Washington Nationals: What To Watch For In Game 5 Of NLDS
Max Scherzer’s Early Game Struggles
For the third time in his career, Max Scherzer will start a second game in a series. His other two times he hs done that were in the 2011 ALCS (Texas Rangers) and 2013 ALCS (Boston Red Sox). He did not win a game in either of those series.
Back in Game 1, Scherzer gave up a first inning solo home run to Corey Seager and a third inning two-run home run to Justin Turner. Scherzer went six innings, gave up four runs on five hits, and struck out five on 91 pitches (60 strikes) in the loss. His game score of 51 was the third lowest in a postseason game during his career (according to Baseball Reference).
While Scherzer appears to be the frontrunner for the Cy Young in the National League, he has struggled with giving up home runs this season. He allowed 31 home runs in the regular season in addition to the two he gave up in Game 1.
The only inning that I worry about regarding Scherzer is the first inning. This series, the Dodgers have scored in the first inning every game and have hit three home runs. If Corey Seager or Justin Turner can homer early, that could quiet what should be a loud crowd early.
If Scherzer can locate his fastball against a predominantly left-handed lineup, I think he can have success in this game. The goal for him should be that he should be the pitcher that gives the ball to Mark Melancon at the end.