On the surface, the Milwaukee Brewers will be facing a daunting challenge when they play the Washington Nationals in a National League wild-card playoff game on Tuesday night.
After all, the Brewers will be facing one of the greatest pitchers in the last decade in Nationals starter Max Scherzer. The 35-year-old Scherzer boasts an amazing resume as a seven-time All-Star and three-time Cy Young Award recipient.
While Scherzer hasn’t been the lights-out pitcher this season as he has been in the past with the Nationals, he’s nevertheless been damn good. He has an 11-7 record with a sterling 2.92 earned run average. He’s recorded 243 strikeouts, which is the eighth most in all of baseball and fourth-most by an NL pitcher.
But if you’re ever going to have a legit chance against Scherzer, it’s now. That’s because the right-hander has actually looked like a mere mortal in his recent outings.
In fact, in his last seven games, Scherzer posted a 2-2 record with just an ordinary 4.74 ERA. He was very hittable, having surrendered 36 hits in the 38 innings he worked during that seven-game span.
In his last start, which was last Tuesday against Philadelphia, Scherzer gave up four earned runs and a pair of homers, both to Brad Miller.
Despite Scherzer ‘s recent struggles, Nationals manager Dave Martinez still opted to start him against the Brewers instead of Stephen Strasburg, who has enjoyed a sensational season and who has been dominant in recent weeks.
Strasburg recorded an impressive 18-6 record and 3.32 ERA during the regular season. What’s more, he blew away hitters, accruing 215 strikeouts, third-most in the NL.
In his last seven games, Strasburg went 3-1 with a glittering 2.05 ERA. In that same stretch of games, he struck out 60 hitters in 44 innings.
They say timing is everything, and now just might be the right time for the Brewers to catch a big break by facing Scherzer instead of Strasburg.