The 2017 World Series cheating scandal put a target on the Houston Astros’ back, and the Los Angeles Dodgers were among their most vocal critics.
The Dodgers had a small opportunity at redemption during the 2020 season, though the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic amounted to those games being played in empty stadiums. The best Dodgers fans could do was jeer the Astros outside Dodger Stadium upon their arrival.
That changed this year when Houston made another visit to L.A., and the series coincided with Max Scherzer making his Dodgers debut. His performance was ranked No. 3 by the DodgerBlue.com staff on their list of top Dodgers plays from the 2021 regular season.
The three-time Cy Young Award winner surrendered a solo home run to Michael Brantley just two batters into the start but settled down from that point on, yielding only one additional run the rest of the way.
Scherzer threw a season-high 109 pitches and collected 10 strikeouts over seven innings. It came in front of an announced attendance of 52,724, which was the most for an MLB game this year.
“The fans were great. When the crowd is going nuts like that, you can definitely feed off of it,” Scherzer said after the Dodgers’ 7-5 win. “Mike Maddux has got a great saying that, ‘You can pitch with emotions but you can’t be emotional.’
Max Scherzer Debut pic.twitter.com/OqwgbBZqWx
— Mad Choriyama (@MadChoriyama) August 5, 2021
“The crowd was definitely into it and you can feed off that. You really get some adrenaline from that. To go out there and pitch well and have the fans ask for a curtain call, I’ve never had that happen so that’s a really a cool moment and something I’ll never forget.
“Kershaw said, ‘Hey, give them what they want.’ At that point the crowd was going nuts so I wanted to go out there and tip my hat,” Scherzer noted.
“I appreciate what they did. They brought unbelievable energy, and that’s fun to pitch in front of. You live for this. You live to pitch in front of 50,000 people going nuts. That was a really, really exciting atmosphere to pitch in front of.”
Top Dodgers plays from 2021
No. 3: Max Scherzer dominates Astros in Dodgers debut
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