Max Scherzer makes his Los Angeles Dodgers debut against a Houston Astros team that blocked out the hostility on Tuesday night and now can complete a sweep at Dodger Stadium.
While Scherzer making his first start for the Dodgers will add more excitement to the matchup, the offense needs to rebound from being held scoreless by Lance McCullers Jr. and three Astros relief pitchers.
The Dodgers left 10 on base and were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
“I just think each isolated at-bat that we had runners in scoring position, there were a couple pitches we’d love to have back,” manager Dave Roberts said after the loss. “That’s the game of baseball. They’re going to try to make pitches and beat you, and we’re going to try to get hits.
“I know we’ll be focused on winning a ballgame and just take good at-bats, because I know Max is going to go out there and compete and bring energy. I know our guys are going to be ready to support it.”
The Dodgers could be in prime position to break out against Jake Odorizzi, who has allowed at least three earned runs in each of his past three starts. The right-hander enters 4-5 with a 4.30 ERA in 14 games (13 starts) this season.
Scherzer bounced back from being scratched due to right triceps soreness by allowing just one run over six innings in a final start for the Washington Nationals hours before a trade agreement was reached with the Dodgers.
Scherzer said there was only minimal concern with making that start and is confident he is healthy.
The future Hall of Famer is 8-4 with a 2.74 ERA and 0.89 WHIP in 19 starts this season. Scherzer last faced the Astros in the 2019 World Series and hasn’t pitched against them in the regular season since 2014.
Mookie Betts is making a third consecutive start at second base and Cody Bellinger again is in right field.
2B: Mookie Betts
1B: Max Muncy
3B: Justin Turner
SS: Corey Seager
C: Will Smith
CF: Chris Taylor
LF: AJ Pollock
RF: Cody Bellinger
P: Max Scherzer
2B: Jose Altuve
RF: Michael Brantley
SS: Carlos Correa
LF: Yordan Alvarez
1B: Aledmys Diaz
CF: Kyle Tucker
3B: Robel Garcia
C: Jason Castro
P: Jake Odorizzi
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