Max Scherzer had a four-run lead in the sixth inning, and it was all going well for the Mets, as it has in many games this season.
Suddenly, the three-time Cy Young award-winning pitcher motioned to the dugout. And his work is done.
Scherzer left Wednesday’s game with soreness in his left side before New York cruised to an 11-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.
“I don’t think it’s a serious strain,” Scherzer confided. “I felt some stiffness and then the sudden pain came, but I don’t think there was a tear. It just got worse. Hopefully he got out of the game in time to avoid a bigger injury, because you know, oblique, intercostal or other muscle issues can be nasty. I hope I have avoided a serious injury.”
Pete Alonso homered and drove in four runs for the Mets, who are 13-1 in post-loss games so far this season. The only time they have string together setbacks this campaign was on April 10 and 11.
Jeff McNeil hit a two-run single and Alonso broke a 2-2 tie with an RBI hit off rookie reliever Jake Walsh (0-1) during a four-run fifth. Dominic Smith took one more to the plate with indisputable and the Venezuelan Luis Guillorme crowned the offense with a brilliant RBI touch.
Mets hitters were hit by pitches three times, reaching 28 for the season, the most in the major leagues. The total includes eight hits by Cardinals pitching in six games this year.
Nolan Arenado hit a two-run homer for the Cardinals. Albert Pujols had two hits to pass Eddie Collins for 10th all-time with 3,314, including a two-run single Wednesday off Scherzer (5-1).
The three-time Cy Young Award winner left the game with two outs in the sixth on a 1-1 count against Pujols. He will undergo an MRI on Thursday, the team reported.
For the Mets, Puerto Rican Francisco Lindor 2-1 with two runs scored. Venezuelans Luis Guillorme 3-1 with one produced; Eduardo Escobar 4-0 with an RBI.
For the Cardinals, Dominican Pujols 4-2 with two RBIs. Puerto Rican Yadier Molina 3-1. The Venezuelan Juan Yepez 4-0. Panamanian Edmundo Sosa 2-1.