Max Scherzer signed with the New York Mets in December with the idea of becoming part of a potent top-of-the-rotation duo.
Nobody expected Scherzer to be teamed with Tylor Megill, though.
Scherzer again will look to follow a Megill start with a win on Wednesday afternoon, when he’s slated to make his second appearance for the Mets in the finale of a three-game series against the host Philadelphia Phillies.
Scherzer (1-0, 4.50 ERA) is scheduled to oppose Aaron Nola (1-0, 6.00) in a battle of All-Star right-handers.
The Mets evened the series Tuesday night when Megill — pitching in place of injured ace Jacob deGrom — earned his second straight win by tossing 5 1/3 sharp innings in New York’s 2-0 victory.
Megill, who opened the season with five scoreless innings and got the victory in the Mets’ 5-1 decision over the Washington Nationals on Thursday, is only the third pitcher in team history to follow a scoreless Opening Day start with another scoreless effort.
Hall of Famer Tom Seaver threw 15 scoreless innings over two starts from April 15-21, 1972, while deGrom tossed 13 scoreless innings from March 28-April 3, 2019.
The solid effort came at a perfect time Tuesday for the Mets, who entered with a two-game losing streak after blowing eighth-inning leads against the Nationals on Sunday and the Phillies on Monday, when Philadelphia scored five runs off a trio of relievers to earn a 5-4 victory.
“That’s a good win for us in the early part of the season,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “After (Monday) night, a lot of guys would have pulled the dirt in and said, ‘Woe is me.'”
The Phillies also have offered some reminders of their resiliency in the first week of the season. The comeback Monday night was sparked by a leadoff walk by Alec Bohm, who committed three errors earlier in the game and was captured by television cameras saying, “I (expletive) hate this place.”
Bohm apologized after the game Monday and received a warm ovation when he pinch-hit in the eighth inning Tuesday.
“That’s about as tough a night as you can have on the field, and emotions got the best of him,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said Tuesday night. “What I’m proud of is he owned up to it, he responded well in the game, he helped us win a game (Monday), and he learned from it. That’s what you have to do.”
Scherzer earned the win in his Mets debut on Friday, when he allowed three runs over six innings in New York’s 7-3 victory over the Nationals. Nola also won on Friday, when he gave up four runs in six-plus innings as the Phillies earned a 9-5 Opening Day victory over the Oakland Athletics.
Scherzer is 14-4 with a 2.50 ERA in 25 career starts against the Phillies. He was particularly sharp vs. Philadelphia last year, going 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA in four starts.
Nola is 9-3 with a 3.12 ERA in 20 starts against the Mets. He tied Seaver’s record for most consecutive strikeouts in a game last June 25, when Nola whiffed 10 straight Mets batters from the first through fourth innings.
–Field Level Media