Max Scherzer and Trea Turner bring rich playoff experience to Dodgers ahead of playoff race
Ahead of Wednesday’s National League Wild Card game, the man at the feet of the defending Los Angeles Dodgers will be ready for now.
That man is none other than Max Scherzer, who was traded to the Dodgers alongside Trea Turner on this year’s trade deadline. In a unique scenario, the 106-winning Dodgers will host the St. Louis Cardinals in a winning or home playoff game with the winner facing the San Francisco Giants in the National League Division Series.
The two former Nationals know the playoff spotlight all too well as we’re only two years away from the epic 2019 playoff run that culminated in the first World Series championship in championship history. national.
The Dodgers knew what they were getting when they made the successful trade with the Nationals in July, adding favorite NL Cy Young Award and an NL MVP contender to their list already loaded with the acquisitions of Scherzer and Turner. Los Angeles couldn’t pass up the opportunity to acquire the two superstars and were ready to part ways with two of their top prospects, Josiah Gray and Keibert Ruiz, to do so.
From top to bottom, the Dodgers roster has a wealth of playoff experience, but after winning their World Series title in 2020, that’s to be expected. Not only did Los Angeles win it all last year, they’ve made the playoffs each of the past nine seasons.
Despite the experience and success of the playoffs, this year’s playoffs will be different for the Dodgers. This will be the first time the Dodgers have played in the Wild Card game during their dominance, but luckily for Los Angeles, their two new superstars are familiar with the one-game playoffs.
On the road to their 2019 World Series championship, the Nationals found themselves in the same position as this year’s Dodgers. The Nats hosted the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2019 Wild Card game with their ace, Max Scherzer, on the mound.
Scherzer’s start in this match did not go as planned, but in typical Max Scherzer’s fashion, he fought to keep his team in the match. The night started rocky from the start, allowing for a walk to start. Then Yasmani Grandal hit a 2-run homerun to give the Brewers a 2-0 lead.
Scherzer would finish with five innings pitched, while allowing three runs on four hits, with three walks. He also struck out six sticks in what would ultimately be a 4-3 Nationals win, in part thanks to legendary Juan Soto single to clear the bases.
Trea Turner’s impact was also felt in the 2019 Wild Card game, as the shortstop put the Nationals on the board with a solo homer in the third inning against Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff.
Scherzer and Turner both played huge roles in the Nationals’ run to the 2019 World Series Championship and both are looking to do the same this year in Los Angeles.
In the 2019 playoffs, Scherzer boasted a 2.40 ERA and an 11.1 K / 9, but it’s Scherzer’s daring performances that he will be remembered for. Most notably, Scherzer fought for five innings in Game 7 of the World Series just days after being scratched in Game 5 with neck spasms.
The additions of Scherzer and Turner could end up making a difference for the Dodgers in the National League, but before eagerly awaiting the NLDS, they must first go through Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Wild Card play is nothing new for the former Nationals duo.