Former Mets pitcher Max Scherzer had an outing he’ll want to forget against one of his ex-teammates.
Now with the Rangers, Scherzer was lit up Wednesday in a crucial meeting with the Astros and Justin Verlander as he had a season-worst seven runs on six hits, including three home runs.
Among the three homers Scherzer gave up was a grand slam against Jose Abreu, which gave the Astros a 7-1 lead in the top of the third.
The right-hander was facing Verlander – who Scherzer played with in Detroit and the Big Apple – for the first time in his career.
Prior to Wednesday night, Scherzer had allowed just two home runs in his six starts since being shipped to Texas by the Mets for Luisangel Acuna days before the trade deadline.
Going into the game, he had a 2.21 ERA and allowed 19 hits in 36 ⅔ innings with Texas.
Wednesday’s start was the shortest of the year for Scherzer, with the other three-run outing coming on April 19 when he was ejected – and ultimately suspended – for a sticky substance.
The game was high in pre-game intrigue, with the Rangers needing a win to avoid a sweep by the Astros.
The Rangers came within half a game of a playoff spot.
Prior to the encounter, Scherzer expressed his excitement about facing his former teammate.
“It will be fun,” Scherzer told reporters, according to ESPN. “First time facing him. Throughout my career, I had to play against all the best guys in the world and I have to play with all the best guys in the world. So I was able to play with (Verlander) for a while.
“Now it’s going to be fun to face him.”
The two had a contentious relationship while playing together in Detroit, but the reunion in Queens seemed to help mend the barriers, although The Post’s Mike Puma reported in August that the two had occasional rifts when Verlander acted like a “diva”.
Both were handled by New York around the deadline as the organization revamped its agricultural system and looked ahead to the rest of 2023.
In Wednesday’s match, the two aces each brought in $677,083, according to Darren Rovell of the Action Network.
The Mets were to pay 32 percent of Scherzer’s salary and 60 percent of Verlander’s.