It came in a pretty big spot, as the Houston Astros were in town for the final game of a three-game set.
Of course, there is still major bad blood between the Dodgers and Astros stemming from the sign-stealing scandal.
L.A. fans were rowdy throughout the entire series, and that energy remained a factor on Wednesday night.
With Scherzer on the bump, how did he handle the moment?
Let’s find out.
Breaking Down His Performance
Scherzer got the evening started by electrifying the Dodger Stadium crowd, and he did so by striking out noted villain Jose Altuve.
Los Angeles Dodger Max Scherzer striking out Jose Altuve. Very weird. pic.twitter.com/7tBl8o3nuY
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) August 5, 2021
That was a great way to kick things off.
Unfortunately for L.A., the energy took a hit when the next batter in the box, Michael Brantley, took a 1-1 fastball out of the yard for a solo shot.
But worry not.
Scherzer settled in quite nicely, and he wound up having no trouble looking like his vintage self for the rest of the night.
He tossed seven innings of two-run ball and fanned 10 batters.
He exited with a 7-2 lead, and L.A. ultimately held on to give Scherzer his first win in a Dodgers uniform.
Grading His Outing: A-
That’s pretty much exactly what the Dodgers signed up for.
Anytime you trade for an elite talent, you hope that the player can come in and immediately live up to the hype, but the transition is often tough for a lot of guys.
Scherzer isn’t one of those guys.
The 37-year-old seems more than happy to be in L.A., and with the results he produced on Wednesday night, it’s safe to assume that Dodgers fans are more than happy to have him.
Fanning 10 batters in a win is an electric way to get started in a new uniform.
— MLB (@MLB) August 5, 2021
It will be interesting to see how he performs in his second act.
Will Scherzer Be The Dodgers’ No. 1 Starter In The Postseason?
The Dodgers’ top priority right now is to win the National League West and avoid the NL Wild Card Game at all costs.
Currently, four losses separate the Dodgers and the first-place San Francisco Giants.
That’s a pretty legit margin, and while the race is far from over, it’s definitely starting to get into uncomfortable territory for L.A.
But anyway, no matter what the circumstance is, the team is going to have to decide who to give the ball to in its first postseason game.
That could be a win-or-go-home Wild Card Game, or it could be Game 1 of a best-of-five NLDS series.
Regardless of the situation, fans should take comfort in the fact that Scherzer—who is an elite playoff performer—is going to be an option for L.A.
He has a career 3.38 ERA over 22 postseason appearances, and as most fans know, he accomplished the ultimate goal by winning a World Series title with the Washington Nationals in 2019.
The righty is now looking to do it again with the Dodgers.
Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler are going to have strong cases at being L.A.’s No. 1 postseason starter, but when the time comes to make the decision, it seems very likely that Scherzer will be the one getting the honor.