The Dodgers are ready to start ace Max Scherzer in Game 2 of the NL Championship Series against Atlanta, a day after manager Dave Roberts scratched the veteran right-hander to get him an extra day of rest.
Scherzer got his first career save Thursday by pitching the ninth inning of a 2-1 Game 5 win against San Francisco to close out their NL Division Series. Roberts planned to run him back out for NLCS Game 1 until Scherzer said his arm felt a little tired after a workout Friday.
“I knew that if I was going to pitch (Saturday), I was going to be limited in some form or capacity, that it was going to be somewhere in the pitch count between, call it, 60 to 90. I have no clue,” Scherzer said.
Scherzer expects to be able to give maximum effort Sunday, and he could still be available for another start later in the seven-game series.
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He will be going against Atlanta's young right-hander Ian Anderson.
At just 23 years old, Ian Anderson already has quite a postseason resume. Atlanta’s Game 2 starter is 3-0 with a 0.76 ERA in five career playoff starts, including five strong innings in a 3-0 Game 3 win over the Brewers in their NL Division Series.
The right-hander faced the Dodgers twice in last year’s NLCS, delivering four scoreless innings to start Game 2 before allowing two runs in three innings in a shakier Game 7 start — Los Angeles went on to win that game 4-3.
Going with Anderson allows manager Brian Snitker to get an extra day of rest for veteran Charlie Morton, who is lined up for Game 3.
The Dodgers will look to even the best-of-seven series against Anderson in Game 2.
The Dodgers were 58-23 in home games in 2021. Los Angeles has hit six home runs this postseason, Will Smith has accounted for three of them en route to posting a slugging percentage of .720.
The Braves posted a record of 46-35 away from home in 2021. Atlanta has hit five home runs this postseason, Austin Riley has accounted for two of them en route to posting a slugging percentage of .684.
The Braves won the last meeting 3-2. Will Smith recorded his first victory and Austin Riley went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs for Atlanta. Blake Treinen registered his first loss for Los Angeles.