The Los Angeles Dodgers began their final homestand of the regular season with a 2-1 victory over the San Diego Padres and now look to earn a series win while keeping pressure on the San Francisco Giants.
Max Scherzer makes what his final tune-up before the postseason. Scherzer is lined up to start a potential Game 163 to decide the National League West on regular rest, or he would have extra days to prepare for the Wild Cad Game.
He enters with an overall 15-4 record, MLB-best 2.28 ERA, 2.85 FIP and 0.83 WHIP in 174 innings pitched across 29 starts between the Washington Nationals and Dodgers this year.
The right-hander is coming off his worst outing since joining L.A., giving up five runs in five innings against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. “I just wasn’t able to get good grip on the ball,” Scherzer explained of his struggles.
“I was constantly searching for how to get good grip on the ball, I was licking my hands a ton. I just felt like I was making adjustments to try to get grip and I was kind of flying open to try to find a way to grip the ball a little tighter.
“I didn’t have a good feel for the baseball. I wasn’t able to land curveballs the way I normally can and it just kind of got sideways for me. I wasn’t able to execute the way I normally execute.
“You learn from these outings. This is the toughest place to pitch, so you learn from it. If you can learn something from here, even when you fail, then when you go somewhere else, these lessons can be applied to other outings.
Scherzer has faced the Padres four times this season, going 2-0 with a 3.76 ERA and 0.65 WHIP in 26.1 innings. The future Hall of Famer brings with him into Wednesday’s start a 15.2 scoreless innings streak against San Diego.
The Padres counter with Ryan Weathers, who serves as the opener in what marks his 30th appearance and 18th start of the season. He enters at 4-7 with a 5.01 ERA, 5.31 FIP and 1.34 WHIP in 91.2 innings pitched.
Although those numbers don’t necessarily jump out, Weathers has found plenty of success against the Dodgers this year, posting a 0.84 ERA and 0.56 WHUP in 10.2 frames (three games, two starts).
While Cody Bellinger is active for a second consecutive game, Gavin Lux again starts in center field. Meanwhile, Chris Taylor again spells Justin Turner at third base.
Prior to the game the Dodgers reinstated Albert Pujols from the injured list and optioned Andrew Vasquez to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Pujols spent just one game on the COVID-IL due to experiencing some side effects after receiving his second dose of the vaccine.
RF: Mookie Betts
SS: Corey Seager
2B: Trea Turner
C: Will Smith
1B: Max Muncy
LF: AJ Pollock
3B: Chris Taylor
CF: Gavin Lux
P: Max Scherzer
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