Game 1 of the NLDS between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals will feature a classic pitchers duel. Clayton Kershaw will toe the rubber for the Dodgers, while Max Scherzer will go for the Nats.
Scherzer is well aware of Kershaw’s impressive resume and is eager for the challenge of facing the best.
Max Scherzer: "This is the best opponent I can possibly face, the #Dodgers and Kershaw." He says you measure yourself against the best.
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) October 6, 2016
Of course, Kershaw’s playoff performances are picked apart, often quite unfairly. His regular season success is unrivaled. At only 28, Kershaw was won three Cy Young Awards and a National League MVP.
An injury that cost him two months of the season will likely keep Kershaw from winning a fourth Cy Young in 2016, but his season has been tremendous. The Los Angeles lefty finished 2016 with a 1.69 ERA, 0.725 WHIP and 172 strikeouts against only 11 walks.
If Scherzer wants to measure himself against the best, he’s certainly going to get that opportunity.
Of course, Scherzer is no slouch himself. He’s already won a Cy Young award and could add another this year. Scherzer posted a 2.96 ERA, 0.968 WHIP and led both leagues with 284 strikeouts during the regular year.
We can certainly expect runs to be at a premium in this game.