertson into closer roles and made a bullpen that wasn't very deep become shallow instantly. They also have a minor league that is stocked with hitters but almost completely barren with pitchers.

If you take Senga out (and he shouldn't count), it's all hitters. The good news is Mauricio is in AAA (as is Mark Ventios who must have just missed making the list). The bad news the best pitching option in the minor league organization might be a man named Jose Butto. That's really his name.

I know things aren't as dire as it feels. This isn't the Oakland A's or Kansas City Royals. Verlander could wind up being exactly what this rotation needs. While I don't see how the Braves don't win the NL East, there are three wild card spots up for grabs. The Phillies proved that you can get to the World Series via the Wild Card route. I just didn't expect to be focused on the Wild Card standings before Memorial Day. 

The real silver lining is Steve Cohen. I don't blame him at all for this mess. He did everything he could to put the best team out there for 2023 that he could. If he can stay committed and keep building up that minor league system, the Mets will be very good one day. It just doesn't happen overnight. The time it did in 1997, it fell apart just as quickly. 


Patience is difficult. I'll keep this on repeat until this series against the Reds starts tomorrow. They can't play any worse than they did against the Rockies, right?