The Los Angeles Dodgers provided Max Scherzer with plenty of early run support but didn’t fare quite as well defensively during the first few innings of his start against the New York Mets.
Trouble started in the bottom of the first inning when Will Smith fielding a swinging bunt in front of the plate and made an ill-advised throw to third base despite Justin Turner pointing to first.
It left runners at the corners with nobody out and though Scherzer needed to throw extra pitches, he stranded both runners to preserve the Dodgers’ 3-0 lead.
L.A. then failed to complete a potential inning-ending double play in the second when Trea Turner dropped a throw from Justin Turner. The Dodgers challenged in attempt to get an out at second base, but to no avail.
Scherzer again retired the next two batters to keep the Mets off the board.
Then with one out and a runner on second base, Corey Seager fielded a one-hopper but came up empty on his attempt to tag Jonathan Villar and a subsequent throw to first base was late. A walk loaded the bases and RBI groundout drove in a second run for the Mets.
“I know the line score said he went six (innings), but he actually went seven-plus,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Scherzer’s outing. “Didn’t play good infield defense at all behind him, gave away bases, but he didn’t bat an eye. That’s what makes him so great.
“He picked us up time and time again, found his way into stress and pitched out of it to limit damage. I can’t say enough about him. We needed that outing, but I think we made it a little bit more difficult than it should’ve been.”
The Dodgers’ defense has been shored up of late but previously earned criticism from Roberts due to their uncharacteristic play. “We’ve been pretty good at it the last month, but we’ve just got to wash that one,” Roberts said.
“Fortunately on the offensive side, we were able to overcome it, and we had Max on the mound, which certainly helped a lot.”
Roberts credits Scherzer
Despite the Dodgers’ miscues in the field, Scherzer didn’t show any signs of frustration. “It’s another level of accountability and professionalism,” Roberts described it.
“He doesn’t use things that are out of his control — in this particular night, us not getting outs and to potentially use that as an excuse. He’s a pro, he continues to do his job and help us win baseball games. Tonight was a perfect example of that.”
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