SAN FRANCISCO -- Max Scherzer charged out of the bullpen as if he were being chased. It was questioned whether he had left early or a false start. He seemed to view his 14 years in big leagues as a prelude to this moment.
Wilmer Flores took the outfielder's position to retire Matt Beaty in the ninth inning.
After the game, Mookie Betts, a Dodgers right fielder, said that "Flores touched firstbase, and it felt as if Scherz were halfway to the mound." He smiled and looked to his right, at Scherzer, with a smile that didn’t seem to connect to the rest.
The Dodgers are once again in the National League Championship Series. Their 2-1 win against the San Francisco Giants in Game 5 at Oracle Park was punctuated with the strong presence Scherzer. He set the Giants down ninth in the ninth, then proceeded a series of hugging that were notable for their fierceness.
Scherzer pitched well in Game 3 and was a good starter. He arrived at the ballpark on Thursday, determined to pitch one more game. He had played catch for three hours prior to the game and declared himself ready.
He said, "No question, I was ready." "I told them that I was hot. My arm felt great so, if you want it you can get it.
Scherzer made his way to the bullpen in the fourth inning. He knew that he would not be needed until the final innings. He said he went to the bullpen "to feel comfortable, get used to it, and be with the boys". Scherzer answered a question about what he and his boys discussed. Fantasy football trades
Scherzer has a lot of energy, so there is a chance that he could have gone out for the ninth without Dave Roberts calling him.
Scherzer stated, "I just went down to there and I knew -- somehow und someway -- the game would get to me." He threw 13 pitches and 11 for strikes. The last pitch was the most memorable. With Kris Bryant at the plate and two outs, Scherzer threw a 0-2 slider for Flores. Flores appeared to be checking his swing, but Gabe Morales called him out.
Scherzer stated diplomatically, "I didn’t get a good view at it." "I knew that I had to throw a slider in that situation. It was easy to get it. I looked down at first base and saw that he had gone."
Before the game, the conversation revolved around how the Dodgers would start the game. Their plan to start Julio Urias in the 20-game final changed when Roberts sent Gabe Kapler a courtesy SMS. Kapler said it was "a courtesy message" and that he was going with reliever Corey Knebel.
After the game was over, everyone turned their attention to the way the Dodgers had ended it. Scherzer, a Hall of Famer guaranteed, came on as a relief pitcher in a crucial postseason game just like many Hall of Famers before him.
Roberts stated, "Knowing that you have, I guess? An ace in the hole" I just wanted to find the best spot to deploy him. It made sense based on how it played out.
Scherzer walked the infield after the game wearing green ski goggles and a T-shirt, shorts, and shoes for showers. He chased his two daughters around the bases much more casually that he did 45 minutes prior.
He said, "That's nuts out here [in the nine], but I just wanted the moment to be." "I knew it would be deafening. I was sure I wouldn't be able hear or think anything. I needed to keep my distance, use the crowd to mine advantage, but not over-pursue this situation. Don't try to do too much. The postseason feels like playing with a small child again. You pitch when you are told. It's almost like being a 12-year old again.
Roberts stated after the game that Scherzer would start Game 1 in the NLCS Saturday in Atlanta. Scherzer was less committed, shrugging off the question and commenting about how his arm would respond in the morning. However, he was much more confident about his immediate plans. He said that "We can party hard tonight."