ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Max Scherzer is set to start Game 3 of the World Series for Texas against Arizona. The Rangers will be the third team the three-time Cy Young Award winner has pitched for in a Fall Classic.
Scherzer had missed more than a month because of a muscle strain in his shoulder before starting twice in the AL Championship Series against the Houston Astros. He pitched in the pennant-clinching Game 7 last Monday, exiting with the lead after allowing two runs on 44 pitches over 2 2/3 innings.
Game 3 of the ALCS was his first start since Sept. 12, and the 39-year-old right-hander allowed five runs over four innings. The trade-deadline acquisition from the New York Mets struck out the last two batters he faced in that 63-pitch outing.
The World Series is tied a game apiece after the Diamondbacks won 9-1 in Game 2 on Saturday night. Texas manager Bruce Bochy said Scherzer is stretched out to give the Rangers what they need Monday night when the World Series switches to Arizona.
“Yeah, I think so. He could give us length. I’ve talked to him about this,” Bochy said before Game 2. “He’s comfortable pretty much throwing like he normally does. Maybe not quite as long as he’s been over 100 pitches, whatever, but pretty close.”
Rookie right-hander Brandon Pfaadt is set to start Game 3 for the Diamondbacks. The 25-year-old made his big league debut on May 3 and went 3-9 with a 5.72 ERA in 18 starts and one relief appearance. He has a 2.70 ERA with no decisions in four postseason starts, all won by the Diamondbacks. He gave up two runs over four innings in Game 7 of the NLCS at Philadelphia on Tuesday night.
Scherzer is 7-8 with a 3.89 ERA over 29 postseason appearances, with three of his 24 starts coming in World Series games. He got a no-decision for Detroit in Game 4 of the 2012 World Series when the Tigers were swept by Bochy-managed San Francisco. Scherzer struck out eight over 6 1/3 innings, and left with the game tied 3-3.
The Giants’ clincher against Detroit was played in 44-degree temperatures with howling winds, and it felt colder to Scherzer.
“Twenty-seven degrees in Detroit against the Giants, down 3-0. I think I came out pretty well. And then Buster Posey hit a 1-0 changeup for a homer,” Scherzer said, referring to the catcher’s two-run homer in the sixth. “I remember when we let starters go into the seventh inning — remember that?”
In the 2019 World Series, Scherzer allowed two runs over five innings Game 1 and had the same line in Game 7 for Washington at Houston. He was the winning pitcher in the opener and didn’t get a decision in the title-clinching game for the Nationals.
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