New York Mets

CINCINNATI, OHIO - JULY 05: Max Scherzer #21 of the New York Mets pitches in the second inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on July 05, 2022 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

REDS 1 – METS 0

Max Scherzer made his triumphant return to the Mets rotation on Tuesday night. Unfortunately, the Mets offense was non-existent in a frustrating 1-0 loss to the Cincinnati Reds.

Scherzer looked like a man who hadn’t missed anytime on the injury list as he totally befuddled the Reds lineup over six shutout innings. He mixed and matched with all of his pitches, but it was his four seam fastball and slider that was the most effective for him on Tuesday night. After 79 pitches and six innings, he was done for the night.

“I felt great,” he said. “No issues whatsoever today. Felt strong all the way through. (The oblique) never tightened up on me, so that’s a good thing.”

The 37-year old Scherzer spent 45 days on the injury list with an oblique strain was raring to get back to a Major League mound for weeks, even expressing as much when he made his first of two rehab assignments with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies.

Unfortunately for the Mets, they were unable to get Scherzer any run support. Reds starter Nick Lodolo was up to the task of facing off with Scherzer, shutting out the Mets over four-and-two-thirds innings before the bullpen continued Cincinati’s mastery of the Mets lineup. Only Starling Marte was able to get on base multiple times — three times in fact on Tuesday.  New York wound up leaving nine men in scoring position.

The good news for the Amazin’s is they get Scherzer back with Jacob deGrom not too far behind in his rehab from a shoulder strain. The bad news, with last night’s loss combined with the Braves 7-1 win over St. Louis, Atlanta is only 2.5 games behind the Mets in the NL East.