After a western-heavy three-plus weeks after the All-Star break, the Dodgers set their sights on teams in the eastern time zone over the next two weeks. Up first is a Phillies team that has won eight straight games, vaulting from two games under .500 and 4½ games out to two games up in a jumbled National League East.
Over the next 13 days, the Dodgers play the Phillies (three times), the Mets (seven times), and the Pirates (three times), with the Braves coming to Los Angeles to close out August.
Branching out was mostly missing from last year’s regionalized schedules. This year the Dodgers are 13-7 against the NL East and 10-10 against the NL Central.
Max Scherzer makes his second start as a Dodger on Tuesday night, facing a Phillies team he’s intimately familiar with. Scherzer faced Philadelphia three times since the beginning of June, all while with the Nationals. He won all three games, all in Philadelphia, allowing one run in each game, with 22 strikeouts and seven walks in 18⅔ innings.
The last of those starts came on July 29, after Scherzer missed a start with triceps soreness. He allowed a run in six innings, striking out five, then on the bus from Philadelphia back to Washington D.C. got the call from Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo that the trade to the Dodgers was agreed to.
This was a few hours after a report that the Padres were close to a deal to get Scherzer from the Nationals.
“In baseball, whenever you see things like that, rumors are rumors until you actually get the phone call,” Scherzer said last week. “The fact that Twitter was going off, and I hadn’t gotten the phone call, I knew something else was probably in the weeds.”
Trea Turner is also familiar with the Phillies over his seven seasons with the Nationals. Since the start of 2020, Turner is hitting .360/.407/.587 with four home runs, five doubles, and four steals in 19 games against Philadelphia, including .386/.438/.568 at Citizens Bank Park.
Aaron Nola starts for the Phillies, with a 6.02 ERA over his last eight starts, but with much better peripherals on the season. The difference between Nola’s ERA (4.49) and FIP (3.55) is tied for the third-largest among qualified major league pitchers. His strikeout-minus-walk rate of 23.4 percent ranks eighth in the majors.
Scherzer’s K-BB% of 28.1 percent is third.
Teams: Dodgers (67-45) at Phillies (59-53)
Location: Citizens Bank Park
Time: 4:05 p.m. PT
TV: SportsNet LA