- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 7, 2022

Washington manager Dave Martinez knows seeing Max Scherzer pitch Friday at Nationals Park in his brand new Mets uniform will feel weird. 

“For me to see him for the first time in that uniform, it’s going to sting a little bit,” Martinez said before opening day Thursday. 

Martinez added that the “memories” of Scherzer’s six-and-a-half seasons as a National will “never go away.”

Scherzer was one of the best pitchers in baseball for his entire tenure in the District, making six All-Star Games, winning back-to-back Cy Young Awards in 2016 and 2017 and leading the Nationals to the World Series title in 2019. 

After his stint with the Dodgers following the deadline deal last year, Scherzer signed a three-year, $130 million contract with the Mets before the lockout. 

“The game moves on. That’s part of the game,” Martinez said about Scherzer’s departure. “I know we’ve got guys in the clubhouse who are excited to face him after he was here for so many years. But he’s a New York Met now.”

The exact date of Scherzer’s much-anticipated return to Nationals Park for the first time since he was shipped off at last season’s trade deadline has changed multiple times. 

Originally, Scherzer’s first game against the Nationals was supposed to come in New York, but the 99-day lockout this offseason pushed back the start of the season to this weekend and the first series of the year in D.C. Scherzer was first slotted to start Friday, but after Mets ace Jacob deGrom’s injury, Scherzer was then expected to start opening day Thursday. But a tweaked hamstring led Mets manager Buck Showalter to push Scherzer back to Friday.

Scherzer told reporters Thursday that he doesn’t have expectations for how Nationals fans will receive him Friday, adding that it should be “whatever they want.”

“A lot of good memories here,” Scherzer said. “There will always be good memories here. But nothing lasts forever.” 

• Jacob Calvin Meyer can be reached at jmeyer@washingtontimes.com.

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