Sport

Max Scherzer, the Mets offense is going big in the win over the Nationals

WASHINGTON — On a night that was supposed to be about Mad Max, the Mets just went nuts.

Francisco Lindor was the Mets’ fourth batter in 14 innings to leave a bruise, resulting in a 7-3 win over the Nationals in Max Scherzer’s Mets debut Friday night.

A game that had it all — including a 14-minute delay early because the lights didn’t work, a brouhaha and a 38-minute rain delay in the ninth inning — left the Mets both furious and flawless in two contests.

Before the altercation, Starling Marte lined a double that brought in Brandon Nimmo, who emerged as the game winner. Marte, who went 2-for-5 with three RBIs, also offered reassurance after the altercation when he stroked a two-run single in the sixth that turned the Mets’ anger into celebration.

What had been building for a game and a half exploded in the fifth inning. Lindor countered to Bunt, but left-back Steve Cishek’s second throw caught him up front. It was unclear exactly where the ball hit, but Lindor hit the ground and the Mets — led by manager Buck Showalter — began pouring onto the field while pointing at Cishek.

Francisco Lindor is hit in the face with a pitch.
Francisco Lindor is hit in the face with a pitch.
Corey SIPKIN
Francisco Lindor is down after being hit in the face by bad luck.
Francisco Lindor is down after being hit in the face by bad luck.
Corey SIPKIN
Benches vacant after Francisco Lindor was drilled with a slap in the face.
Benches vacant after Francisco Lindor was drilled with a slap in the face.
Corey SIPKIN

Both sides shoved and shoved and both bullpens poured onto the field and seemed to be exchanging far more curses than punches.

Lindor was down for part of the celebration before getting up and coming to the brink of the fight, seemingly clutching for his mouth. He left the game with a coach and was replaced by Luis Guillorme.

Cishek and Nationals third base coach Gary DiSarcina, a former Mets coach, were thrown.

The Mets announced that X-rays of Lindor’s jaw were negative and the shortstop had passed a concussion test.

Showalter said the Mets were unlucky Thursday when James McCann was hit twice by pitches and Pete Alonso was hit by a pitch that brushed off his shoulder and hit his helmet flap.

The Mets have downed a hitter in the series — Scherzer hit Washington’s Josh Bell in the lower leg in Friday’s second inning. The cool night might have affected how well pitchers could grab the ball.

“It’s dangerous,” Showalter said before the game. “If yours [catcher] Sit under the hitter and in there, you better be in charge. I did this with pitchers: if he doesn’t have command, you can’t have him thrown in there. Or you can’t make him your club.”

None of the drama seemed to detract from Scherzer, who more closely resembled Calm Max for the rest of the game. After the long gap between innings, it took him just 23 pitches to quietly sit his former teammates down in the next two innings, restoring some order to the competition.

Max Scherzer
Max Scherzer
Corey SIPKIN

Scherzer — true to his reputation, fully focused at all times and unconcerned about ceremony or nostalgia or nervous ex-teammates — wasn’t perfect, but he didn’t have to be either.

He allowed three runs on a walk and three hits in six innings, including a two-run bomb from Bell in the fourth inning that tied the score 3-3. Scherzer split completely with the Nationals with his first Mets start, which ended with fans who love him rooting for him over the tensions.

For his part, Scherzer didn’t want sympathy. On good pal Juan Soto’s first attack, the Superstar aggressively showed Bunt – basically trolling Scherzer – before emerging to the left. Soto seemed about to say something to Scherzer before returning to the dugout, but Scherzer, who won the 2019 World Series with Soto, didn’t look his way.

Losing in a game involving Mets offenses was the way the Mets offense clicked. Once again, they came through with timed hits (5 of 14 with runners in goal position) and big hits (five extra base hits). Jeff McNeil hit a homer, Eduardo Escobar started his second double in as many games, Nimmo tripled on his season debut and Marte continued to show why the Mets gave him $78 million.

Jeff McNeil celebrates as he circles the bases after his solo home run.
Jeff McNeil celebrates as he circles the bases after his solo home run.
Corey SIPKIN
Starling Marte rips a two-run RBI single in the 6th inning.
Starling Marte rips a two-run RBI single in the 6th inning.
Corey SIPKIN

Also lost was the fact that the bullpen only allowed one run in seven innings and the Mets – with so many injury concerns and without Jacob deGrom – are perfect in two games.

However, the Mets don’t believe the Nationals’ pitchers were that perfect.

https://nypost.com/2022/04/09/max-scherzer-mets-offense-come-up-big-in-win-over-nationals/ Max Scherzer, the Mets offense is going big in the win over the Nationals

JOE HERNANDEZ

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