Mets starter Max Scherzer could be out for six to eight weeks with a sprained oblique muscle in his left side, another blow to a New York rotation already missing ace Jacob deGrom.
Scherzer, a three-time Cy Young Award winner, underwent an MRI on Thursday, a day after he asked to be pulled in the middle of a start against the St. Louis Cardinals. He was pitching on a 1-1 count against Albert Pujols in the sixth inning, and said he felt a “draw” on his left side.
The Mets reported that the MRI detected a sprain that ranged in severity from moderate to severe.
The 37-year-old right-hander is 5-1 with a 2.54 ERA in eight starts after signing a three-year, $130 million contract with New York. An eight-time All-Star, Scherzer had 59 strikeouts and 11 walks in 49 2/3 innings.
The Mets woke up with a six-game lead in the NL East.
“He had been thrown with a blister, with the ball — the seams were different,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said before Thursday’s game. “It was one of the reasons he had a hard time with breaking pitches, controlling them, because he didn’t want (the blister) to break again.”
Through 15 seasons in the majors, Scherzer is 195-98 with a 3.15 ERA. He won the American League Cy Young in 2013 with 2013, and another two from the National in 2016 and 2017 with Washington.
DeGrom hasn’t pitched since spring training because of a stress reaction in his right shoulder blade, and it wouldn’t be until late June or July when he could return. Tylor Megill, another member of the rotation, went on the disabled list Sunday with right biceps inflammation.
David Peterson will likely be called up from Triple-A to join a rotation that includes Chris Bassitt (4-2, 2.34), Carlos Carrasco (3-1, 3.73) and Taijuan Walker (1-0, 3.52).