It might have been unfair for the Los Angeles Dodgers to expect an ace out of Max Scherzer at 37 years old and fours year removed from his last Cy Young Award. As it turns out, that was underestimating him.
The biggest prize of the 2021 MLB trade deadline continued his run of dominance as a Dodger on Monday, throwing eight innings and allowing six hits and one unearned run while striking out 13 and walking none against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Those numbers match up with the tape, which was simply electric:
In seven starts for the Dodgers, Scherzer is now 5-0 with a 1.05 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, .177 batting average against and 63 strikeouts in 43 innings pitched. The Dodgers have not lost a start he has pitched.
It’s hard to say what a reasonable expectation for Scherzer would have been at the time of his trade, but it certainly wasn’t that. With that stat line, you’re basically talking about a 2008 CC Sabathia-level impact deadline trade.
Pretty much the only area Scherzer hasn’t delivered has been at the plate, as he is now hitting 0-for-52 in a historically putrid offensive season.
The Dodgers acquired Scherzer and shortstop Trea Turner, who was hitting .311/.359/.481 for Los Angeles entering Monday, from the Washington Nationals in exchange for a package of prospects headlined by catcher Keibert Ruiz and starting pitcher Josiah Gray. Scherzer is a free agent after this season, making him a rental (the Dodgers get Turner for 2022 as well), but in a season with the Dodgers’ most competitive division race since 2018, the team has nothing to regret so far.