Last week, the Dodgers made a giant splash in front of the trade deadline by acquiring Trea Turner and Max Scherzer from the Nationals for a package of prospects. Scherzer being an ace and future Hall of Famer means there would be plenty of fanfare for his Dodgers debut anyway, but the circumstances behind it make it an even bigger deal.
Scherzer will take the mound for the Dodgers on Wednesday in Dodger Stadium. The opponent? The Houston Astros.
We already know all about the beef between the Astros and Dodgers, stemming from the 2017 World Series and the ensuing sign-stealing scandal. It boiled over on the field last season when benches cleared in Houston.
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There's a Scherzer tie-in as well. The last time he faced the Astros was Game 7 of the 2019 World Series in Minute Maid Park. He was coming off a back injury and still managed to throw five innings and keep his team in a game it would eventually win. He also was the winning pitcher in Game 1 of that series.
Scherzer, 37, is 8-4 with a 2.76 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and 147 strikeouts against 28 walks in 111 innings this season. He made the All-Star team for the ninth time in a row. He has three Cy Youngs along with four other seasons in which he finished in the top five. He's as decorated as they come.
The Dodgers entered Sunday 20 games over .500, but were still three games back of the first-place Giants in the NL West. They'll be looking to run the the Giants down and win their ninth straight division title, but if they are forced into the wild card game, having Scherzer starting on the hill would make them the favorites.