Mets pitcher Max Scherzer watches from the dugout during a...

Mets pitcher Max Scherzer watches from the dugout during a game against the Marlins on Saturday in Miami. Credit: AP/Lynne Sladky

HARTFORD, Conn. — Max Scherzer, after his first minor league rehab start on June 21, said he was hoping it would be his only minor league rehab start.

“I want to be in the big leagues,” Scherzer said, “not be a Rumble Pony.”

But strained left obliques have a funny way of taking their own sweet time to heal. So there Scherzer was on Wednesday night at a sold-out Dunkin’ Donuts Park in a powder blue uniform top with the word “BING” on the front, pitching against the Hartford Yard Goats.

"BING” is short for Binghamton, which is the Mets’ Double-A affiliate. Binghamton’s nickname is “Rumble Ponies,” and not only did Scherzer get to be a Rumble Pony again, he also got to pitch in a special City Edition jersey with the iconic Binghamton skyline across the front and the Rumble Ponies’ stadium on the back.

Scherzer, whose start was postponed from Tuesday about four hours before game time because the Mets wanted to give him an extra day, went 4 2/3 innings and threw 80 pitches. He allowed four hits and three runs (two earned) with one walk and eight strikeouts against the Colorado Rockies’ Double-A affiliate. Scherzer’s fastball sat in the mid-90s and touched 97 miles per hour.

After his outing was over, Scherzer said, “Everything felt good. I’m good to go.”

He didn’t mean another go as a Rumble Pony. Scherzer expects his next start to be for the Mets.

Asked if he thought he might need another minor league rehab start, Scherzer said: “No. No.”

Scherzer could return to the Mets’ rotation as early as Monday in Cincinnati.

“Can’t wait,” he said. “I’m itchin’ now . . . I felt good out there. I had to work through some traffic and was able to come back out and get five ups in, get 80 pitches in.”

Scherzer threw 65 pitches in his first rehab outing.

“I knew I was going to have more in the tank,” he said. “Based on how I recovered over the last couple days, I knew I had more in the tank tonight than I did in the previous one. So I knew I was going to feel good.”

Scherzer, 37, injured his oblique on May 18.

Throwing to prized Mets catching prospect Francisco Alvarez, Scherzer struck out the first two batters he faced, both on breaking balls, the second a check-swing called by plate umpire Jen Pawol (a former Hofstra softball player).

Alvarez gave his temporary batterymate a 2-0 lead with a long two-run homer in the third inning. It was the 20-year-old’s 18th home run this season in 64 Double-A games. Might a trip to Triple-A or even the majors be in Alvarez’s near future?

In the fourth, errors by third baseman Brett Baty (fielding) and Alvarez (throwing on Hartford’s third stolen base) helped the Yard Goats score three runs (two earned) off Scherzer. Aaron Schunk had a two-run double and Brenton Doyle followed with an RBI single.

In the fifth, Scherzer retired the first two batters. He was removed after striking out Ezequiel Tovar and got a standing ovation from the crowd of 6,850.

“Cool little park,” Scherzer said. “Good to check another minor league city off my list. Hopefully, that’s it.”