The Mets, having lost four of the past five games, recalled left-hander David Peterson to make the spot start.
In a corresponding move, the Mets placed right-hander Jimmy Yacabonis on the 15-day injured list with a left quad strain. The move is retroactive to Monday.
Scherzer, 38, has pitched just once since April 19, an outing of 3⅓ innings this past Wednesday in Detroit. Scherzer served a 10-game suspension in between. He is 2-2 with a 5.56 ERA in five starts this season.
Scherzer started feeling a problem after throwing a light bullpen Sunday.
“It started feeling barks, so I got some treatment during the game,” he said Tuesday. “When I woke up Monday, it was seriously locked up. Once it’s locked up, it takes a few days to unlock.”
He added that he expects to make a start during New York’s six-game trip that concludes with a three-game weekend series at Washington.
“I’m pretty confident,” he said. “What day it is, I don’t know.”
The start against the Tigers was his return date from a suspension, and he allowed six runs on eight hits in the second game of a doubleheader.
“I was spraying the ball, especially out of the stretch, and that’s what you expect coming off a long layoff,” Scherzer said after the loss. “The No. 1 thing was getting through this start healthy, and we did that. Now we can move forward.”
Scherzer was suspended for 10 games by Major League Baseball on April 20 after getting ejected for having a foreign substance on his pitching hand during his April 19 start against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Peterson is 1-4 with a 7.34 ERA in six starts. Yacabonis is 2-1 with a 9.00 ERA in five relief appearances.
Information from Reuters and the Associated Press was used in this report.
Mets scratch Scherzer (neck spasms) from start against Reds