A lucky fan got to have a catch with Max Scherzer at Citi Field

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Matt Monagan of MLB.com’s Cut4 details how a lucky Mets fan at Citi Field had the opportunity to have a catch with Nationals ace Max Scherzer before Wednesday night’s game.

The 11-year-old kid, Joe, threw the ball back and forth from the seats above the fence in left field down to Scherzer in left field. His father, also named Joe, took video of the two playing catch. After the game, dad tweeted his appreciation to Max Scherzer:

It was only a few minutes out of Scherzer’s schedule, but he made a lifelong memory for the kid and his dad.

I was once that kind of a lucky fan. Back in 2000, my dad and I were at Veteran’s Stadium way early for a Phillies game, before the gates even opened. How we got in, I forget. We’re two of maybe 10 people in the stands at 3 PM for a 7 PM game. Pat Burrell was in left field stretching, with a glove and ball to the side. I yelled down to him, “Hey Pat!” He looked back at me, smiled and waved. He stretched a bit more, then turned again to me and asked if I wanted to have a catch. I nervously replied, “yeah” and he tossed a ball up to me. I threw it back down and we repeated the process for about five minutes. Then, Pat said he had to go back to the clubhouse for a bit and told us to enjoy the game.

No sweat for Burrell, but he created a memory I’ve held on to for over a decade and a half. Scherzer just did the same for that kid.

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

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PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.