In his highly anticipated return to Citi Field on Monday, former Mets pitcher Max Scherzer received a less-than-warm welcome from the fans. The ballpark's production staff had put together a tribute video for Scherzer, thanking him for his time in Queens. However, it was clear that the video did not sit well with the fans, as their boos drowned out any cheers that might have been present.
The video tribute began with little reaction from the crowd, but as Scherzer's face appeared on the big screen, the boos grew louder. Despite the negative reaction, Scherzer waved to the fans and even let out a giggle, seemingly taking the jeers in stride. The boos likely stemmed from Scherzer's underwhelming performances in big moments during his time with the Mets.
When the Mets signed Scherzer to a record-breaking contract before the 2022 season, there were high hopes for his tenure with the team. Despite being limited to just 23 starts due to injuries, Scherzer had a stellar season, going 11-5 with a career-best 2.29 ERA. However, things took a turn for the worse in the playoffs, as Scherzer struggled in a crucial series against the Atlanta Braves, costing the Mets the division. He followed that up with a disastrous performance in the wild card series against the San Diego Padres, surrendering seven earned runs in just 4 ?...". innings.
After a rough start to the 2023 season, Scherzer seemed to be finding his form before the Mets decided to hold a fire sale before the trade deadline. In an attempt to restock their farm system, the team traded Scherzer to the Texas Rangers in exchange for top prospect Luisangel Acuna. Since joining the Rangers, Scherzer has been pitching like his old self, further frustrating Mets fans who had hoped he would find success elsewhere.
Fortunately for Scherzer, he will not have to face the wrath of Mets fans on the mound during this series, as his next scheduled start is against the Minnesota Twins. With a 2.64 ERA and an impressive 0.91 WHIP in his five starts with the Rangers, Scherzer is helping his new team in their quest to regain control of the AL West.
The Mets' struggles this season reached a climax with the trade of Scherzer. The video tribute at Citi Field served as a painful reminder for fans of the team's unfulfilled expectations for the 2023 campaign. Owner Steve Cohen and the front office made the decision to prioritize the future by trading away their two aces, Scherzer and Justin Verlander, who were earning hefty salaries of $43.33 million each.
While Scherzer's tenure with the Mets was short-lived, he had a solid 2022 season, posting a 2.29 ERA over 145.1 innings with 173 strikeouts and an 11-5 record. The team won 101 games that season, but fell short of their hopes for a championship. In his only playoff start for the Mets, Scherzer disappointed fans with a lackluster performance, allowing seven runs in 4.2 innings against the San Diego Padres.
Reflecting on his time with the Mets, Scherzer expressed regret that things did not go as planned. He admitted to wishing he had pitched better and took responsibility for his own performance. Despite the disappointment, Scherzer acknowledged that Cohen and GM Billy Eppler are taking the necessary steps to build a championship-caliber team in the future.
For Mets fans, the wait for a championship continues, as the team's rebuilding efforts are expected to extend into next season. With Scherzer now excelling with the Rangers, it remains to be seen if the Mets made the right move in trading away their star pitcher.
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