It’s somewhat easy to forget that Max Scherzer won the first of his three Cy Young Awards with the Detroit Tigers in 2013 as the future Hall of Fame right-hander has become so associated with the National League since then. Scherzer will return from a 10-game suspension on Wednesday for the New York Mets as a heavy favorite at his former Detroit squad.
MLB Betting News: Mets’ Max Scherzer To Return From Suspension Vs. Former Tigers Team Wednesday
When: May 3, at 6:40 pm ET
Where: Comerica Park, Detroit, MI
TV / Streaming: MLB.tv
Scherzer was ejected on April 19 during the fourth inning of his start at Dodger Stadium. He claimed the stickiness was caused by rosin and sweat and not by a foreign substance. Umpire Phil Cuzzi determined after the second inning that Scherzer’s hand was stickier and darker than normal and ordered Scherzer to wash his hand, which Scherzer said he did with alcohol while an MLB official watched.
After the third inning, Cuzzi then determined the pocket of Scherzer’s glove was “sticky,” likely with too much rosin, and he ordered Scherzer to change gloves. The umpires then checked the 38-year-old right-hander again before the fourth, and his hands were even worse than before. Scherzer became the third pitcher suspended since the crackdown on sticky substances started in June 2021. The other two also were dinged by Cuzzi.
“I thought I was going get in front of a neutral arbitrator, but I wasn’t,” Scherzer said about his decision not to appeal the decision. “It was going to be through MLB. Given that process, I wasn’t going to come out on top. The best thing for the Mets is to come to a settlement with MLB on what the fine should be and move forward with that. That’s the best thing for the Mets at this point and time.”
Scherzer was supposed to complete the 10-game suspension on Sunday and was slated to start Monday’s series finale against the Braves for the Mets, but Saturday’s game was postponed so that pushed Scherzer back to Wednesday. Because bad weather was expected Tuesday in Detroit, Buck Showalter went with Joey Lucchesi in the series opener against the Tigers, which allows Scherzer to pitch Wednesday in warmer temperatures.
Scherzer hasn’t been great so far at age 38 at 2-1 with a 3.72 ERA. He has career-worsts in hard-hit rate (39.2%), walk rate (11.7%), and homers allowed per nine innings (1.86). His strikeout rate (22.1%) is the second-lowest of Scherzer’s career and his worst since 2011 with the Tigers.
He left Detroit to sign a seven-year, $210 million deal with the Washington Nationals in January 2015. His time in DC featured six top-five finishes in NL Cy Young voting — including back-to-back wins in 2016-17 — a World Series ring in 2019 and, ultimately, a trade to the L.A. Dodgers in 2021. Scherzer signed a record-setting three-year, $130 million deal with the Mets before the 2022 season. Scherzer has faced the Tigers three times in his career, going 2-1 with a 1.23 ERA in 22 innings.
The Tigers will counter with young lefty Joey Wentz (0-1, 5.54). Wentz did not factor into the decision last Thursday, allowing two runs on four hits and one walk over 5.2 innings against the Orioles. He struck out six. Wentz was excellent Thursday, retiring 13 of the first 14 batters before Joey Ortiz tagged him for a single that drove in Jorge Mateo and Adam Frazier in the fifth. The 25-year-old has been inconsistent this season, allowing five runs in two of his five starts but stifling the Giants on April 14, striking out seven and allowing just one run. Thursday’s contest also marked Wentz’s second outing allowing no home runs. Four of Wentz’s five starts have come against AL East clubs.
“He’s starting to settle into his own,” catcher Eric Haase said, “and I think once the leash comes off and they start letting him go deeper into ball games, things are going to be really good for him.”
The Tigers and Mets last played in 2019 with New York winning two-of-three games at Citi Field. Detroit has a 13-11 lead in the all-time series against the Mets, including a 5-4 edge in games at Comerica Park. Detroit is 5-7 at home this season entering this week. As a team, the Tigers are hitting .246/.314/.372 at Comerica Park, while the pitching staff has a 4.90 ERA (112.0IP/61ER).
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