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Max Scherzer injury: Mets ace headed back to IL with oblique issue

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Max Scherzer Mets
New York Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer throws against the Washington Nationals during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)

Max Scherzer is going on the 15-day injured list due to another issue with his left oblique, Mets manager Buck Showalter disclosed on Thursday prior to his team’s doubleheader against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He is expected to miss one or two starts before returning — which is as good a scenario when seeing an ace going to the IL.

The 38-year-old exited Saturday night’s game against the Washington Nationals after just 67 pitches and five innings due to fatigue on that side. It immediately raised concerns about that left oblique, which was injured earlier this season and held him out for nearly seven weeks.

“I don’t have any strains. The left side was just getting more tired than usual,” Scherzer said after his outing, initially providing hope that there was no injury. “This was a precautionary move, considering the history of the oblique. Was there a scenario where I could go out there and pitch the sixth and be OK? Yeah. That could’ve happened. But if I went out for the sixth and got hurt, I could never come in here and look the guys in the face and say I made the right decision. It was better to be safe than sorry in this scenario.”

Scherzer has maintained extreme caution when dealing with the oblique given the slippery slope and how easy it would be to have a setback.
 
Now on the injured list, the pursuit of his 200th career win will also have to wait. The milestone has been a tricky one to obtain after winning No. 199 on Aug. 17 against the Atlanta Braves. Scherzer was the losing pitcher against the Yankees and Colorado Rockies before his no-decision on Saturday. 
 
Zooming out, it’s more bad news for a Mets team that quickly lost a three-game advantage atop the National League East with consecutive losses to the last-place Washington Nationals (twice) and Pirates. Starting-pitching depth hasn’t been all that reliable lately, either. Taijuan Walker’s second-half ERA is over 6.00 and Carlos Carrasco didn’t instill much confidence in his return from the IL on Sunday against Washington. 
 
Now even more pressure will be placed on them to step up over the next two weeks — at least — with the division being a dead heat.

For more on Max Scherzer and the Mets, visit AMNY.com