Clayton Kershaw making his first start for the Los Angeles Dodgers since July 3 drew L.A. Rams quarterback and close friend Matthew Stafford to Dodger Stadium and also had Max Scherzer among those looking forward to the outing.
“I’ve been dying to see it. I’ve faced him for so many years and competed against him, this is a great thing,” Scherzer said hours before Kershaw took the mound. “I’ve always wanted to be on his team, watch him go out and compete, and watch him go do his thing, see how he goes about his business. I’m really excited to watch him.”
Kershaw wound up going 4.1 innings, allowing just one run and collecting five strikeouts in the Dodgers’ 5-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
He also had an infield single, which elicited an animated reaction from Scherzer in the dugout as Walker Buehler looked on. Given Scherzer’s competitiveness and not yet reaching base in 56 plate appearances this season, it was Kershaw’s hit stoked a fire.
In reality, Scherzer was being provoked by Trea Turner. “I was happy for him, but it was Trea Turner,” Scherzer revealed during an interview on SportsNet LA.
They don’t call him Mad Max for nothing.pic.twitter.com/jTJVd8JRTx
— Dodger Blue (@DodgerBlue1958) September 14, 2021
“As soon as that ball was hit, even before Kershaw stepped on the base, I could already hear Trea yelling at me, ‘He’s got a hit!’ Trea’s just ragging me the moment that happened. I was just not having it. Like, ‘I know I stink right now, Trea. I know I stink. I’ve been good in the past, but what do you want from me?’ That’s how I like to play on the bench.”
Turner makes light with Scherzer
While the Dodgers — most notably manager Dave Roberts — have learned how intense Scherzer is and how to respect that, Turner has long been aware.
“He’s different, as a lot of guys are. But he’s different. It’s just funny. To me, it’s funny. I guess the other guys, coaches and players are scared, but I’ve played with him for so long, it makes me laugh,” Turner said.
“It’s fun to watch him pitch. The other day he said something about somebody messing with him and he said, ‘It doesn’t matter. I’m already angry, so it’s not like you’re going to make me more angry. I’m already angry.’
“That’s what he does to get ready for starts, that’s why he’s been able to pitch for so long and that’s why he’s still got a lot left in the tank.”
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