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New York Mets’ Max Scherzer kicked off the start due to foreign objects

New York Mets’ Max Scherzer kicked off the start due to foreign objects

New York Mets ace Max Scherzer was ejected from his start against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday because he appeared to have an illegal foreign substance on his glove.

First base umpire Phil Cuzzi knocked out the 38-year-old Scherzer before the start of the bottom end of the fourth inning after the crew performed a substance check on Scherzer’s glove — the day’s second. After a long discussion, in which Scherzer often demonstrably defended his case, Cuzzi threw him back, leaving Scherzer in disbelief.

Scherzer insisted after the game not to use any illegal substances – “I’d have to be an absolute idiot to try anything if I come back for the fourth time,” Scherzer said – saying the only things on his hands were sweat, rosin and alcohol, which he used to clean his hands.

“(The referee said) my hand is too sticky. And I said, ‘I swear on my kids’ lives I don’t use anything else. This is sweat and rosin. Sweat and rosin.” I say it over and over again,” Scherzer said. “They touch my hand, they say it’s sticky. Yes, it is because it’s sweat and rosin. They say ‘it’s too sticky,’ and that’s why they got me kicked out.”

Scherzer then had a lengthy chat with Mets manager Buck Showalter before leaving the field.

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In the second inning, Scherzer met with umpires to check for sticky substances. Then, before the end of the third, the crew asked Scherzer to swap his glove for another, which he did before withdrawing the page.

SNY reporter Steve Gelbs said in an on-air report that Scherzer was “unyielding to the judges, constantly shouting, ‘It’s just rosin. It’s just the rosin. It’s just the rosin.’”

“In terms of stickiness and stickiness level, this was the stickiest since I’ve inspected hands, which is now three seasons,” said home plate umpire Dan Bellino, the team principal. “Compared to the first inning, the stickiness was so sticky that when we touched his hand, our fingers were stuck to his hand. And whatever was there stayed on our fingers for a couple of innings after that, where you could still feel the fingers sticking together.”

Scherzer had pitched three scoreless innings and allowed a hit and two walks with three strikeouts before being replaced by reliever Jimmy Yacabonis. The Mets earned a 5-3 win, with Yacabonis credited for the win after conceding two hits and a run in 2⅔ innings. “He gets a steak dinner for that,” said Scherzer after the game.

Scherzer will now be automatically suspended for 10 days if the referee crew notifies the MLB office that he has been disfellowshipped for using an illegal foreign substance. He would have the right to appeal the suspension.

It is not the first incident of Scherzer addressing the alleged use of sticky substances. Back in June 2021, while a member of the Washington Nationals, Scherzer had multiple substance tests run on him after then-Philadelphia Phillies manager Joe Girardi requested them.

Scherzer, a three-time Cy Young award winner and eight-time All-Star, is in his 16th season in MLB. He went 2-1 in three starts this season on Wednesday with a 4.41 ERA and 14 strikeouts against seven walks.

Contribution: The Associated Press

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