|Max Scherzer walking off the mound after one after one of his many strikeouts. Photo by Jason Schott.|
Max Scherzer made his Citi Field debut as a member of the Mets after they pulled off an astonishing come-from-behind win in the first game of their doubleheader with the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday.
Scherzer began the frigid night on fire, as he struck out Mike Yastrzemski and Brandon Belt to open the game, the start of a stretch in which he retired the first eight Giants hitters, five of which he retired via the K. A walk to Curt Casali was San Francisco's first runner of the night with two out in the third inning.
The Mets offense responded against one of the best pitchers in baseball, Logan Webb, who got the start for San Francisco, in the third inning.
Francisco Lindor got it going with a one-out double, and then after Jeff McNeil flew out, Pete Alonso worked out a walk.
Eduardo Escobar was up next and laced a double down the right field line to bring home Lindor and Alonso, and then he came in to score on a single from Dom Smith that made it 3-0 New York.
Scherzer kept dealing, as he retired the Giants in order in the fourth and fifth innings. In the sixth, he really had the crowd into it, as they started thinking they could see history, especially after he struck out Jason Vosler and Casali.
Yastrzemski was up next, and Scherzer thought he struck him out with some offspeed pitches on the corner, but they just missed, and the grandson of Red Sox legend Carl Yastrzemski drew a walk to break the streak of nine straight retired by Scherzer. (Side note: there were a fair number of Boston fans in the building to see him)
Up next was Brandon Belt, and he drew a walk in the same fashion, laying off pitches on the outside corner and drawing a walk to give San Francisco two on and two out.
Darin Ruf was up next, and he laced one to left field that landed in front of McNeil for the Giants first hit, and it brought in their first run of the game, as Yastrzemski came around to make it 3-1 Mets.
The crowd gave Scherzer a big ovation, as they had visions that he would have his second no-hitter at Citi Field, with his first coming as a member of the Washington Nationals on October 3, 2015.
Scherzer then retired slugger Joc Pederson to end the sixth and he retired San Francisco in order in the seventh to end his night, capping it by striking out Steven Duggar, his 10th K of the night.
At that point, Scherzer was at 102 pitches, so even if he still was throwing the no-no, Mets Manager Buck Showalter would have faced the same dilemma the Dodgers faced when they pulled Clayton Kershaw from a perfect game after 7 innings on a cold afternoon in Minnesota.
Drew Smith came on to pitch the eighth, and Trevor May came on in the ninth to close out the Mets' 3-1 win, and they are now 9-3 on the season.
Scherzer's numbers were astounding: 7 innings, 1 hit, 1 run, 3 walks, and 10 strikeouts, and his record on the year is now 3-0 with a 2.50 ERA. It was his first 10+ strikeout game in his career, and his first as a Met.
It was his 14th straight winning decision, which is a career-best winning streak. He has not taken a loss in 22 straight starts, the 12th-longest in modern Major League Baseball history. He is the first Met to win each of his first three appearances since Jorge Sosa in 2007. It was his ninth straight win at Citi Field, the longest of any pitcher in the history of the ballpark, which opened in 2009.
For Giants starter Logan Webb, it was his first loss in nearly a year, since May 5, 2021, ending a stretch in of 22 straight starts without being defeated (yes, tied with Scherzer for 12th MLB all-time). It was the first time he did not complete four innings for the first time since July 9, 2021 against Washington.