LEADING OFF: Scherzer unbeaten with Dodgers, faces Reds

National Sports
Max Scherzer

Los Angeles Dodgers Max Scherzer pitches his 3000th career strikeout with this throw against San Diego Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer in the fifth inning during in a baseball game Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Los Angeles, Calif. (AP Photo/John McCoy)

A look at what’s happening around the majors today:

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MAX EFFORT

Max Scherzer has dominated since being traded to the Dodgers, and tries to extend his streak of success when he pitches at Cincinnati in a matchup with playoff implications.

Scherzer is 6-0 with an 0.88 ERA in eight starts for Los Angeles, which got the three-time Cy Young Award winner and star infielder Trea Turner from Washington at the trade deadline in late July. In 51 innings for the Dodgers, Scherzer has allowed just 29 hits and struck out 72.

Overall, the 37-year-old Scherzer leads the majors with a 2.17 ERA and is a combined 14-4 for the Dodgers and Nationals.

The Dodgers have already clinched a playoff spot and are two games behind the first-place Giants in the NL West. Sonny Gray (7-7, 3.80) starts for the Reds as they aim for a wild-card berth.

CHANCE TO CLINCH

Milwaukee can secure its fourth consecutive postseason appearance with another win over the Chicago Cubs and losses by Cincinnati and San Diego. That would assure the Brewers at least a wild card as they close in on the NL Central title.

All-Star Corbin Burnes (10-4, 2.25 ERA) makes his first start since teaming with closer Josh Hader on a no-hitter last weekend. Burnes tossed the first eight innings and Hader worked the ninth in a 3-0 victory Saturday at Cleveland that marked the second no-hitter in Brewers history.

Milwaukee, which has a 12 1/2-game lead in the division, has beaten the Cubs 10 straight times. The Brewers’ only longer winning streak over a single opponent came in 2008 when they won 12 in a row against Pittsburgh.

LIKE FINE WAIN

Longtime Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright has been as sharp as ever lately, winning five straight starts going into this outing against San Diego at Busch Stadium.

The 40-year-old Wainwright (16-7, 2.88) has won nine of his last 10 starts and is a major reason why St. Louis is in the playoff race, competing with the Padres, Reds and Phillies for the second NL wild card.

Wainwright was tagged for a season-high three homers by the Padres in a loss on May 15. Yu Darvish (8-10, 4.32) starts for San Diego.

LANCE GLANCE

Lance Lynn looks for his first win since July 25 when he starts for the AL Central-leading White Sox at Texas.

Lynn (10-4, 2.50 ERA) is 0-1 in his last seven starts. He spent time on the injured list during that span because of inflammation in his right knee. Last weekend, in his first start since being reinstated, he shut out Boston on two hits for five innings.

The 34-year-old Lynn is in his first season with Chicago and was an All-Star. He’ll see plenty of familiar faces on the Rangers after spending the previous two years with them.

STILL HERE

The Phillies and fading Mets are clinging to postseason hopes as they continue a series in New York. Both teams are chasing the Cardinals, Padres and Reds for the final NL wild card and trying to keep the NL East-leading Braves within sight, too.

Philadelphia right-hander Aaron Nola (7-8, 4.58 ERA) gets the ball trying to shake a recent rut. Since taking a perfect game into the seventh inning against San Diego on Aug. 21, Nola has a 6.41 ERA over four starts. He’ll oppose right-hander Carlos Carrasco (1-2, 5.59).

HELP ON THE WAY

San Francisco left-hander Alex Wood (10-4, 4.08 ERA) makes his first start since Aug. 26 as he returns from a bout with COVID-19. While he is still regaining his energy, Wood hopes to work deep into the game against Atlanta in a matchup of National League division leaders.

“We’re just going to take it inning by inning,” Wood said. “Get back in, have a few before the playoffs and be ready to go.”

The Giants have been forced into two bullpen games a week, and manager Gabe Kapler called Wood’s return a “possible end in sight.”

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