The Mets record when Max Scherzer starts is better than it feels

The Mets record when Max Scherzer starts isn't as bad as you may think.
New York Mets v Arizona Diamondbacks
New York Mets v Arizona Diamondbacks / Norm Hall/GettyImages

As bad as Max Scherzer has been for the New York Mets this season, it’s hard to blame him for the team’s downfall. Sure, he has allowed a ton of home runs. Heading into Sunday’s start, we have to go back to June 1 for his latest appearances where someone didn’t take him yard. We all know what happened to the entire team after that victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.

The 8-3 record he has through 16 starts is pretty good but it’s that 4.31 ERA and even the 4.53 FIP which has us all concerned about him moving forward. Scherzer hasn’t been the innings eater we had hoped he would be nor has he come up big in spots where the club needed him.

One statistic, however, suggests his presence isn’t so miserable. The Mets team record when he starts games is 10-6. The .625 winning percentage in Scherzer starts is elite and precisely what the ball club needs for the remainder of the season to have any shot at the postseason.

When Max Scherzer starts, the Mets win but it’s not enough

A .625 winning percentage in Scherzer’s starts may feel acceptable but it’s actually well below his career totals. A devilish .666 winning percentage is where he sits right now. That’s just in games where he has factored into the decision. There have been games this year where the Mets lost because Scherzer didn’t give them a strong performance and he wasn’t awarded with the loss. There have been other times when he went up against an inferior team and taken the L.

Then there are the incalculable negatives. On a day where Scherzer exits early and the Mets still win, what about how many innings the relievers have to eat up and are therefore not available the next day?

The Mets were 14-9 in Scherzer’s starts last season. He ended up with an 11-5 record. The pace this year, while it feels much different, is very much the same.

We can find the difference in how bad many of those losses have been. The final 9 times the Mets lost in 2022 when Scherzer started came partly due to their lack of scoring. They scored 2 or fewer runs in all of those losses.

In comparison to Justin Verlander who is 3-5 with a 3.72 ERA, the Mets are only 5-8 in his appearances. This does include three shutouts against them. His first and most recent outings resulted in no Mets runs and an easy loss for the team because of it.

Scherzer’s performance is a problem. It’s just not the reason the team is looking up at .500 with a telescope. They’ve somehow managed to overcome how badly he has pitched at times.