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Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander were New York Mets teammates to start the year. On Wednesday, Scherzer and Verlander faced off for the first time in their careers, now part of the Rangers and Astros, respectively.
It was a hyped matchup between the two aces. Unfortunately, Scherzer looked nothing like an ace. He lasted only three innings against Houston, surrendering seven runs on six hits.
Scherzer left Texas in a 7-1 hole when he exited in the third. That beatdown for the Rangers came after getting trounced 14-1 the day before.
Old Teammates, New Uniforms
Coming into Wednesday, Scherzer posted a 2.21 ERA in his tenure with the Rangers. He’d given up 19 hits in 36 ⅔ innings pitched.
As noted by MLB reporter Sarah Langs, Scherzer and Verlander’s Wednesday matchup marked the first time former Cy Young winners started the season as teammates and faced off against each other for different teams later in the year.
Mad Max and Verlander became trade deadline casualties for the Mets after a lackluster performance to start the year and out of the All-Star break.
New York unloaded several big names off their books at the deadline to prepare for 2024 and beyond.
It was a disappointing outcome for the Mets, who came into the current season with baseball’s biggest payroll and aspirations for an NL pennant after a 100-win season in 2022.
The Mets added Verlander in the offseason in the hope adding another stud pitcher would put them over the top; unfortunately, that never happened.
Scherzer professed his anticipation for the matchup, despite the air of acrimony that previously floated around the pair. They played for the Mets and previously played as teammates for the Detroit Tigers.
As reported by OutKick’s Ian Miller, Verlander earned some criticism in Queens for his “diva” behavior.
“That’ll be fun,” Scherzer said to the media ahead of Wednesday’s reunion, via ESPN. “First time facing him. My whole career, I’ve got to face all the best guys in the world and I’ve got to play with all the best guys in the world. So I got to play with [Verlander] for a while.
“Now it’s going to be fun to actually go up against him.”
Houston completed the series sweep against Texas, winning 12-3 on Wednesday.