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Max Scherzer hits his first career home run, later exits with neck spasm

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Update (8:14 PM ET): Scherzer left with a neck spasm, per Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post.

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Max Scherzer‘s Tuesday night in Miami did not go at all how anyone expected. The right-hander belted his first career home run in the top of the second inning, staking his team to a 4-0 lead as part of a six-run inning. He warmed up to begin the bottom of the second inning, but was taken out of the game with an apparent injury.

In Scherzer’s one inning, he set the Marlins down in order on two ground outs and an infield pop-up. Matt Grace relieved him in the second inning.

The Nationals should pass along word on Scherzer’s status during or after the game. Obviously, this could be a season-altering issue for the Nats. Scherzer entered the evening with a 12-5 record, a 2.23 ERA, and a 201/36 K/BB ratio in 145 1/3 innings.

Mets invite Tim Tebow to spring training

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Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.

Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.

Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.