When the Dodgers traded a massive haul of prospects to the Washington Nationals in exchange for superstar pitcher Max Scherzer, there was an expectation that he would ignite a competitive ferocity in the team.
Manager Dave Roberts said that is precisely what the clubhouse needed in pursuit of a ninth straight division crown and ultimately a World Series pennant.
“With Max, there’s a newfound energy, edge of a superstar, future Hall of Famer if he’s in our clubhouse, which is needed,” Roberts said. “Not that things were getting stale by any means but a certain edge of somebody that’s as respected as much as Max Scherzer is is always welcome.”
In his gritty performance on Saturday against the New York Mets, Scherzer threw five innings with 8 K’s, one of which was against third baseman J.D. Davis with the bases juiced in the top of the fifth. The 37-year old righty exceeded the century mark on pitch count at 103 but enabled just one earned run on five total hits.
Roberts alluded to the standard that his starting pitcher holds players to in the clubhouse and said that precedent is what it ultimately takes to compete for a championship.
Since being acquired from the Dodgers along with middle infielder Trea Turner, Scherzer currently owns a 3-0 record with a 2.11 ERA and 31 strikeouts.
The Dodgers will look to start up a new winning streak on Tuesday as they visit the San Diego Padres for the first time since late June.