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Dodgers: Dave Roberts Discusses His Game 1 Starter Ahead of NLCS



The Dodgers left San Francisco today with numerous reasons to celebrate. Not only had they just defeated their biggest rival in their first-ever playoff matchup, but they are now one step closer to their goal of back-to-back titles. Along with the celebration, however, there are also numerous questions left to be answered. The biggest one of all: who starts Game 1 of the NLCS?

On the even of the Championship Series, that question remains, as manager Dave Roberts was still unsure how his ace would be feeling after his appearance against the Giants on Thursday.

“[The pitchers] are going [to the park right now],” said Dave Roberts through zoom on Friday afternoon. “They’re going to play catch, get some treatment, and see how they feel. I should know later tonight how Max [Scherzer] feels. If not, we’re going to have to bullpen it and probably push guys back.”

The Dodgers wound up using Scherzer to get the final three outs of the series on Thursday night, which proved to be both successful and costly. On one hand, the move helped propel this team to the next round of the postseason, but it might have also come with a cost.

Heading into Game 5, Roberts was reluctant to use Scherzer in any capacity. Not only would he have been throwing on 2 days’ rest, but it could also affect his availability for the next series. Following the game, Roberts acknowledged the fact that using his best pitcher may have cost him a start in the following round.

“That’s the plan, but we knew 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.”

Related: Dodgers Facing Tough Pitching Matchup in Game 1 of NLCS

It’s important to note that Scherzer only threw 13 pitches in relief on Thursday night, which could be seen as a regular bullpen session in between starts. Max even said that he had skipped his regular side session, which would have normally taken place one day earlier.

At the end of the day, no one should be surprised to see Max Scherzer taking the mound for Game 1 on Saturday evening. His competitiveness alone would be enough for him to go 4-5 innings, but throw in what a bullpen game would mean for the Dodgers in the first of seven games and you have enough motivation on all sides to try and make it happen.

Written by Daniel Palma

Daniel is an avid sports fan who loves his hometown teams. If he's not watching baseball, you can find him playing or coaching. No matter what, he'll always root for the Boys in Blue!

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  1. Gonsolin! Let Max, Julio and Walker rest. And the bullpen too.
    1) Gonsolin is good. Put him on and see how far it goes.
    2) The divisional series was exhausting. Let’s not accumulate.
    And it’s not like giving up. Gonsolin is great.

    P.S.: Kiké is playing like he was the best player in baseball history.

    • No way Max is not going Game 1. He is a warrior!

      I said it here first.

      I was also the first here to say Max would pitch in game 5 vs the Giants. He’s the ultimate gamer.

      First ballot HOFer for a reason.

        • Paul, that’s a given. I’m hoping that Trea’s familiarity with the Braves will come into play here. He can’t possibly play worse (offensively at least) than he did vs the Giants. Mookie is on fire! Smith is simply a playoff beast at the dish (behind it not so much). Cory is due a better series as well. Cody is back to doing Cody things in October. JT can’t possibly play as poorly as he did vs the Giants.

          All-in-all I don’t see this series even getting back to Atlanta. Dodgers in 5.

          Avoid Freeman and Riley and no high cheese to Joc and his pearls! Just ask Butane lol.

    • I agree that Gonsolin is deserving. I think it is absurd that now and the last couple playoffs they just let him sit for over a week and then expect him to be on top of his game. They should at least use him for an inning here and there to keep him sharp. It’s totally nonsensical.
      Having said that I wouldn’t be starting him in game one. I eoukd start Max and plan to let Gonsolin pitch an inning or two.

  2. Let Gonsolin pitch game one. Let the other’s get there regular rest. The dodger offense needs to wake up.

    • Folks, this not a question of who deserves what. This simply becomes the question of WHAT IS MY BEST CHANCE TO WIN THIS GAME! All egos need to be checked at the door! This is not a individual game, there is no “I” in team! But there is in WIN 😉

      Let’s go Dodgers!

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