The Los Angeles Dodgers offense failed to capitalize on their opportunities and now need to defeat the Atlanta Braves in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series in order to earn a split at Truist Park.
Max Scherzer makes his start one day after initially expected and due to feeling some arm fatigue after converting a save to eliminate the San Francisco Giants. “I have zero experience of trying to pitch on one day of rest, like relieving and come back,” Scherzer said Saturday.
“I do have experience of pitching on two days. In the 2019 run when I did pitch against the Dodgers, I relieved Game 2 and then started Game 4. And even in Game 4, that start, I think I went to 100 pitches and that was a very taxing start in and of itself.
“So I knew that if I was going to pitch [Saturday], I was going to be limited in some form or capacity. That it was going to be somewhere in the pitch count between, call it, 60 to 90. I have no clue. When we just talked, what made most sense is just go pitch Game 2 and then you’re on a full slate and we know how to navigate games when I’m at full capacity.”
The start is Scherzer’s first since he collected 10 strikeouts against the Giants in Game 3 of the NL Division Series. It was all for naught as the Dodgers squandered the performance in a 1-0 loss.
Overall this postseason, the right-hander is 0-1 with one save, a 1.46 ERA and held opponents to a .136/.224/.205 batting line in three games (two starts).
Scherzer has plenty of career experience against the Braves, which includes facing them twice this season. One of those starts was with the Dodgers, during which Scherzer had nine strikeouts over six shutout innings but saw the outing end a bit early due to right hamstring tightness.
The Braves counter with Ian Anderson, who allowed a combined two earned runs across seven innings over two starts against the Dodgers in the 2020 NLCS.
L.A. had slightly better success against Anderson this past June as they scored four runs and chased him in the fifth inning but managed just one hit.
Justin Turner has struggled throughout the postseason thus far and is out of the Dodgers lineup for the first time. Chris Taylor starts at third base, Cody Bellinger is at first base and Gavin Lux is playing center field.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts explained Turner’s absence is due to a neck stinger that he sustained during batting practice for Game 1.
RF: Mookie Betts
SS: Corey Seager
2B: Trea Turner
C: Will Smith
CF: Gavin Lux
3B: Chris Taylor
1B: Cody Bellinger
LF: AJ Pollock
P: Max Scherzer
LF: Eddie Rosario
1B: Freddie Freeman
2B: Ozzie Albies
3B: Austin Riley
RF: Joc Pederson
CF: Adam Duvall
C: Travis d’Arnaud
SS: Dansby Swanson
P: Ian Anderson
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