After splitting the first two games of the NLDS in San Francisco, the Los Angeles Dodgers now are set to play the first of two games at home against the Giants. And if they have it their way, they will win them both, not have to go back to San Francisco, and move on the NLCS.
For that to be accomplished, however, the team will need to play much more like they did in Game 2 than in Game 1. After being shut out in the first game, they came back with some offense, scoring nine runs the next game.
The Dodgers are sending Max Scherzer to the mound for this pivotal matchup. Since being traded to Los Angeles, the Dodgers have won every one of Scherzer’s starts, going 12-0 in those outings. However, his last few outings have been shaky, including the Wild Card game last Wednesday.
However, when asked about his recent outings, Max told reporters that they have identified a mechanical issue with his lower half, and have adjusted it. Player development and the pitching coaches worked with Scherzer. He felt like he has been out of sync, and now they’ve fixed it to make him feel his rhythm again.
‘Mad Max’ will be taking the mound once again, it sounds like. When asked about the Dodgers/Giants rivalry, Scherzer said “it’s personal to them (the fans), so it’s personal to us.”
The Dodgers will also need AJ Pollock and Trea Turner to start hitting more like they did in the Dodgers’ rallies on Saturday night, and not have their bats go silent like they had been before that. Pollock was hot going into the playoffs, and Trea the batting champ, and they need to start putting the team more on their back if they’re going to go any further.
Former Dodger Alex Wood will be taking the mound for the Giants. San Francisco lost all three games to the Dodgers in which Wood started the game for them. Trea Turner, Albert Pujols, and Chris Taylor all have homers off the right hander.
Pujols will be making his first start this postseason at first base, and Cody Bellinger will be on the bench. Chris Taylor will be taking over for him in centerfield.
“We made this acquisition for him to be an ace, a stopper” said manager Dave Roberts said of Scherzer. “When he takes the ball we expect to win”. The Dodgers look to take advantage of their home field advantage and take a 2-1 lead in the NLDS.