Scherzer spins a perfect 6 runs for his 200th career win

Milwaukee — About two hours after he was named general manager for the Mets last November, Billy Ebler had a call with Scott Borras. Unwilling to waste any time looking to solidify the Mets under owner Steve Cohen’s watch, Eppler caught a number of different players in that initial conversation with one of baseball’s most powerful agents.

“But he knew who I was calling,” Ebler said.

It wasn’t long before Ebler and Cohen took a Zoom call with Max Scherzer and his wife, laying out their vision for the Mets. What they described sounded somewhat similar to what happened Monday at American Family Field: Scherzer on the Hill, where he delivered a perfect six runs as the Mets grabbed a playoff berth with a 7-2 victory over the Brewers.

“That’s what you play for,” said Shearzer, who took his 200th career victory and lowered his ERA to 2.15. “You play the game to get into the postseason. The fact that we got here, there are a lot of ways not to solve the problem. Until we can find our way into the postseason, it’s great. That’s what we celebrate.”

In his first start in 15 days on the injured roster, Scherzer looked something less than perfect early on, allowing a string of powerful balls onto the field. But each of those found gloves, and by the middle of the run, Scherzer had found his groove. He hit two in the fourth and two more in the fifth, and he proved so effective with his pitches that manager Buck Showalter found it impossible to remove him from the game at that point. Scherzer persuaded Showalter to give him another round, which punctuated his ninth strike of the night.

At that point, in acknowledgment of the bigger goals ahead, Showalter brought in mitigator Taylor Miguel, who allowed to double his first hit.

“It wasn’t [difficult]Leaving a perfect match in progress,” Scherzer said of leaving a perfect match in progress. “I know my place in this rehab process to get back out there. I didn’t have a chance to complete it. You just have to take your victories when you can get them.”

Earlier this season, Scherzer missed nearly seven weeks due to a strain in his left oblique muscle, which began to worsen again in early September. Rather than risk the health of one of the top two starters, the Mets shut down Scherzer for a few days, sent him on a rehab mission, and then put him back on Monday under a tight pitch count of around 75. 68 to complete his six innings, becoming the 120th bowler and the third active to win 200 games.

“You can’t draw it any better,” Showalter said.

After the match, his Scherzer teammates presented him with a bottle of Armand De Brignac Ace of Spades champagne, which he shared with anyone who walked in his direction. Scherzer has been among the Mets’ most vocal supporters celebrating their place in the playoffs, given his understanding of how difficult it can be.

Within the club’s walls, perhaps there is no Met more respected than Scherzer, the three-time Cy Young winner and world champion whom Eppler and others saw as a catalyst for a winning culture. When problems arise, Scherzer is usually the player whose opinions matter most. When the Mets signed him to a three-year, $130 million contract, they did so with predictions that he could not only improve their rotation, but also change their culture.

Monday, he continued the process of achieving both goals.

“He won the world championship,” said teammate Brandon Nemo. “He’s been there, he’s done it, and he’s still playing with that passion….For guys who haven’t done it before, it’s important to learn from someone who has done it.”

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