LEADING OFF: Scherzer debuts for Dodgers, Ohtani pitches

Aug 3, 2021, 6:35 AM | Updated: 6:40 pm

A look at what’s happening around the majors on Wednesday:

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MAX EFFORT

Max Scherzer makes his Los Angeles debut, starting at Dodger Stadium against the Houston Astros.

The World Series champions got the 37-year-old ace from Washington in a mega-trade last Friday.

Scherzer was 8-4 with a 2.76 ERA for the Nationals and is fifth in the NL with 147 strikeouts. The three-time Cy Young Award winner said he would prefer to remain in the National League when he becomes a free agent after the World Series, but will wait to see how things play out.

“I’m glad I’m part of an organization that wants to win and has their sights on the ultimate prize,” he said. “I understand why we’re here.”

The Dodgers are chasing San Francisco in the NL West. Scherzer will face the Astros on Wednesday for the first time since he started Game 7 of the 2019 World Series in Houston, where he had a no-decision in Washington’s 6-2 victory.

OHTANI UP

The Los Angeles Angels aren’t going to wait any longer to get two-way standout Shohei Ohtani back on the mound.

Ohtani, the major league home run leader, will make his first pitching start since July 26 in the third game of a four-game series at Texas, though the Angels had initially considered holding him out a couple of more days.

If they would have waited until the series opener at the crosstown Dodgers on Friday night, Ohtani could have hit and pitched without a designated hitter in the National League park.

“Part of it is to just not give him too much time in between starts,” manager Joe Maddon said. “If we keep moving him back and keep moving him back, at some point it could become a negative in regards to his arm and pitching, and where that’s going to leave him in the long run with us this season.”

The right-hander hasn’t missed a game at DH since getting hit on the thumb of his pitching hand by a foul ball in the dugout last Wednesday. The AL starting pitcher in the All-Star Game had been scheduled to pitch at home last Sunday against Oakland.

Ohtani is 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA in his last three starts. He has 17 strikeouts and one walk over that 20-inning stretch, and has had four consecutive winning decisions in his last eight starts since the start of June.

COVID-19 CONCERNS

The Red Sox have put closer Matt Barnes on the COVID-19 injured list after showing symptoms. The right-hander was put into quarantine at the team’s hotel in Detroit and was awaiting test results.

Barnes is 5-2 with 23 saves and a 2.30 ERA, but hasn’t pitched since July 28.

The Yankees said left-hander Jordan Montgomery tested positive for the virus on Tuesday, a day after fellow starter Gerrit Cole was sidelined by COVID-19.

Montgomery and Cole, who share the team lead with 21 starts apiece, will be out at least 10 days unless they get two negative test results.

GLASNOW GONE

Rays ace Tyler Glasnow will undergo Tommy John surgery that will sideline him the rest of this year and possibly all of next season as well.

Glasnow has been on the injured list since June 15. The 27-year-old right-hander went 5-2 with a 2.66 ERA in 14 starts.

Glasnow will have surgery a day after the decision was finalized Tuesday.

Tampa Bay began the day leading the AL East by one game over Boston despite having 15 pitchers on the injured list.

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LEADING OFF: Scherzer debuts for Dodgers, Ohtani pitches