The Los Angeles Dodgers shocked the world near the trade deadline when they agreed to send top-100 prospects Keibert Ruiz and Josiah Gray (and six years of team control for each) to the Washington Nationals in exchange for shortstop Trea Turner and star pitcher Max Scherzer.
The Dodgers, who had already suffered several injuries in their starting rotation, decided to make the splash and fortify their already strong chances of winning the World Series with two bonafide stars.
At the time of the trade, Scherzer was 8-4 with a 2.76 ERA in 111 innings, adding 147 strikeouts.
That was ace-like production, but that really should not surprise anybody who has seen Scherzer pitch.
However, since joining Los Angeles, the 37-year-old right-hander is boasting a minuscule 1.05 ERA in 43 frames.
Max Scherzer over his last seven games:
• 5 W
• 63 K
• 1.05 ERA
• 0.77 WHIP
The only other pitchers in Dodgers franchise history to meet/exceed these numbers over a seven game span are Sandy Koufax and Clayton Kershaw. That’s quite the trio.
— Austin J. Eich (@Eich_AJ) September 7, 2021
He Looks Better Than Ever
The level of dominance is absolutely insane: he has given up five walks, and has struck out a whopping 63 hitters over those 43 innings.
If you thought that Scherzer, an accomplished veteran, would slow down soon after arriving in Los Angeles, well, you were wrong.
The truth is that he has not slowed down one bit in his new uniform: in fact, he is better than ever, and apart from a minor scare with his hamstring, looks extremely good.
The Dodgers are perhaps MLB’s premier organization when it comes to giving players more resources and tools to improve.
Making an already elite starter, like Scherzer, even better is just crazy, but they have done it again.
If you had your doubts that Scherzer has had a positive impact on the Dodgers, consider this: Los Angeles is 26-8 since both stars arrived in California.
Having Scherzer dominate like this is especially promising for Los Angeles with the postseason in mind.
The Dodgers, of course, won the 2020 World Series in convincing fashion, dismantling the Tampa Bay Rays in six games, but they are hungry for more.
And it appears that every piece is starting to fall into place.
A True Difference-Maker
The Dodgers entered the day of the trade deadline three games behind the San Francisco Giants for first place in the National League West division.
Now, they are just one game away.
They want to qualify to the postseason as division winners, and Scherzer will make sure that every one of his starts results in a Dodgers victory.
Kershaw, currently rehabbing from a forearm issue, is already making rehab starts in the minor leagues.
— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) September 8, 2021
It would be, without a doubt, the best and most powerful playoff rotation among all participants, and we are not even including injured pitchers who will potentially return in time to play in October, such as David Price, Tony Gonsolin, and Danny Duffy.
Right now, the Dodgers are perhaps the biggest favorites to win it all again, even above the Giants, and that’s in large part thanks to the additions of Scherzer and Turner at the deadline.