New York Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer answers questions from...

New York Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer answers questions from reporters during press conference at Citi Field, Wednesday, Oct 6, 2022. Credit: Noah K. Murray

On the eve of his 22nd postseason start and 27th appearance, Mets righthander Max Scherzer was asked if getting the ball against the San Diego Padres on Friday night in Game 1 of the Wild Card Series is an honor. 

“Honor — that’s one way to look at it,” Scherzer said on Thursday at Citi Field. “The other way to look is  . . . look, everybody in the clubhouse is going to have to have an opportunity. If we're going to win the World Series, everybody's going to have to have an opportunity to go out there and pitch and do something. Everybody's going to contribute at some point in time.” 

Scherzer got the nod from manager Buck Showalter over co-ace Jacob deGrom. Showalter hinted at — but did not confirm — that deGrom will start Game 2 if the Mets lose Game 1.  

If the Mets win Game 1, Chris Bassitt could start Game 2, which would leave deGrom available for a potential winner-take-all Game 3 or ready to face the Dodgers in Games 1 and 5 of the five-game Division Series. 

Showalter admitted that deGrom’s troublesome middle finger blister is “part of the equation, but I think by the time he pitches it shouldn’t be an issue.” 

What about Scherzer’s health? Mad Max fired a high, hard one at any suggestion the oblique injury he returned from on Sept. 19 will be a factor on Thursday. 

“I’m not limited by the oblique at all,” he said. 


Scherzer has a postseason record of 7-6 with a 3.22 ERA. He went 3-0 for the Nationals when they won the World Series in 2019. One of Scherzer’s teammates in Washington, Juan Soto, will be in the lineup for the Padres. 

“We had that moment when we won together, but baseball always does the craziest things and then makes you face each other,” Scherzer said. “You’ve got to face your friends and you’ve got to go out there and beat them. Those are the moments you remember, matchups you remember. Obviously, he's a great hitter. It’s going to take everything on me, every pitch I’ve got, to get him out.” 

The Mets know they will get 100% effort on every pitch from Scherzer. 

“Max is fun every time he pitches,” Francisco Lindor said. “I’m looking forward to seeing him for the first time, being with him on the same field in the playoffs. I know he gets very intense in the regular season. I'm sure that adrenaline will be even more tomorrow. He feeds off that. He’s a guy that needs that adrenaline, he needs the crowd to be really high up for him to even match that energy. I'm looking forward to it.” 

Said Pete Alonso: “Max is — despite him turning into a different person on his bump day — he's so consistent in what he does. He is a guy that's about his routine. He's super-detailed when it comes to preparation. A lot of people look at the intensity and the energy, but also he's a man with a plan and he's just ready to execute. I mean, he's been a warrior for us all year and the knowledge and experience he has in the postseason is going to be really big for us.” 


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