While Tylor Megill got the call to start Opening Day for the injured Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer confirmed that his hamstring ailment would in no way impact his availability for Friday night’s matchup against the Washington Nationals in what will be his Mets debut.
Scherzer had been dealing with hamstring tightness in the last week of spring training, which came just days after the dream 1-2 punch of him and deGrom was destroyed after the latter was shut down for at least four weeks with a shoulder issue.
“I was able to pass all the tests, threw a bullpen, felt good out of that,” Scherzer said on Thursday. “Came in, was able to start moving around. I simulated covering first and I did it well enough that they did comfortable enough… So I’m good to go.
“Just one of those things you have to get in the game and manage the game. I can’t tell you how many pitches I’m going to throw. You just have to manage what you got, give everything that you got, and go out there and compete and try to win.”
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The 37-year-old did all that he could to downplay the severity of the hamstring issue, calling it nothing more than a “hiccup,” over the weekend.
“It’s just a day-to-day thing,” he said at the time. “You do the rehab and most likely, you get back out there pretty quick. That’s kind of the history of how these little hiccups on my leg work. I’m hoping that it’s the same thing. But when you’re dealing with hammies, you never know.”
Scherzer is still slated to be one of the top pitchers in the National League this season despite his age and dealing with fatigue toward the end of another sterling campaign last season. He went 15-4 with a 2.46 ERA and a league-best 0.864 WHIP.