Scherzer awaits Dodgers in Game 5

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Stephen Whyno

While there will be no Ker­shaw and Los An­ge­les man­ager Dave Roberts still has not named his starter, Washington will hand the ball to Max Scherzer in the de­ci­sive Game 5 at home Thursday night.

WASHINGTON >> While go­ing to ace Clay­ton Ker­shaw on short rest helped the Los An­ge­les Dodgers stave off elim­i­na­tion in their NL Divi­sion Se­ries against the Washington Na­tion­als, it also has raised the ques­tion:

Who will start Game 5 for the Dodgers?

“I know Ker­shaw isn’t pitch­ing,” Na­tion­als man­ager Dusty Baker said. “Thank God.”

While there will be no Ker­shaw and LA man­ager Dave Roberts still has not named his starter, the Na­tion­als will hand the ball to Cy Young Award can­di­date Max Scherzer in the de­ci­sive Game 5 at home Thursday night.

With a spot in the NL Cham­pi­onship Se­ries against the Chicago Cubs at stake, Scherzer is the man Washington wants on the mound and he’s em­brac­ing the pres­sure.

“I’ve kind of said over the past few days, I’ve said that a hand­ful of times through­out my ca­reer, ‘Hey, this is the big­gest start of my ca­reer,”’ Scherzer said Tues­day. “How you han­dle that, go­ing out there us­ing the emo­tion of that sce­nario, that ev­ery­thing is on the line, look, I’m not go­ing to shy away from it. This is the big­gest start of my ca­reer.”

Scherzer (20-7, 2.96 ERA) lasted only six in­nings and lost Game 1 af­ter giv­ing up home runs to Corey Sea­ger and Justin Turner. While Scherzer is look­ing for some re­demp­tion, the Dodgers are look­ing for­ward to an­other shot at him.

“I mean, we beat him once al­ready,” first base­man Adrian Gon­za­lez said. “We put some pretty good at-bats against him in Game 1, and we’re con­fi­dent that we can do that again.”

The Na­tion­als also had some good at-bats against LA lefty Rich Hill, beat­ing him in Game 2. Hill (12-5, 2.12) will most likely be the Dodgers’ starter in Game 5, though Roberts will use a “col­lec­tion of arms” and could quickly turn to fresh 20-year-old lefty Julio Urias if there’s trou­ble.

Washington’s bullpen has been strong, but Scherzer is in the spot­light.

“I know who Max is and how he goes about it,” right fielder Bryce Harper said. “I think there are things we can do in the bullpen, as well, if Max doesn’t get to the ninth. He’s got a lot of help. So hope­fully we’ll get a cou­ple of runs early and do what we can to stay with our ap­proach and stay within our­selves (and) just have a lot of fun.”

Scherzer con­sid­ers the big stage plenty of fun. He said it doesn’t mat­ter that it’s not him against Ker­shaw again and ex­pects the Dodgers’ best ef­fort and a charged at­mos­phere.

“It’s go­ing to be a heck of a ball­game,” Scherzer said. “Th­ese are two great teams. We’ve seen great pitch­ing, we’ve seen great of­fense, great bullpens, clutch hit­ting. We’ve seen it all. So the op­por­tu­nity to go out there in Game 5, back in D.C. with our fans, it’s go­ing to be a heck of an ex­pe­ri­ence.”

PABLO MARTINEZ MONSIVAIS — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Washington Na­tion­als start­ing pitcher Max Scherzer reaches for the ball in Game 1 of the Na­tional League Divi­sion Se­ries. Scherzer will the Los An­ge­les Dodgers in the de­cid­ing Game 5 tonight.

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