After starting the 2023 MLB season on a decent note, New York Mets pitcher Max Scherzer will have to sit out in the meantime, following an ejection after the third inning of a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers for having a sticky substance on his hand and glove, which earned him a ten game suspension. Scherzer has become only the third pitcher to get suspended following the league's crackdown on foreign substances, which began in June 2021. It's a complicated situation for the Mets ace.

Decent start

Coming off a decent year in which he went 11-5, with a 2.29 ERA and 173 strikeouts, all while missing nearly one month and a half of the season, Scherzer seemed determined to get better coming into his second season with the Mets.

Starting the season on the road against the Miami Marlins on Mar. 30, Scherzer got to start of the first game and pitched his team to a 5-3 victory, finishing with six strikeouts, while allowing four hits, three earned runs, and two walks in six innings of work. It was a great way to start the season and show that he was in control.

In his next outing, which was also on the road against the Milwaukee Brewers, did not go as smoothly. After giving up a two out, two run double to Brewers third baseman Brian Anderson in the first inning, Scherzer would struggle the rest of the way and be taken out during the sixth inning after giving up three consecutive home runs. The Brewers pitching kept the Mets from scoring, as they lost 9-0, with Scherzer giving up eight hits and five earned runs.

Scherzer would get his first home start of the season on Apr. 10 against the San Diego Padres. In his game, he made up for the previous poor start, holding the Padres to just one hit, while walking three, and striking out five in five innings of work. Thanks to a pair of two run doubles by outfielder Jeff McNeil and shortstop Francisco Lindor respectively, along with a sacrifice fly from third baseman Eduardo Escobar, and a strong pitching performance from the Mets bullpen, they won 5-0 and Scherzer picked up his second win of the season.

Substance ejection

Starting the final game of a three game series on the road against the Dodgers on the 19th, Scherzer seemed to be rolling along, but that would soon change. During the middle of the second inning, Scherzer was approached by umpire Phil Cuzzi for an inspection of his glove. After finding his hands and glove sticky, Scherzer was ordered to wash his hands and change his glove, to which he obliged by washing with alcohol, according to him.

Scherzer would retire the side in the third inning, but then things would get messy real quick.

While coming out to start the fourth inning, the umpires again decided to take another look at Scherzer's glove and hands before he went to the mound. In a surprising twist, the umpires felt that Scherzer's hands were way worse than before, to which he started complaining that it was only a combination of sweat and rosin. Feeling that a foreign substance had been applied to the glove and ignoring their earlier warnings, Cuzzi ejected Scherzer from the game in a moment that shocked some people. Scherzer would finish the game with three innings pitched, giving up one hit, two walks, and striking out five.

The whole episode didn't deter the Mets though, as they beat the Dodgers 5-3.


As a result of his ejection for use of a foreign substance, Scherzer was handed an immediate ten game suspension due to the MLB's policy on having anything on a players glove. Originally intending to appeal the suspension, Scherzer recently told reporters that he will accept the punishment handed down to him because he feels it would be a losing situation to try to fight it. Sitting at 12-7 and second in the National League east, the Mets are down two ace starting pitchers, as Scherzer will be out for a period of time, and the newly acquired Justin Verlander is out for the start of the season. The team will have a lot to make up for in the meantime and it will either be easy for hard.