Mets’ Scherzer learns from being taken deep twice by Smith

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) — Dominic Smith homered twice Max Scherzer in a simulated game Wednesday at the New York Mets’ spring training stadium, a surprising development given that he’s 0 for 16 against the three-time Cy Young Award winner in games that count.

“He’s never hit those pitches against me,” Scherzer said with a brief laugh Wednesday. “How did you figure how to hit those? Good for him. I hope he can hit those pitches (this season). He put two really good swings (with) the bat.”

Smith took Scherzer deep to right field in his first at-bat, launching a drive that landed on the hill in front of the pavilion. In his second plate appearance, Smith homered even deeper up the incline in right-center.

Instead of feeling upstaged by the lefty-swinging Smith — who didn’t speak to reporters — Scherzer said he’d use the experience as a way of improving.

Scherzer joined the high-spending Mets with a $130 million, three-year contract.

“You want to experience failure. You want guys to hit your pitches. If you go through and chew up everybody, it doesn’t matter. You’re not working,” the 37-year-old right-hander said. “But if you get tested, get challenged, and they get in the box and do damage against you, you can take something from it, learn and continue to get better.”

Scherzer threw 60 pitches over four simulated innings.

“Max would never throw him those pitches during the season,” manager Buck Showalter said. “He has a grip on what spring training’s about.”

Mets catcher James McCann played very briefly with Scherzer in 2014, the pitcher’s last season with the Tigers.

“He’s still a competitor,” McCann said. “He has changed as far as adding things and doing things a little differently. I’m sure he’ll do something different in September than what he’s doing now.”

Added Scherzer: “It’s a complete crash course for me trying to get everybody up to speed in how I think and throw pitches.”

NL East rival Philadelphia reached an agreement Wednesday with left-handed slugger Kyle Schwarber. Asked whether New York needed to add a veteran left-handed reliever, Showalter said he felt the answer was in camp.

“That’s a good point, but Billy’s been on top of that from the get-go,” the manager said of new GM Billy Eppler. “I’m going to look from within, what we have here. I’m not going to overlook an orchid while searching for a rose.”

NOTES

The Mets signed LHP Chasen Shreve to a minor league contract. Shreve had a 3.20 ERA in 57 games with Pittsburgh last season. He also pitched for the Mets in 2020, posting a 3.96 ERA in 17 games.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

Related Categories:

MLB News | Sports

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up