Dodgers starter Max Scherzer couldn't make it through the fifth inning in a 5–4 loss to the Braves on Sunday, later explaining that his "arm was dead."
L.A. manager Dave Roberts ended up pulling Scherzer with one out in the fifth inning of Game 2 of the NLCS. It turns out that the three-time Cy Young Award winner essentially asked for a short leash after carrying a heavy load so far this postseason.
“My arm was dead," Scherzer said postgame. “I could tell when I was warming up that it was still tired. I've been in the situation before; you don't always go out there and pitch full-strength.
"Usually in those situations, once you get past pitch 45, sometimes it loosens up, and you're able to get deeper into a game. But after that third inning, it didn't loosen up. It was still more tightening up. So I could tell that my pitch count was going to be limited."
Scherzer said he told Roberts before the fifth that the manager would have to take him out of the game if the inning went long. With the top of the Atlanta lineup and a slew of lefties coming up, Roberts decided to pull Scherzer with his pitch count only at 79.
The 37-year-old righthander recorded his first save in Game 5 of the NLDS to eliminate the Giants, but it came at a cost for the Dodgers after he also threw 110 pitches in Game 3. Scherzer only gave up a two-run home run to Joc Pederson in the fourth inning but said the fatigue was too much for him to overcome.
However, the eight-time All-Star said that there weren't any "red-flag injuries" to worry about. The Dodgers ended up squandering a two-run lead in the eighth inning after potential Game 4 starter Julio Urías came out of the bullpen before the Braves' second straight walk-off win in the ninth.
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