The Los Angeles Dodgers broke out the bats for a 7-5 win against the Houston Astros on Wednesday, providing Max Scherzer all the run support he needed in what was a successful debut at Dodger Stadium.
The three-time Cy Young Award winner allowed a solo home run to Michael Brantley just two batters into his start but settled down from that point on, yielding only one additional run the rest of the way.
Scherzer tied a season-high with 109 pitches and finished with 10 strikeouts over seven strong innings of work. “With everything on the line, the way the crowd was, that was a high-adrenaline start,” he said after the game.
“Coming in here, trying not to do too much, just pitch my game, go out there and do what I can do, and just try to navigate the lineup. The offense went off. We got early runs, gave me some breathing room to be able to operate and attack their hitters a little bit better.
“Fortunately I only had one walk; that’s always a good sign. Just be aggressive in the zone, try to sequence with them and work with Will as best I can.”
Scherzer’s Dodgers debut came in front of a packed house at Dodger Stadium as the announced attendance was 52,724, which is the most for an MLB game this season. “The fans were great. When the crowd is going nuts like that, you can definitely feed off of it,” he said.
“Mike Maddux has got a great saying that, ‘You can pitch with emotions but you can’t be emotional.’ 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.”
While Scherzer couldn’t recall receiving a curtain call before Wednesday, he’s had plenty of dominant outings in the past that warranted one. The right-hander nonetheless enjoyed receiving one from the Dodger Stadium faithful.
“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.”
Scherzer: Best part of Dodgers debut was winning
By defeating the Astros on Wednesday, the Dodgers earned a series split and kept pace with the National League West-leading San Francisco Giants, who remain 3.5 games ahead. “The final out of the ballgame when we won,” Scherzer answered when asked for his favorite part of the debut.
“It’s not about me, it’s not about anybody. It’s not the individual stuff, it’s about the team. When the team wins, that’s when it feels the best. When Kenley gets that last out that’s when we can all feel good about ourselves.”
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