MLB

Mets ace Max Scherzer suspended 10 games for use of foreign substance

By Sports Desk April 20, 2023

New York Mets ace Max Scherzer will miss his next two scheduled starts after he was suspended 10 games by Major League Baseball on Thursday for having a foreign substance on his hand during Wednesday's start against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Scherzer was ejected in the fourth inning at Dodger Stadium after he had several interactions with umpires during the customary between-inning hand checks.

Umpire Phil Cuzzi determined after the second inning that Scherzer’s hand was stickier and darker than normal, and ordered the three-time Cy Young winner to wash his hand, which Scherzer said he did with alcohol while a Major League Baseball official watched.

After the third inning, Cuzzi then determined the pocket of Scherzer's glove was "sticky," likely with too much rosin, and he ordered Scherzer to change gloves. The umpires then checked the 38-year-old right-hander again before the fourth, and his hands were even worse than before.

Scherzer said he used only a combination of sweat and rosin to improve tactness. He could be spotted on the TV broadcast yelling that it was "just rosin" on his hands.

"When you use sweat and rosin your hand is sticky," Scherzer said after the game. "But I don’t know how I get ejected when I'm in front of MLB officials doing exactly, exactly what you want and being deemed that my hand's too sticky when I'm using a legal substance. I do not understand that."

Scherzer appealed the penalty imposed by Michael Hill, MLB's senior vice president for on-field operations, and can continue to play until the appeal is decided. The appeal would be heard by MLB special adviser John McHale Jr.

He becomes the third pitcher suspended by MLB since the crackdown on sticky substances started in June 2021. Seattle's Héctor Santiago was penalized June 28 that year, before Arizona’s Caleb Smith was pinged a month later on August 24, with both drawing 10-game penalties.

All three inspections that led to suspensions involved Cuzzi.

Scherzer is 2-1 with a 3.72 ERA in four starts this season with nine walks and 17 strikeouts.

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