After the Los Angeles Dodgers forced a Game 5 of the National League Division Series, manager Dave Roberts said Max Scherzer would likely be unavailable for the winner-take-all matchup against the San Francisco Giants.
“But I’ve been known to change my mind, so we’ll see,” Roberts added.
The next day, Roberts said he had not yet talked with Scherzer about possibly appearing out of the bullpen, but continued to downplay the possibility of calling on the right-hander. If the Dodgers were to advance, Scherzer was lined up to start Game 1 of the NL Championship Series.
Of course, there would be no NLCS appearance without first defeating the Giants. And with an opener strategy being utilized, the Dodgers’ were relying on an unconventional pitching approach in Game 5 at Oracle Park that culminated with Scherzer entering in the ninth inning.
“I told them I was good to go and they told me I was going to be pitching after Kenley,” Scherzer said following the Dodgers’ thrilling 2-1 win. “I just know how these situations go. When you go down to the ‘pen, you better expect the ball.
“Your number’s going to get called. You got to assume that and mentally know to get ready for it. When your number’s going to get called, you’re ready for the moment.”
Scherzer converted his first career save and was in position to do so by skipping a normal between-starts bullpen session. However, Scherzer wasn’t ready to commit to when he would next be on the mound.
“I can’t even comment on it,” he answered when asked about Game 1 of the NLCS. “I got to come in [Friday], see how my arm feels tomorrow, and then make a decision.”
Roberts suggests Scherzer still possible for NLCS opener
As the Dodgers now continue their postseason run with a rematch against the Atlanta Braves, Roberts was a bit more convicted than Scherzer with respect to Game 1 on Saturday.
“That’s the plan,” Roberts said of the future Hall of Famer starting at Truist Park. “But you know, we knew going into this if we used him there might be a cost. So that’s the plan.
“Obviously we’ll talk to Max and just kind of see where he’s at. But as of now that’s kind of where we’re at.”
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