The New York Mets’ fast start to the 2022 MLB season has finally hit a speed bump. Max Scherzer will miss six to eight weeks with an oblique injury, potentially leaving the team without two star pitchers through the All-Star break.

New York announced the timetable for Scherzer on Thursday afternoon, less than 24 hours after the right-hander pulled himself from the sixth inning of his start against the St. Louis Cardinals. Mets manager Buck Showalter told reporters that Scherzer has also been dealing with multiple blisters on his pitching hand. 

Jacob deGrom hasn’t pitched in nearly a year because of injuries. A stress reaction in deGrom’s right shoulder has kept him off the mound in the 2022 season. The Mets said Tuesday that an MRI showed deGrom’s injury continues to heal, but there is no timetable for his return.

The Mets beat the Cardinals 11-4 after Scherzer’s premature exit, improving their record to 25-14. Through nearly a quarter of the regular season, New York has a six-game lead for first place in the NL East. The Mets are tied with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the most wins in the National League. 

The second-best ERA in the NL has carried the Mets to the top of the standings. Scherzer leads the majors with five wins and ranks fourth with 49.2 innings pitched. The 37-year-old has a 2.54 ERA, a 0.95 WHIP and 10.7 strikeouts per nine innings.

When healthy, deGrom and Scherzer might be the best pitchers in baseball. Scherzer won the NL Cy Young award in 2016 and 2017 before posting a career-best 2.46 ERA in 2021. The 2018 and 2019 NL Cy Young awards went to deGrom, who had a historic 1.08 ERA last season until he got hurt.

The Mets have been able to withstand deGrom’s absence because of how well the rest of the rotation has performed. Chris Bassitt leads the team with a 2.34 ERA. Taijuan Walker and Carlos Carrasco both have ERAs below 3.75.

In addition to Scherzer being out, Tylor Megill is on the 15-day IL with biceps tendinitis. Megill won four of his first five starts before struggling in two May outings.

Considering how poorly the rest of the NL East has played, the Mets have a good chance to hold onto first place without Scherzer or deGrom for the next couple of months. The additional wild-card spot in the 2022 postseason can also help the Mets secure a playoff berth.

Any championship hopes the Mets might have could be extinguished if their two aces still aren’t healthy in October.

Max Scherzer New York Mets Max Scherzer #21 of the New York Mets in action against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field on May 18, 2022 in New York City. The Mets defeated the Cardinals 11-4. Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)