Max Scherzer is expected to make his Los Angeles Dodgers debut against the Houston Astros, which will further heighten intrigue that’s come with the defending World Series champions trading for the future Hall of Famer.
Scherzer is meeting the Dodgers in Arizona on Sunday, and manager Dave Roberts said his first start should be Wednesday in the series finale with the Astros. The outing would come on an extra day of rest for the 37-year-old.
Houston’s visit to Dodger Stadium next week is their second since the 2017 World Series cheating scandal was uncovered, but first with fans in attendance. Last year Dodger faithful were limited to waiting outside Dodger Stadium to jeer the Astros as their team buses arrived.
Scherzer faces lofty expectations that include stabilizing a Dodgers rotation that has been on fumes the past month because of injuries and Trevor Bauer remaining on administrative leave due to allegations of sexual assault.
Of course, pressure is nothing new to Scherzer, a World Series champion himself and three-time Cy Young Award winner.
“Obviously he’s done it all in this game. He’s on the Mount Rushmore of pitchers in terms of what he’s done in the regular season and what he’s done in the playoffs,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said.
“Adding him to our mix creates a lot of rotation depth and options that we feel like are going to be important to help navigate the rest of the regular season.”
Scherzer went 8-4 with a 2.76 ERA, 3.46 FIP and 0.89 WHIP in 19 starts for the Nationals before the trade. He allowed just one run over six innings in his final outing, putting to bed questions about health that crept up after being scratched last weekend because of right triceps discomfort.
Dodgers bullpen game
With Josiah Gray being included in the trade package for Scherzer and Trea Turner, the Dodgers are without a traditional starter for Saturday’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Manager Dave Roberts indicated the club was leaning toward a bullpen game.
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