Mets’ Max Scherzer flashes midseason but knows there’s “work to do.”

New York Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer, 21, prepares to throw a pitch against the Houston Astros in the seventh inning at Ballpark of the Palm Beaches / Rich Storry – USA TODAY Sports

Max Scherzer took the ball for that meads in Saturday night’s play against the Houston Astros.

The right-hander worked quickly and appeared to be in mid-season form, dominating seven innings scoreless in a 2-0 win. At one point, the right-hander went to a stretch where he retired ten straight batters, including six strikeouts.

Scherzer finished the night by allowing just four hits and hitting eight while throwing 81 pitches. The only real damage against him was a one out Chas McCormick double in the bottom of the second.

After the game, Scherzer told reporters what makes him so efficient is his ability to get the first pitch.

“You can always get a few first pitch outs that will keep your pitch count in line and keep you in rhythm. If you do without first pitch hits, it’s suddenly a different story.”

Buck Showalter was certainly pleased with this effectiveness as it allowed them to stretch scherzers to the seventh up-down.

“It was good to get him seventh place, you don’t know how you can always get seventh. Used that low pitch number to put him in seventh place. That’s a good hurdle for us,” said the skipper.

While it was a great game overall, Scherzer was happiest to be able to work on his slider against the Astros’ reasonably strong line-up.

“Still a little inconsistent, but slowly getting better. Starting to locate it a bit better down in the zone. I’m starting to get soil balls on it. Now it has some depth, so they pound it into the ground. It is precisely with this pitch that I achieve good results.”

Scherzer has been great this spring, allowing just one earned run in 11.2 innings of work. While the future Hall of Famer certainly looks ready for the regular season, he knows there’s more work to be done in these final spring starts.

“You get to that point and you’re itchy and you’re ready to go, but these last two starts are big. This is when you build your stamina, you build the highs, you build the pitch count. You think you’re ready for the season, but there’s still a lot to gain from those last two outings. There is still work to be done to ensure you are absolutely ready for opening day.”

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