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Max Scherzer seeks 200th win as Mets battle Rockies

Aug 22, 2022; Bronx, New York, USA;  New York Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer (21) pitches in the first inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Max Scherzer is seeking his 200th career victory Sunday afternoon.

But Scherzer would surely agree with Pedro Martinez — former multi-Cy Young Award winner who signed a lucrative deal with the New York Mets as a free agent late in his career — that there are bigger collective goals in mind.

Scherzer will look to pitch the Mets to a sweep of a four-game series Sunday, when New York hosts the Colorado Rockies in the final game of the season between the clubs.

Scherzer (9-3, 2.33 ERA), who is making his second attempt to become the third active pitcher to record 200 wins, is slated to take the mound against German Marquez (6-10, 5.22) in a battle of right-handers.

Four Mets pitchers combined on a five-hit shutout Saturday night, when Brandon Nimmo led off with a homer and finished with two RBIs in a 3-0 win.

The win capped a stirring afternoon and evening for the Mets, who earlier in the day announced the retirement of Willie Mays’ No. 24 before holding their first Old Timers’ Day since 1994. Martinez joined more than 60 alumni in returning to Citi Field.

“I felt like I had unfinished business,” said Martinez, who was injured and missed the postseason in 2006, when the Mets fell to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games in the National League Championship Series. New York hasn’t won the World Series since 1986.

“So I was quick to ask two of the most talented pitchers that we have on the team, which (are) Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer. I don’t normally ask for much, but this time I did. I said, ‘Can you get it done for me?'”

The Mets, who have led the NL East every day since April 12, finally got a little separation Saturday from the red-hot Atlanta Braves, who fell three games behind by virtue of their 6-5 loss to the Cardinals. The Braves are 56-22 since June 1, a span in which they’ve gained 7 1/2 games on New York.

The defeat Saturday was the 10th in 13 games for the Rockies, who have endured a close-but-not-quite weekend in New York. Colorado fell in Thursday’s opener 3-1 and overcame an early three-run deficit to carry a two-run lead into the eighth inning Friday before falling 7-6.

The Rockies had their best scoring opportunity in the first inning Saturday when Randal Grichuk led off with a single and went to third on C.J. Cron’s two-out single. But Elias Diaz popped out and Colorado got just one runner beyond first base the rest of the way.

“The Met pitching tonight was really good,” Rockies manager Bud Black said.

Scherzer took the loss Monday night after allowing four runs over 6 2/3 innings as the Mets fell to the New York Yankees 4-2. Marquez didn’t factor into the decision Tuesday after surrendering six runs over six innings in the Rockies’ 7-6 win over the Texas Rangers.

Scherzer is 2-4 with a 4.91 ERA in 11 career starts against the Rockies. Marquez is 3-2 with a 3.89 ERA in six starts against the Mets.

–Field Level Media