How the Dodgers can beat Max Scherzer in Game 4

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 04: Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals pitches in relief in the eighth inning in game two of the National League Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on October 04, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 04: Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals pitches in relief in the eighth inning in game two of the National League Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on October 04, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
3 of 3
Next
dodgers
MIAMI, FLORIDA – APRIL 20: Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals reacts after being taken out of the game in the sixth inning by manager Dave Martinez #4 against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on April 20, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Is he worse in the later innings?

Scherzer is known to be able to continue to throw hard and maintain his stuff over the course of his entire start. But has that been the case as of late?

More from Dodgers Way

While he may still be throwing hard, his results have not been what they are when he’s on. In the month of September, his second and third times through the order netted him a 7.36 ERA in 14.2 innings, with 20 hits and 12 earned runs allowed to go along with 18 strikeouts.

Similarly, Scherzer allowed 11 earned runs on 10 hits (2 homers) in the fourth through seventh innings when runners were on base. His inability to strand runners (he had just a 56.2% strand rate between the fourth and seventh innings) could come from diminished stuff late in games due to injuries that have piled up this year, or just general late-season fatigue, I can’t tell you definitively.

What I do know is that his past three Septembers have seen his season ERA increase each time. In 2017-2019, his September ERA was 4.05 or higher, which points to evidence of late-season tiredness.

The keys to success will seemingly involve running his pitch count up and taking plenty of long at-bats early in the game, as the Dodgers did against Corbin in game 1, is the perfect method to getting to the Nats ace. By putting runners on base, the offense will force Scherzer to throw more fastballs, which he seemingly is not comfortable doing as of late, which the team hopefully can sit on and do some damage.

Next. Kershaw's Diminished Postseason Legacy. dark

All told, it will be a battle, but the team should be well equipped to do to Scherzer what the Nationals did to Kershaw yesterday, and hopefully steal a win on the road as well.

facebooktwitterreddit