Max Scherzer earned his first career save on Thursday night in Game 5 of the NLDS against the Giants. Scherzer recorded the final three outs to push the Dodgers to a 2-1 victory in San Francisco. It will be the Dodgers’ fifth NLCS appearance in the last six years.
The question remains, will the Dodgers still start Scherzer in Game 1 on Saturday after his high leverage relief performance?
Manager Dave Roberts softly committed to Scherzer starting Game 1 versus the Atlanta Braves.
“That’s the plan, but we know going into tonight, that if we used him there might be a cost. We’ll talk to Max tomorrow and see where he’s at, but as of now, that’s where we’re at.”
Pitching on one day of rest isn’t ideal. However, Mad Max is on the short list of pitchers willing to entertain the idea.
Like Roberts, Scherzer was of the opinion that it all depends on how his body responds to the relief appearance.
“I can’t even comment on it [starting Game 1]. I got to come in tomorrow, see how my arm feels tomorrow and then, make a decision.”
Team President Andrew Friedman reiterated the team’s stance on starting Scherzer in Game 1.
“We’ll figure out where he is tomorrow. Each day, we’ve just been monitoring and figuring out how he’s feeling and what’s going on. So we’ll kind of see where he is tomorrow and figure it out.”
Beating the 107-win San Francisco Giants is quite the accomplishment, but Atlanta shouldn’t be taken lightly. No matter the opponent, starting in a 0-1 hole in a playoff series is never ideal.
Walker Buehler pitched on Tuesday on short rest. Another surprise start seems unlikely.
Julio Urias threw four innings in Game 5. A start on Saturday is out of the question.
Scherzer is the most logical candidate to pitch Game 1 of the Dodgers frontline starters. Yet, if his arm doesn’t feel quite right, the Dodgers will have to look elsewhere. Hello Tony Gonsolin?
Scherzer was fantastic in a rare ninth inning relief role. For his next act, the Dodgers will have to wait and see.