Just when you thought Max Scherzer couldn’t get any better, he showed that it was somehow possible. In his best game as a Dodger, Scherzer allowed zero runs (one unearned) in eight innings in LA’s 5-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.
He was pretty much untouchable all afternoon, as the Cardinals never really had any chance at the plate. Scherzer struck out 13, his high while with the Dodgers. Overall for the game, he had 25 swing-and-misses. If you want to make it look even more impressive, Scherzer didn’t even issue a walk.
“When [the offense goes] out there and they’re sleepwalking and give you four runs, thats a huge boost for me,” he said following the game. “That allowed me to be aggressive at their lineup.”
Since joining LA, Scherzer has added himself into the Cy Young Award conversation. After today, you can make the case he should be the favorite. He’s now made seven starts with the Dodgers, with LA winning all seven. In just 43 innings, Scherzer has 63 strikeouts and only five walks.
Like, that is freaking insane. Oh, and allow me to remind you that he is doing this at the age of 37. Not only is Scherzer as good as advertised, he appears to be getting better and better.
“He’s better as advertised,” manager Dave Roberts said. “We knew what we were going to get as far as the player. he’s exceeded that.”
Scherzer’s ERA is now 1.05 in seven starts with LA, and he’s now thrown 22 consecutive scoreless innings. With how depleted LA’s pitching has been this season, especially over the last month, you can make the case that Scherzer has been the MVP of the team since being acquired.
After today’s 13-strikeout performance, Scherzer is only six punchouts away from reaching 3,000 for his career.
“That’s a huge milestone, something I’ll be proud of,” he said. “That’s a part of the process of durability and executing the game plan. It’s great to go out there and get strikeouts but it’s more important to locate well. Strikeouts are a part of the process of executing pitches.”
The offense (The good, the bad and the ugly)
With Scherzer pitching, the offense didn’t need to do much. They still gave Scherzer five runs, with four of them coming in the first inning. Three straight hits to begin the game helped give the Dodgers an early 2-0 lead. After a walk from Corey Seager, Chris Taylor hit a two-run homer to put LA up 4-0. Two innings later, Seager delivered an RBI single to put LA up 5-0.
Five runs in two innings. That is quite good. No hits the rest of the way. Not good.
After Taylor’s home run, the Dodgers finished the game 1-for-26 at the plate. After Seager’s base hit in the third, the Dodgers finished the game 0-for-19 at the plate. It’s tough to be harsh on an offense that scored five runs, but that’s just inexcusable. If the Dodgers are going to win the division, they need the offense to be consistent and show up. You can’t have stretches like that.
WP: Max Scherzer (13-4) 8 IP, 0 ER (1 R), 13 SO, 0 BB
LP: Miles Mikolas (0-2) 5 IP, 4 ER, 3 SO
HR: Chris Taylor (20)
The Dodgers will look to win their second straight on Tuesday. LA doesn’t have a starter, but they are expected to go with an opener with Mitch White pitching a bulk of the innings.