Dodgers: Max Scherzer’s stats getting both stupid and historic
By Adam Weinrib
It’s always good when a pitcher like Dodgers ace Max Scherzer is even better than advertised, considering the advertisements prior to his arrival could not have been more glowing.
When Andrew Friedman swiped Scherzer and Trea Turner away from the San Diego Padres, it predictably sent SD’s season spiraling, and felt like another feather in the cap of the best roster in baseball out here in Hollywood.
But then, a funny thing happened: LA’s pitching depth waned, and their incumbent bats struggled and occasionally disappeared. Both Turner and Scherzer weren’t luxury items anymore, but were, in fact, the exact ingredients needed for the Dodgers to make a charge at the relentless Giants.
Predictably, Scherzer took on this job with aplomb, ratcheting himself all the way up to 11 as soon as he put on Dodger Blue.
Capped by a “revenge” showcase in St. Louis for the Mizzou hurler, Scherzer’s numbers with the Dodgers have now soared to historic heights.
In a word, he’s been unbeatable.
Which Dodgers ace will win the Cy Young? Max Scherzer or Walker Buehler?
Arguing in favor of your own pitcher winning the Cy Young Award is a fun down-the-stretch activity, but this season, it might just come down to the even-more-enjoyable question: “Which Dodger do you prefer?”
At this point, it really seems like the race has been narrowed down to Scherzer and Walker Buehler, whose recent misstep in San Francisco seems glaring when compared to the untouchable Mad Max.
Now down to a 2.28 ERA on the season with 210 whiffs in 154 innings pitched, Scherzer has lowered that mark all the way down to 1.05 in seven post-deadline appearances with his new team. Essentially, the averages would indicate you’re not beating him unless you can blank LA’s offense for nine innings. Is that a bet you’d be willing to take?
Not only has Scherzer’s recent body of work been absurd, but he’s also hard at work passing milestone totals, joining LA nemesis Justin Verlander as the only active pitchers to record 200+ strikeouts in a single season nine times or more.
And, to think, we were robbed of a potential 10th Scherzer campaign by the shortened 2020 season.
Initially thought to be a luxury and a slap in the face delivered to Padres management, Scherzer has now become intrinsic to LA’s shot at a repeat title run this season (along with the other ex-National they added). Without the infusion of historic talent, we’d be looking at a disappointing follow up to a special year, with far more focus on Cody Bellinger’s struggles and Mookie Betts’/Clayton Kershaw’s absences.
Now, we’re just wondering how high Scherzer’s totals can claim, how many awards he can secure by end of season, and how much brighter the team’s tenuous future seems now that they can at least count on Mad Max if they end up stuck in a one-game, winner-take-all.
Once the season concludes, the team’s braintrust will have to ask themselves one question: exactly how much history would they like Scherzer to make in this jersey? Name your price.