The Dodgers suffered another heartbreaking loss in game two of the NLCS against the Atlanta Braves on Sunday. Right-handed ace Max Scherzer got the start on the bump, striking out seven and allowing two runs over 4.1 innings pitched.
After the game, Scherzer revealed that his arm wasn’t as loose as he had initially hoped throughout the game and it was still slightly fatigued just days after closing out Thursday’s NLDS game 5 in San Francisco.
“I could just tell my arm was done,” Scherzer said. “It was still tired and I’ve been in this situation before and you don’t always go out there and pitch at full strength.”
The 37-year-old fireballer said he was expecting his arm to eventually loosen up after a certain point but it ultimately got tighter with more pitches.
“Usually in those situations, kind of, once you get past pitch 45, sometimes it kind of loosens up and you’re able to get deeper in a game,” Scherzer said. “But after the third inning, you know, it didn’t loosen up. It was more tightened up so I could tell my pitch count was gonna be limited.”
Scherzer said after the fourth inning, he and manager Dave Roberts pondered whether he could go back out and pitch and ultimately decided that left-handed reliever Alex Vesia would have put the club in the best position to win and even the series at one.
“We looked at the lineup and said ‘Alright, I got (Dansby) Swanson and the pinch hitter’ and then at that point, I knew I wasn’t gonna be better than Vesia,” Scherzer said. “Vesia was gonna be better against the lefties than I was gonna be.”
Manager Dave Roberts said Scherzer told him he put forth his best effort on the mound and commended him for his efforts.
“When I took the ball, he told me ‘I gave it all I had’ and that’s what you want from a competitor,” Roberts said.
Fortunately, Scherzer’s arm fatigue does not have any implications for his health as he said he’s “not dealing with red flag injuries” following Sunday’s outing.
Scherzer currently has 23 strikeouts with a 2.16 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP this postseason. Fans can expect his arm to be relied upon heavily as the Dodgers have fallen two games behind in the series.