Max Scherzer was scheduled to start Game 1 of the National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday night. The Dodgers’ ace will now face off with Mike Foltynewicz in a rematch of their NLDS series.
The Braves rotation is the starting pitcher for the Atlanta Braves in the National League Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Jon Lester will start Game 1 of the series on Saturday, October 8th at 7:08 PM EDT.
ATLANTA, Georgia (AP) – Only two days after throwing the winning pitch in the NL Division Series, Max Scherzer is scheduled to throw the opening pitch in the NL Championship Series for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Unusual? Yes. Despite this, no one is shocked.
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Teammate Cody Bellinger remarked, “That’s Scherzer being Scherzer.”
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 14: Los Angeles Dodgers’ Max Scherzer #31 throws against the San Francisco Giants in the ninth inning of game 5 of the National League Division Series at Oracle Park in San Francisco, California on October 14, 2021. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images/Thearon W. Henderson)
In an NLCS rematch, Scherzer is scheduled to face Braves left-hander Max Fried in Game 1 on Saturday night. Last year’s NLCS saw the Dodgers defeat the Braves in seven games before winning the World Series.
Even after Scherzer got his first career save in a 2-1 win against San Francisco in Game 5 of the NLDS on Thursday night, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts indicated he intends to start him.
Following the game, Robert acknowledged that utilizing Scherzer as the closer “could come at a cost,” given the Dodgers’ short turnaround before the NLCS.
The idea is for Scherzer to start the opener, whatever of the cost.
Before Atlanta’s practice at Truist Park on Friday, Braves manager Brian Snitker remarked, “That won’t surprise me.”
Snitker compared Scherzer’s 13-pitch ninth inning to an off-day bullpen session.
Snitker remarked, “That’s sort of like a side for him right there.” “He’s a whole different beast.” He’s a Hall of Famer, and those guys are made from a different fabric than regular people, so it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if he showed up and pitched.”
On Thursday, October 14, 2021 in San Francisco, CA, Los Angeles Dodgers’ Max Scherzer, left, celebrates with manager Dave Roberts after game five of the 2021 National League Division Series against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park. The Dodgers came out on top 2-1. (Getty Images/Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times) )
Scherzer struck out two batters, including Wilmer Flores on a questionable check swing to finish the game. Flores swung, according to first base umpire Gabe Morales, even though TV replays showed Flores held up.
Scherzer pitched for Washington and Los Angeles this season, going 15-4 with a 2.46 ERA, including 7-0 with a 1.98 ERA in 11 starts for the Dodgers. In three postseason appearances, he has thrown 12 1/3 innings, allowing two runs and six hits while striking out 16 batters.
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As he watched the game on TV on Thursday night, Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman wondered who would throw the ninth inning for Los Angeles.
“Then they showed Max rushing up, and I thought, ‘That’s the guy,’” recalled Freeman. “I don’t believe anybody else would want anyone else in that game but Max.” He’s a bulldog who’s been up against him for years.”
Even after the relieving appearance, Freeman said he never questioned Scherzer’s desire to pitch in the NLCS opener.
“I think he’ll come back tomorrow and throw against us, and he’ll be Max Scherzer,” Freeman said.
After the team’s arrival in Atlanta and a Friday night workout, Roberts intended to clarify his rotation plans with Scherzer to “just sort of check where he’s at.” But for the time being, that’s where we’re at.”
After Charlie Morton pitched on short rest in the Braves’ 5-4 NL Division Series clinching victory over Milwaukee on Tuesday night, Fried takes over as Atlanta’s Game 1 starter.
Fried joins Morton and Ian Anderson in a three-man rotation for Snitker. Snitker intends to use a bullpen that includes Huascar Ynoa and Drew Smyly, among others.
Fried was joined in the rotation by three rookies — Anderson, Kyle Wright, and Bryse Wilson — when the Braves fell to the Dodgers in last year’s NLCS.
In the division series versus Milwaukee, the Braves were led by Morton, Fried, and Anderson, who combined for two shutouts. In four games, Atlanta held the Brewers to only six runs.
Snitker stated, “I feel very comfortable about all three of the individuals we’re going to feature.” “I’d say it’s a big change from when we first began this event a year ago.”
In the decisive victory against the Giants, Bellinger hit a tiebreaking single in the ninth inning and Mookie Betts established a playoff career best with four hits.
The Braves will be without outfielder Jorge Soler for the remainder of the series as he awaits clearance after a positive COVID-19 test.
Dansby Swanson took over as the leadoff batter against the Brewers on Tuesday. Snitker indicated on Friday that he was still evaluating Swanson and other possibilities for Saturday night’s leadoff batter.
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