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Mets’ Max Scherzer Allows 4 Homers in Wild-Card Loss to Padres

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Over the winter, Mets made ace Max Scherzer the best paid player, on an annual basis, in baseball history by giving him a three-year $130 million contract. He was the most important signing within the second yr of owner Steven A. Cohen’s overhaul of a franchise that had endured greater than its fair proportion of headaches and losses over time.

It worked — to an extent. Despite missing nine weeks of the regular season with injuries, Scherzer, 38, was stellar on the mound. And within the clubhouse, he helped change the Mets’ culture and have become considered one of the important thing leaders that guided them to their first playoff appearance since 2016.

Tabbed with the Game 1 task on Friday within the Mets’ best-of-three wild-card series against the San Diego Padres, Scherzer didn’t deliver in his role. In actual fact, he produced the worst postseason start of his decorated 15-year profession within the Mets’ 7-1 loss. In his twenty seventh profession postseason appearance, Scherzer coughed up seven runs and 4 home runs.

And as he trudged off the mound within the fifth inning, Scherzer was showered with boos from the sellout crowd of 41,621 fans at Citi Field. Within the span of a number of innings, the vibe in Flushing went from deafeningly loud to eerily quiet because the Padres repeatedly rocketed balls into the stands.

“I’m upset,” Scherzer said. “Baseball can take you to the best of highs and the bottom of lows, and that is considered one of the bottom of lows.”

The 101-win Mets are actually on the verge of elimination. By losing their division, the National League East, to the Atlanta Braves within the closing days of the regular season, the Mets earned the highest wild-card spot (of three) within the playoffs. And on this yr’s recent postseason format, that meant hosting the second wild-card team, the 89-win Padres.

The Mets’ fate now falls to their other ace, Jacob deGrom, in Game 2 on Saturday at Citi Field.

Despite the presence of multiple star hitters this season, the Padres at times struggled to provide a consistent offense. That was the case even after the Aug. 2 trade deadline, once they pulled off a blockbuster trade for Washington Nationals superstar Juan Soto and the standout first baseman Josh Bell.

After joining the Padres, Bell hit .192 with three home runs. During that very same span, his fellow outfielders Jurickson Profar (.213) and Trent Grisham (.144) also struggled. But against Scherzer, all three looked like sluggers.

With Profar on base after a single in the primary inning, Bell clobbered a Scherzer fastball over the plate into the left field seats for a two-run home run. Grisham did the identical to a Scherzer offering, but to right field for a solo blast within the second.

Despite trailing by 3-0, there was loads of time for the Mets. Their offense is built around hitting for average and getting on base, not necessarily smashing the ball over the fence. They were tied for fifteenth (out of 30 teams) in home runs through the regular season, meaning a comeback wasn’t as prone to occur quickly or forcefully.

The Mets’ All-Star outfielder Starling Marte tried his best to offer a lift in his return from a fractured finger that had kept him out since Sept. 6. Despite wearing a splint and still feeling discomfort, he singled to steer off the second inning and stole two bases. But going together with the theme of the night, his teammates didn’t drive him in.

Staked to an enormous lead, Yu Darvish, the San Diego Padres ace, neutralized the Mets’ offense for seven innings along with his big selection of dipping and cutting pitches.

With two runners on within the fifth inning, Profar punished one other Scherzer mistake, sneaking it over the appropriate field fence for a three-run blast. After they scored, Padres shortstop Ha-Seong Kim and Profar each put a finger over their mouths, as if to further silence the already quieting crowd.

Two batters later, the boos got here after Scherzer surrendered a line-drive solo home run to Padres’ All-Star third baseman Manny Machado. As Mets Manager Buck Showalter ambled toward the mound, Scherzer kicked the pitching rubber and flipped the ball into his glove. He handed the ball to Showalter and dejectedly walked toward the Mets dugout.

After an exciting regular season that rekindled hope in a fan base that had grown accustomed to watching other teams play in October, the Mets are one loss away from the return of that disappointment.

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