Dodgers: Max Scherzer Out for NLCS Game 6, Who Could Start for LA? Bullpen or Walker Buehler?

A shockwave hit the Dodgers and the baseball world late on Friday night when it was rumored that Max Scherzer would not be making his scheduled start in NLCS game 6 tonight in Atlanta.

As of now, all we still know is that the right-hander’s right arm is still not bouncing back well after his game 5 save in the NLDS against the Giants. This comes after losing Justin Turner and Joe Kelly for the season, dealing another gut punch for the Dodgers.

At any rate, there’s no crying in baseball and there are no timeouts. LA will still need to field a team and have somebody take the tonight at Truist Park. With that, we explore some options for the depleted boys in blue.


Will it be another bullpen game or will it be Walker Buehler on short rest? Chances are that much depends on whether or not an extra day would be enough time for Max Scherzer to rebound. For many, the thought of back-to-back bullpen days in back-to-back games sounds like the worst-case scenario. However, if Buehler does go on short rest, you’re again risking an abbreviated start which seemingly is a bullpen game on its own.

The Dodgers added David Price back to the active roster yesterday and, in all likelihood, will add another long arm like Mitch White or Andre Jackson today in place of an injured Justin Bruihl.

Once again for LA, it’s all hands on deck.

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NEXT: Brusdar Graterol Found An Extra Gear in a Huge Spot in Game 5

Clint Pasillas

Clint Pasillas has been writing, blogging, and podcasting about the Los Angeles Dodgers since 2008. Under Clint's leadership as the Lead Editor, Dodgers Nation has grown into one of the most read baseball sites in the world with millions of unique visitors per month. Find him online on Twitter/X or his YouTube channel!


  1. Traded Ruiz for this big moment and now Scherzer is unavailable because he was used for 1 inning in relief.
    What can you say? Snakebit? And Julio isn’t pitching like his normal self because of coming out of the bullpen? I just know if it was up to me I would really resist using starters in between their starts.

  2. Definitely a bullpen game today. our lefty bats Seager, Belli and lux will have a field day against Ian Anderson. Win Game 6, and then start a fully rested big-game Buehler for game 7! Magic number is 6!!

    1. I love the way you’re thinking Joe. I had given up prior to game 5…BP vs Max Fried? Figured Braves win for sure! Now Braves are one step closer to reliving a repeat of the 2020 nightmare! It’s only one game today folks! Can do! Dodgers have the best pen in baseball!

      Let’s go Dodgers!

  3. Dodgers announced Buehler as game six starter. Okie dokie! Doesn’t really matter if Dodgers offense has their hitting shoes on!

  4. Wow, I had a good feeling about winning today’s game with a supposedly healthy and rested Scherzer on the mound. Now that feeling has totally reversed and I fear the team is doomed. I heard Buehler is going to start and he has never been effective on short rest, nor has he been on top of his game the past few starts. Add to the fact that even if they win today, it’s not certain Scherzer will pitch game 7. The Dodgers have pulled a lot of rabbits out of their hats already – can they do it again????

    1. Dodgers sure showed me how foolish it was to write them off prior to game 5! I’m taking the wait and see approach now. I say they can do!

      Let’s go Dodgers!

  5. With all our injuries and the deck stacked against us reminds me of Belushi’s inspiring speech in Animal House. “Did the Americans give up when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?” Nooooo! Didn’t the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor? Don’t stop him, he’s on a roll….

    1. Ok if we are going there…said in my best Flounder impression…”Boy this is going to be Gggrrrrreat!”

  6. If they are going to go down, the Dodgers can’t do it with Buehler sitting on the bench. This is the FO telling everyone on the roster that we sink or swim with our best. I still like Dodgers chances as long as offense shows up

    1. Dodgers have the talent to pull this off, no question about it! Braves were 42-38 at home this year…Dodgers were 48-32 on the road! Dodgers are the better team. Anything can happen. Worst case scenario, Buehler isn’t sharp (I say he is though,) it becomes a bullpen game…against the greatest bullpen in baseball history IMHO.


  7. If the Dodgers have a rabbitt’s foot in the clubhouse they better get it out and let everybody take a rub on it before the next game, because it sure looks like they’re going to need it.

  8. Folks let’s be real. All this does is increase the drama for TV ratings. Would anyone argue the Braves have more talent than the Dodgers? Really?

  9. Dodgers were a -177 favorite with Scherzer expected to start. Dodgers still a -152 favorite with Buehler. What does this mean?

    It means the betting public still expects the Dodgers to win. In betting terms you would have to bet $177 to win $100 under the first scenario and $152 to win $100 under the now betting line. Folks gamblers aren’t stupid.

    Does this assure a Dodger win? By no means. It is just the expectation. Just trying to put things into perspective.

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