Dodgers' Max Scherzer Reportedly Won't Start NLCS Game 6 vs. Braves

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIOctober 23, 2021

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Max Scherzer throws against the Atlanta Braves during gate second inning in Game 2 of baseball's National League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Max Scherzer will not be starting Game 6 of the National League Championship Series at the Atlanta Braves on Saturday.

Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times provided the report on Friday, citing a pair of sources. He noted that Scherzer was scheduled to address reporters via Zoom on Friday after the Dodgers landed in Atlanta, but L.A. canceled the press conference.

Castillo added that it's been custom for pitchers to speak with reporters on the day before their playoff outings.

Scherzer told reporters that he had issues with his throwing arm following his 79-pitch start in Game 2, which featured the 37-year-old giving up two earned runs over 4.1 innings while striking out seven in a 5-4 loss.

"My arm was dead," Scherzer said, per Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. "I could tell when I was warming up that it was still tired."

Scherzer said he felt he could make his next start at the time.

"I wasn't dealing with red flag injuries, it was just my arm was tired," Scherzer added.

The Dodgers are down three games to two in the best-of-seven series.

Losing Scherzer, who had a 15-4 record, 2.46 ERA and 236 strikeouts for the Washington Nationals and Dodgers this year, is a tough blow in advance of L.A.'s win-or-go-home game, as it looks to defend the NL pennant.

Castillo outlined the Dodgers' options in lieu of Scherzer's absence. L.A. manager Dave Roberts could opt to start Walker Buehler on three days rest, or he could decide to go for another bullpen game and use Tony Gonsolin or David Price to open.

Buehler struggled in his Game 3 start, throwing 3.2 innings and allowing six hits, two earned runs and three walks in a no-decision. The Dodgers ended up winning 6-5.

He was excellent during the regular season, posting a 16-4 record, 2.47 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 212 strikeouts.

Gonsolin has struggled against Atlanta, allowing five earned runs over four innings in three total NLCS outings. The 27-year-old fared much better during the season with a 4-1 record, 3.23 ERA and 65 strikeouts in 55.2 innings.

Price has not pitched this postseason. In the regular season, he went 5-2 with a 4.03 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and 58 strikeouts in 73.2 frames.

The eventual Dodger starter (or opener) will go up against Atlanta's Ian Anderson, who was pulled after 3.0 innings in Game 2 of the NLCS after allowing two earned runs, three walks and three hits. He went 9-5 with a 3.58 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 124 strikeouts in 128.1 innings.