Mets RHP Max Scherzer maintains innocence after ejection

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

New York Mets right-hander Max Scherzer was ejected before the bottom of the fourth inning of Wednesday’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers after umpires examined his glove.

It was the second glove examination in two innings for Scherzer, after umpires requested he change gloves before the bottom of the third inning. Crew chief Phil Cuzzi ejected Scherzer after discovering a second issue with the glove.

Scherzer professed his innocence postgame. He maintained that all he used was rosin, which is legal for pitchers.

“(Cuzzi) said my hand’s too sticky,” Scherzer said. “I said, ‘I swear on my kids’ lives, I’m not using anything else. This is sweat and rosin, sweat and rosin.’ I keep saying it over and over, and they touch my hand, they say it’s sticky. Yes, it is, because it’s sweat and rosin. They say it’s too sticky. They threw me out because of that.”

Plate umpire Dan Bellino told a pool reporter, “Both Phil and I touched his hand. As far as stickiness, level of stickiness, this was the stickiest that it has been since I’ve been inspecting hands, which now goes back three seasons.

“Compared to the first inning, the level of stickiness, it was so sticky that when we touched his hand, our fingers were sticking to his hand. And whatever was on there remained on our fingers afterward for a couple innings, where you could still feel that the fingers were sticking together.”

Cuzzi added, “I said this to Buck (Showalter, the Mets’ manager,) and to Max, it really didn’t matter to us what it is. All we know is that it was far stickier than anything that we’ve felt certainly today and anything this year, and so in that case, we felt as though he had two chances to clean it up, and he didn’t.”

Following the ejection, the Mets pivoted to right-hander Jimmy Yacabonis in the fourth inning and the Dodgers immediately took advantage, scoring the first run of the game on a one-out double from Jason Heyward, a single from Miguel Vargas and a sacrifice fly from David Peralta for a 1-0 lead.

Scherzer gave up one hit over three scoreless innings, with two walks and three strikeouts over 47 pitches.

Scherzer was making his first appearance against the Dodgers after pitching for the team following the 2021 trade deadline.

He went 7-0 with a 1.98 ERA in 11 regular-season starts with the Dodgers in 2021 but bowed out of a Game 6 start in the National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves citing arm fatigue. The Dodgers ended up losing the game and the series.

Last year, Scherzer said the way the Dodgers used him down the stretch and into the playoffs led to his arm fatigue. He told the Los Angeles Times this week that he was injured, including a rotator cuff issue.

–Field Level Media

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