New York Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer walks through the...

New York Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer walks through the dugout after taking himself out of the game in the sixth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field on May 18, 2022. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Max Scherzer will be out six-to-eight weeks after undergoing an MRI on Thursday morning that showed what the Mets called “a moderate to high grade internal oblique strain” on his left side. 

Scherzer took himself out of his start in the sixth inning on Wednesday night against St. Louis after feeling what he called a “zing” in his side.  

Scherzer, 37, said he stopped pitching in the hopes of avoiding a serious injury. But it’s still a big deal for the Mets to be without him for up to two months becaue they already are missing injured pitchers Jacob deGrom, Tylor Megill, Trevor May and Sean Reid-Foley.  

Scherzer did not address the media on Thursday. On Wednesday night, after improving to 5-1 in the Mets’ 11-4 win over the Cardinals, he said: “I don’t think this is a major strain. I was kind of tight, and then all of a sudden it went. But I don’t feel like I really ripped it. I felt like it just kind of got worse. So hopefully I got out of there quick enough to prevent a major, major injury here. I know obliques, intercostals, those things can be nasty. Hopefully, I avoided a serious injury.” 

Whether you think it’s serious or not depends on your point of view. As pitcher Chris Bassitt said, “We didn’t lose him for the year.” 

But no team wants to be without one of its top two starting pitchers for six to eight weeks when the other one [deGrom] hasn’t thrown a pitch all season and isn’t expected back anytime soon. 

“It definitely [stinks],” Bassitt said. “But it’s moreso just next man up. We have the depth to withstand this, and I think that’s why the front office and [general manager Billy Eppler] and all those guys brought me in, brought Max in, to really shore up the starters. If, when things happen – because things happen to everybody – we’re able to still win games.”  

The Mets are 26-14 after Thursday’s 7-6, 10-inning victory over the Cardinals. They are scheduled to start a six-game road trip on Friday in Denver with Carlos Carrasco on the mound. 

The Mets rotation for the moment is Bassitt, Carrasco, Taijuan Walker and, probably, Trevor Williams and David Peterson. 

The Mets are also without No. 1 catcher James McCann, who underwent surgery this week for a fractured hamate bone in his left wrist. 

“It’s a great opportunity for guys that we’re talking about bringing in here,” manager Buck Showalter said. “We’ve got some guys that are going to meet us in Denver and try to hold the fort. We’ve got some rough estimates about when we’ll start to get some of these guys back, but usually baseball throws you another curve somewhere along the way. You just keep duckin’ and dodgin’ and see if you can get to the endgame.” 

Of the injured players, only Reid-Foley [Tommy John surgery] is known to be lost for the season.  

Showalter also revealed on Thursday that Scherzer had been pitching with a finger blister in his last two starts.  

Scherzer, who signed a three-year, $130 million contract in the offseason, has a 2.54 ERA in eight outings. He has thrown 49 2/3 innings, or an average of 6 1/3. Now the Mets will have to find someone – or multiple someones -- to try to replace those innings. 

“We don’t wallow around in self-pity,” Showalter said. “Nobody cares about your problems. Our fans do, but the people we’re competing against don’t care. And we like the people that we’ve surrounded ourselves with. Nobody has the track record of Max, but this is not a sky-is-falling team.” 

Max Scherzer has been a model of durability during his 15-year career, making only five previous trips to the disabled/injured list.

March/April 2009   Shoulder   15-day DL

August 2017    Neck   10-day DL 

July 2019 Back   10-day IL

July 2019 Rhomboid  10-day IL

June 2021 Groin  10-day IL