3) Max Scherzer isn't letting the Mets go down without a fight
"Next time you have a chance to kill someone, don't hesitate." Those are the last words spoken by one of the terrorists that John McClane subsequently blows away in Die Hard. "Thanks for the advice," Bruce Willis quips. How does this relate to Max Scherzer? I'm glad you asked.
For one thing, there's no one in the league I could more easily imagine looking crazy, crawling through an air duct with glass in his feet, than Max Scherzer. Secondly, the title of John McTiernan's action classic (and yes, it is a Christmas movie) could aptly describe Scherzer this season.
Written off for dead after the Tigers rocked him for six runs on May 3rd, Scherzer was in the midst of possibly the worst stretch of his career. Three times in his first five starts, Scherzer had looked very un-ace-like, posting an ERA of 5.56. Worse still, one of those five starts resulted in his early ejection for sticky stuff on his hands, meaning he'd only made one legitimately good start all season.
The league will regret not killing Scherzer when they had the chance, because in his last two starts he's looked like his old self again, giving up only five hits and one run, striking out 11 batters in 11 total innings of work against the Nationals and Guardians.
Those two gems occurred with a split callus on his throwing hand, forcing Scherzer to lean more on his curveball. "I'd rather pitch in pain and win than not pitch at all," Scherzer said after the Guardians game. For all the derision thrown Scherzer's way as he struggled early in the year, you can never question his toughness or will to win.
The Mets have had issues with starting pitching all year, but Scherzer and the embattled staff have turned the corner to help vault the Mets back into the race. Maybe it's having old buddy Justin Verlander to sit with again in the dugout, or maybe we were all too quick to write off one of the best pitchers of his generation. Either way, it's good to have him back. Yippee-ki-yay Max Scherzer.