JUPITER, Fla. — New uniform and fan base, nevertheless it was the identical Max Scherzer on Monday you’ll count on with solely 2 ½ weeks till Opening Day.
Scherzer had pitched so many Grapefruit League video games at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium over time with the Nationals that this newest train, for the primary time with the Mets, needed to really feel like outdated hat.
For his Mets debut the right-hander arrived with a mission of throwing as many strikes as doable. On that depend, he wildly succeeded. Scherzer reached 72 pitches (55 had been strikes) over 5 innings wherein he allowed one earned run on three hits with 5 strikeouts. Solely a win was lacking on a day the Mets misplaced 3-0 to the Marlins.
“The first time out I wanted just to come in and fill up the zone,” mentioned Scherzer, who featured all 5 of his pitches. “If you have a feel for the strike zone then you learn how to kind of pitch around the strike zone. But you can’t do that until you just pour it in there pitch after pitch, so that was a good thing today with throwing a lot of strikes and got my work in and five innings.”
Scherzer, who unloaded 59 pitches in a simulated sport final week in Port St. Lucie, threw his fastball within the 92-95 mph vary on this outing. He additionally unleashed a gradual weight loss program of cutters, changeups, curveballs and sliders. The opposite half of the Mets’ dynamic duo, Jacob deGrom, is scheduled for his Grapefruit League debut Tuesday night time towards the Astros at Clover Park.
Scherzer credited his exercises with Tomas Nido in the course of the lockout for serving to him construct a rapport with the catcher, who began this outing. Nido and Scherzer reside in South Florida and work out with coach Eric Cressey.
“With the lockout and everything I didn’t want to be caught by surprise and I just wanted to put some reps in,” Nido mentioned. “It worked out perfectly and it just helped skip a couple of steps in spring training and just be on the same page from the [start].”
Scherzer labored via the primary inning, throwing 20 pitches. Jazz Chisholm Jr. bunted for a single main off the sport towards the three-time Cy Younger Award winner and stole second earlier than Avisail Garcia delivered an RBI single.
The following 4 innings went a lot smoother for Scherzer: Jesus Aguilar’s double to left area within the fourth inning represented the one actual hard-hit ball towards Scherzer.
“The wind is blowing in so it gives you even more reason to try to let them hit it out of the ballpark,” Scherzer mentioned. “I got my work in, attacked the zone, didn’t walk anybody, a lot of first-pitch strikes — that is all the good stuff.”
Scherzer, who arrived simply earlier than the lockout on a three-year deal value $140 million, was requested if he felt like a Met but.
“When you actually go out there and compete in New York and have everybody behind you and actually go out and win a ballgame, no matter what happens, that is just a different level, so it doesn’t matter what you do in spring training,” Scherzer mentioned. “You want to get to the season and get out there and win some games when it counts so that is what all this work is for.”
This a lot is for certain: Scherzer received’t be overwhelmed by the second the primary time he pitches for the Mets in a regular-season sport, whether or not that’s on the highway or at Citi Subject.
“I like a hostile environment,” Scherzer mentioned. “I like it when there’s a bunch of crowd and a bunch of, it feels like the fans are going to come out of the stands and get you. They are fun environments to pitch in. I’m a high adrenaline pitcher so I feel comfortable pitching in that environment.
“New York is obviously one of those types of environments that brought that type of energy, so it’s going to be fun to pitch in front of that type of energy.”