Mets' Max Scherzer to Start Friday vs. Nationals After Tests on Hamstring Injury

Erin WalshApril 7, 2022

PORT ST. LUCIE, FLORIDA - MARCH 27: Max Scherzer #21 of the New York Mets throws a pitch during the fourth inning of the Spring Training game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Clover Park on March 27, 2022 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
Eric Espada/Getty Images

Three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer will make his New York Mets debut Friday against the Washington Nationals, he told reporters Thursday. 

Scherzer said he "was able to pass all the tests" on his sore right hamstring in order to take the mound for the second game of the series. 

"You've just got to get in a game and manage the game," Scherzer told reporters. "I can't tell you how many pitches I'm going to throw. You just manage what you got, give it everything that you got, and go out there and compete and try to win."

Friday's start will be Scherzer's first against the Nationals since they traded him to the Los Angeles Dodgers midway through the 2021 season. The 37-year-old spent six-and-a-half seasons with Washington, helping the club capture a World Series title in 2019. 

His former teammates are excited to face him, too, with All-Star slugger Juan Soto telling reporters he'll try his best not to strikeout against the veteran hurler. 

Jessica Camerato @JessicaCamerato

Juan Soto on hitting against Max Scherzer: “It’s going to be fun.” <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Nationals?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Nationals</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Mets?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Mets</a> <a href="https://t.co/xqLUfyQZnP">pic.twitter.com/xqLUfyQZnP</a>

Scherzer made 30 starts in 2021, 19 with the Nationals and 11 with the Dodgers. He went 15-4 with a 2.46 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 236 strikeouts across 179.1 innings. The right-hander then signed a three-year, $130 million contract with the Mets in November. 

Scherzer's return will be a welcome sight for a Mets rotation that is missing ace Jacob deGrom, who will be sidelined for at least the next four weeks with a stress reaction in his right scapula. 

With injuries to deGrom and Scherzer, Mets manager Buck Showalter tabbed Tylor Megill as his Opening Day starter. The 26-year-old went 4-6 in 2021 with a 4.52 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 99 strikeouts in 89.2 innings across 18 starts. 

In the event Scherzer struggles with his hamstring Friday, New York has Chris Bassitt, Carlos Carrasco and Taijuan Walker to hold down the rotation.