Wednesday night provided a little bit of confusion for Dodgers fans. Chasing an opportunity to snag first place from the Giants, Dave Roberts pulled Max Scherzer from the game after just 6 innings. Only 76 pitches into the game, fans were confused as to what the strategy was.
That was further complicated by Brusdar Graterol giving up a game-tying homerun after Scherzer exited. The Dodgers would eventually go on to win the game and take first place, but fans had questions that they needed answers to.
Scherzer provided answers to that odd move after the game. The Dodgers were apparently aware of a hamstring issue but let Max go anyways. He rewarded them with 6 shutout innings and gave them enough length to hand things off to the bullpen.
I came out because I had a tight hammy, that’s the reason. It tightened up in warm-ups, the first warm-ups of the game. Going out in the first inning I felt it tighten up a little bit. I didn’t injure it, I just knew it was tight. I just had to pitch from there throttled down. …I definitely think I will be able to make my next start going back out there.
Dave Roberts also said after the game that Max let him know when he was ready to come out and trusted him to make that call. The Dodgers skipper recognized that he wasn’t letting his fastball loose, but also knew he was smart enough to come out when he felt it too much.
He was mixing and executing and after that 6th inning, he just gave me a look and I knew that was it…I expect him to make his next start.
The good news is that Scherzer and Roberts both expect him to make his next start. For the moment, that would line up during the Cardinals series in St Louis next week. The wild number of injuries to the rotation would make it very difficult for him to miss even one start at this point.
And with the Dodgers now a half-game up on the Giants, every game counts. Keep him healthy, keep him hurling.