10:12AM: Scherzer has been officially placed on the IL, retroactive to September 4.
8:58AM: The Mets are placing ace Max Scherzer on the 15-day injured list, manager Buck Showalter announced to reporters Wednesday morning (Twitter link via Newsday’s Tim Healey). The team is hopeful that he’ll return after a minimum stint on the shelf. Scherzer departed his most recent start due to “fatigue” in the same left oblique muscle he strained earlier in the season — an injury that kept him sidelined for nearly two months.
Scherzer, 38, has been sensational for the Mets when healthy enough to take the mound. The three-time Cy Young winner has logged a 2.26 ERA while striking out 30.6% of his opponents against just a 4.6% walk rate. He’s averaged 6 1/3 innings per outing, even with a pair of early exits due to an increasingly problematic left oblique. Scherzer had been slated to start this Friday in Miami.
The injury to Scherzer comes in conjunction with a sequence of brutal losses to the last-place Pirates and Nationals. The Mets have dropped three in row while watching the Braves cruise to six straight victories, culminating in the evaporation of what was once a whopping 10.5-game lead in the NL East for the Mets; the two teams are currently tied with identical 85-51 records.
Even with Scherzer sidelined, the Mets have a strong top four in the rotation, with Jacob deGrom, Carlos Carrasco, Chris Bassitt and Taijuan Walker all active. Walker has struggled of late, with a 6.25 ERA since the All-Star break, although the majority of the damage against him came in one appearance: an eight-run meltdown against Atlanta. Both David Peterson and Trevor Williams are stretched out enough to make starts in place of Scherzer. Peterson started for the Mets both on Aug. 27 and Sept. 2, working a combined 11 1/3 innings, so he’d certainly be an option to step in for Scherzer on Friday against the Marlins.