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Dodgers face tough test in Max Scherzer

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Division Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Washington Nationals - Game Five Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers face another tough test in the middle game of their series with the Nationals, with reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer toeing the rubber on Tuesday for Washington.

The Dodgers have scored just 15 runs in their last six games — including four losses — and 10 of those 15 came in one game, on Saturday in Milwaukee. They will have their hands full on Tuesday night against Scherzer.

Since the start of the 2013 season, Scherzer has one of the strongest pitching resumes in baseball — most strikeouts (1,152), most wins (79), most innings pitched (969), second in ERA+ (139) to Clayton Kershaw (192), the latter with a minimum of 600 innings.

Scherzer won the 2013 American League Cy Young Award with the Tigers, and finished fifth in 2014 and 2015 before winning again in 2016, this time in the National League.

The Dodgers have only faced Scherzer three times during the regular season since the start of 2013, and Scherzer has a 1.80 ERA with 23 strikeouts and four walks in 20 innings in those starts. Amazingly, the Dodgers have won two of those three games.

Scherzer didn’t pitch against the Dodgers in the regular season in 2016, but faced them twice in the NLDS. That the Dodgers won both contests — Games 1 and 5 — made last October’s postseason run all the more remarkable.

Scherzer led the NL with a career-best 284 strikeouts last year, and stands atop the league again with 100 punch outs this season.

Brandon McCarthy starts for the Dodgers, stingy in his own right with three runs allowed in his last three starts. The right-hander has six straight starts issuing exactly one walk, with 31 strikeouts in 33⅔ innings during that span.

Game info

Time: 7:10 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA