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Dodgers: Huge Comeback Win Overshadows Max Scherzer’s Shaky Final Start



Chances are that less than a week from today, the Dodgers will be facing off against the Cardinals in the Wild Card game. Unless the Giants have some sort of meltdown over the next couple of days, it really doesn’t matter how out guys come out and play. 

And when the Dodgers play in that Wild Card game, they expect Max Scherzer to take the mound to decide who moves on. Dave Roberts has said several times over the last week that they would go with him to decide their fate in 2021. 

But Wednesday did not offer a whole lot of hope for Dodgers fans in terms of Scherzer going. He got roughed up for 5 earned runs across 5.1 innings of work and struck out just 4. Scherzer also got tagged for 11 hits, including 2 homeruns. After the game, Dave Roberts talked about the execution. 

He just didn’t have good command. At times the curveball was good. The cutter and changeup just weren’t commanded. He’s picked us up many times over. We picked him up.

Over his last 2 games, Scherzer has now been hit with 10 earned runs across 10.1 innings of work. Granted, one of those starts was in Colorado, so do with that what you will. But the Dodgers counting on him in the Wild Card Game after these 2 starts is enough to make any fan nervous. 

Dodgers Related: Gavin Lux Leaves With Neck Injury

Scherzer has been lights out in 2021, and he’s been even better with the Dodgers. His struggles on Wednesday were overshadowed by a HUGE comeback win late in the game. But those struggles should not be enough for Doc to consider going to literally anyone else in the starting rotation. 

Especially in a one-game playoff against the Cardinals with everything on the line. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. What do you think? I’m making a U-turn and say go with Buehler for the WC and Scherzer with Game 1 of NLDS. Momentum is everything in baseball and we know how energized Buehler is in postseason games.

    • It’s definitely up in the air. DR should have never said Sherzer was absolutely the guy. Even though he may pitch against the Cardinals in the wild card, because he pretty much owns them. Both Buehler and and Sherzer have struggled lately. But they are both CY quality pitchers. Urias isn’t far behind them. To me it’s a coin flipper.

  2. I agree with Paparulez that Buehler has to be considered for one game playoff against Cardinals – Roberts should not have announced Scherzer is starter for one game WC playoff so far in advance – once he makes such an pronouncement, it’s much harder to change course – the concern about Scherzer is that in last two starts Scherzer gave up a lot of hits, a lot of runs and a lot of loud outs – in addition his swing and miss rate and strikeout rates was way down – Scherzer could still end up being the choice but it’s a much closer question now based on Scherzer’s last two outings

  3. Not sure if the win means anything more than to give Dodgers offense a boost of confidence? (Much needed BTW). They’re probably still headed for WC game. The biggest thing is Cody Bellinger. Was last nite a case of “a blind squirrel finding a nut’ or is he ready to contribute? The next couple of games will tell the story on that one

  4. Our comeback, although absolutely exhilirating, did nothing to erase my memory of Scherzer’s “shaky” start and our overall “hot mess” of a game (after a promising 1st and before Mookie’s HR in the 7th.) In fact, I was never sold on the idea that Max was a “sure thing” in a WC game but I do believe that we have a good chance against the Cards IF our pitcher (whomever it will be) is on his best game …our offense shows up and STAYS the entire 9 innings…and our defense is tight. This is a one and done so I would hope that ALL players, regardless of position, are performing accordingly. Now I say this while keeping in mind that the Giants have not yet taken the Division; however, tonight is a most certain win for them with “what’s his name” pitching.

    Anyways, Go Dodgers!!!

  5. The Dodgers played sloppy defense ( Seager-Taylor) and put themselves in that mess. It was awesome to finally see them with their backs to the wall to step up. Maybe it will ignite them from here on out. The 11 runs was such a breathe of fresh air. It was good to see Bellinger just do Anything to contribute and now with that homer has just solidified his role in the playoff line up. Lux probably broke his collar bone, and this is what happens playing guys in foreign positions. DRRRRRRRRR just sat back and watched, didn’t make any drrr decisions and the team looked like a reigning World champion…GO Dodgers!!

    • Kirk, I think we can agree that a more experienced CF probably catches that ball hit by Meyers. Even though Scherzer was off last night on the mound, and even though Dodgers came back with 4 HR’S in the 8th inning, I still worry about the offense going forward. We know we can’t expect 4 HR’S in one inning facing better relievers in October so wss.

  6. Last nights game came down to a lousy SD bullpen. If they had a pen, LA would be down for the count.
    As far as Zeppo is concerned. He is no lock for a quality start in the WC game. STL may be salivating at the thought of facing him.
    Wainwright gets the start, STL bullpen much better that last nights SD pen.

  7. Max hasn’t been missing very many bats over his last two starts. So, if we follow Robert’s logic he’ll want to start him in the 1-game playoff because “he’s getting better”. I expect to see Bellinger in the lineup as well, probably batting in the 3-5 spot so he can strand more runners.

    If you’re in a slump you’re in the lineup. Start getting hot and Roberts will give you a couple days rest.

    Anybody checking that dugout for empty liquor bottles?

  8. I would like to see the Dodgers put up some big offensive numbers tonight. They have a habit of going to sleep after a big offensive performance like they just had. If they can come back with a strong offense tonight, and stay hot, it will go a long way toward preparing them for the postseason. The Dodgers need to go full speed until a tie with the Giants is mathematically impossible, which would be at the conclusion of game 161 if both win out. I don’t want to see any BS DR spa days until then. Home field advantage throughout the postseason is a big deal. But the Dodgers are playing winning baseball in September. They could still run the table from the WC.

    • I concur. This ‘aint over until its over….and even then its not quite over for us because (as long as ALL of our Dodgers play on all cylinders) we can pull off a WC win, and that I will also believe until its impossible. I, too, have concern that after a game like last night’s, our team’s subsequent performance is sometimes lackluster. So, none of that tonight and stay HOT, Dodgers!

  9. It’s hindsight, but true, that Trea Turner has outfield experience that Lux doesn’t have. TT in the outfield and Lux at 2B might have made more sense.

  10. Trivia time:
    Who were the 4 Dodger players who went back to back to back to back with HR’S the last time they did what they did last night on Sept. 18, 2006? And it was against the Padres

  11. Tim, I actual said that same thing when Bellie came to bat in the 8th. “a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while, just close your eyes and swing”

  12. You start Scherzer, and if he gets into trouble, you put Buehler in as relief. There’s nothing past the WC game if you lose. Nats did this in 2019, started Scherzer who went 5 innings against the Brewers in the WC game, then brought in Strasburg for 3 innings, hit their way out of a 3-1 deficit in the 8th to a 4-3 victory. There is no WS Chanpionship for the Nats in 2019 if they had not gone for broke in that game. You pitch all your aces if you have to. That’s it. Win or go home. Don’t conserve your pitchers for an imaginary NLDS.

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