Max Scherzer was practically everything the New York Mets could have wanted. In 23 starts he gave them an 11-5 performance and 2.29 ERA. The Cooperstown-bound ace won his 201st career game with the team and will be looking to add a few more in 2023.
Scherzer’s first year with the Mets was in many ways one of his better years. The ERA was a new career-best. If not for his time on the IL, he could have challenge a couple of other personal records.
The 2023 season could be Scherzer’s final one with the Mets due to his opt out clause at the end of the year. What can we expect out of him?
Setting expectations for Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer in 2023
There are a few things we’d all like to see from Scherzer in 2023. More innings is at the top of the list. Getting to 30 starts can make a huge difference although our expectations should have him missing at least a little time.
Although he owns a career 3.11 ERA, Scherzer hasn’t seen this number trek over 2.96 in any full season since 2014 when he was still with the Detroit Tigers. It’s rather amazing how phenomenal he has been since first joining the Washington Nationals. He really does seem to be getting better with age in some regards.
Still, there are signs of Scherzer slowing down. He hasn’t reached 180 innings since 2018. He’s not the workhorse he was early in his career. He gave the Mets 145.1 frames last year. In 2023, we should raise this to 160 and give him two more starts which brings the total to 25.
The ERA should also inflate even slightly. A 2.50 ERA performance from Scherzer is acceptable.
For Scherzer, there is one expectation we can’t quantify in numbers. We know he’ll win games in the regular season. He needs to win them late and in the postseason.
The whole point of signing Scherzer was to give the Mets a gamer they could lean on in do or die situations. It’s the one department where he came up short in 2022. Versus the Atlanta Braves in that devastating penultimate series and then against the San Diego Padres in the playoffs, Scherzer failed. So did many others on this ball club.
Our expectations for Scherzer haven’t changed in this regard. We need him to win those big outings. Regular season success is something the Mets can get elsewhere. In the postseason, he needs to strike fear in the opponent. It was the one thing missing from his first year in New York.
Give us 15 regular season wins, a 2.50 ERA, 25 starts, and a big postseason performance to propel the Mets to the World Series in 2023.