With the Los Angeles Dodgers again using Corey Knebel as an opener against the Atlanta Braves on Saturday, manager Dave Roberts announced Max Scherzer will start in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series.
He will be followed in the NLCS by Walker Buehler in Game 3, and Julio Urias when it shifts to Dodger Stadium.
Scherzer had been lined up to start the NLCS opener at Truist Park on regular rest, however the calculus changed when the future Hall of Famer was called on to convert a save in Game 5 against the San Francisco Giants.
“We knew going into this if we used him there might be a cost,” Roberts said after the Dodgers eliminated the Giants. “Obviously we’ll talk to Max and just kind of see where he’s at.”
Scherzer getting pushed back gives him a second day of rest and would have the right-hander available to start a potential Game 6 on a normal turn through the rotation.
Scherzer is 0-1 with one save, a 1.46 ERA and held opponents to a .136/.224/.205 batting line in three games (two starts) this postseason.
Dodgers rotation for NLCS
In deciding to go with a bullpen game to start the NLCS, the Dodgers additionally are providing Buehler with extra rest for his first time pitching since taking the ball with just three days between outings.
Buehler helped the Dodgers stave off elimination in Game 4 of the NL Division Series and said there was no question for him about starting on short rest for the first time in his career.
Meanwhile, Urias will be on extra rest for his start in Game 4 of the NLCS. Urias pitched four innings out of the bullpen in the winner-take-all matchup against the Giants.
Although some interpreted the outing as a slight for the 20-game winner, Roberts argued it was indicative of Urias’ talent and ability to pitch in any role.
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