Mets pitcher Max Scherzer sidelined 6-8 weeks with oblique strain

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Bad news for the New York Mets: Max Scherzer, one of their best starting pitchers, is going to be sidelined for quite a while with an injury.

The Mets announced Thursday that Scherzer has an oblique strain, and will miss six to eight weeks while it heals.

Scherzer, 37, pulled himself out of his last start against the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night, signaling to the dugout with two outs in the sixth inning. Buck Showalter and the training staff came out to the mound to speak with him, and then he exited the game.

Scherzer signed with the Mets in the offseason after spending several years with the Washington Nationals. He's had yet another exceptional season, at least so far, with a 2.54 ERA and 59 strikeouts over nearly 50 innings.

Injury clouds Mets' future

Going into Thursday, the Mets have the fourth-best team ERA in baseball at 3.32. That's due to Scherzer being Scherzer, Chris Bassitt keeping his ERA under 2.40, and two of their relief pitchers — Drew Smith and closer Edwin Diaz — being lights out.

But the absence of Scherzer is a problem for the Mets. He was signed to pitch alongside Jacob deGrom and give the starting rotation a boost, which he's mostly done. However, deGrom hasn't pitched at all this season due to an injury to his pitching arm.

Scherzer and deGrom aren't the only pitching injuries the Mets are dealing with. Starter Tylor Megill was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis earlier this week, and it's unclear how much time he'll miss. So now the Mets have to find replacements for both Scherzer and Megill while Bassitt headlines the rotation.

As far as offensive support, the Mets are third in MLB with a team batting average of .251, and they do have some hot bats right now. Second baseman Jeff McNeil is hitting .315 and is the only batter on the team with an average over .300. Left fielder Mark Canha is hitting .299, and centerfielder Brandon Nimmo is hitting .290. This is an offense that's able to prop up average-to-below-average pitching, but unless they can be consistent, the road ahead will be bumpy for awhile.

The only bright spot for the Mets here is that they still have one of the best records in baseball and lead the NL East by six games. They have a little bit of a cushion before they need to hit the big red Mets emergency button. But they need the offense to be solid, and they need everyone else to stay healthy.

May 18, 2022; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer (21) is taken out because of an injury in the sixth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
New York Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer (21) is taken out because of an injury in the sixth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field. (Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports)
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