Max Scherzer has meant everything to the New York Mets this season, as he has been worth the price of signing him of over $43 million. Not every pitcher is perfect, as Scherzer has had his vulnerabilities at times throughout his Hall of Fame career, but as he takes the hill tonight for yet another critical start against the Atlanta Braves, it is worth noting some numbers that have made his season that much more impressive.
Mets ace Max Scherzer has a career low 1.93 ERA, and he’s gotten better as the season has gone along.
Scherzer’s ERA has consistently been in the 2’s and the 3’s over his career, but he has pitched to a career-best 1.93 ERA this season. His previous career-low season ERA was last season, where he had a 2.46 ERA splitting time with the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers.
And better yet, Scherzer has been even better, as he has an NL best 1.36 ERA in the eight starts he has made since coming off the injured list on July 5. He has not allowed more than two earned runs in each of his past 10 starts dating back to May 13. This is the strongest argument that Max Scherzer is pitching better than he ever has at the age of 38, but two reasons illustrate why his ERA has gotten lower.
Mets ace Max Scherzer has given up just eight home runs.
Remember a few years ago the Mets had the antidote to Scherzer when Sandy Alderson constructed an all-or-nothing offense? Scherzer’s biggest drawback to his game throughout his career has been the home run ball, and the Mets beat Scherzer a couple of times in 2015 and 2016 because of it. The home runs happen because of Scherzer’s competitiveness to try and challenge hitters, which is what makes him great.
Now, Scherzer has only given up eight home runs in over 102.2 innings, and is on pace to give up the fewest in a full season throughout his career. And he hasn’t given up a home run to a hitter that hasn’t been an All-Star this season, and he’s only given up three over his past 10 starts.
Mets ace Max Scherzer has averaged 6.4 innings per start.
The big wild card for every starting pitcher this season was how deep into games they could go because of the lockout and the shortened spring training. Max Scherzer ranks ---- in the National League with 6.4 innings per start, and that has to do with his stamina. Other than the start where he had to leave early due to the oblique injury, Scherzer pitched six or more innings in all but one of his starts (his second one on April 13, where the Phillies worked him to 96 pitches over 5 innings).
For Scherzer to come in and consistently give his team at least 18 outs every five days to save the bullpen is huge, because it masks perhaps the biggest area of deficiency on the roster, the middle relievers.