The playoff are unfair. Very unfair. 162 games of grinding, fighting–and even dominating if you’re the Cubs–can all be rendered meaningless in 72 hours. The five game series is cruel. It’s like deciding a marathon winner with a 40 yard dash.
It’s especially cruel for the Nationals, who get to face the best pitcher on the planet Clayton Kershaw, maybe twice if the series goes five games. If Kershaw pitches like Kershaw, the Dodgers could already be two thirds of the way to the NLCS.
My next point is obvious, but it needs to be said. Today is why the Nats signed Max Scherzer. The regular season awards consistency and longevity. The postseason awards dominance. And there are very few pitchers more capable of achieving dominance than Max Scherzer. Scherzer has moments where he’s frustrating to watch. He sometimes gives up home runs in bunches and he looks nothing like an ace. But he also has those moments–like the no-hitter against Pittsburgh in 2015 or the 20 strikeout performance earlier this year–where he looks like the best pitcher on the planet.
Five above-average pitchers will win you 100 games and a division title. One dominant pitcher will win you a playoff series. The Dodgers have their guy capable of dominance. The Nats have theirs too.
The playoffs aren’t fair, but they’re fun. Scherzer against Kershaw. Let’s do this.