Rangers to start RHP Max Scherzer in Game 3

League: MLB

Posted on: 17 Oct, 2023 at 01:51 AM

Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said Monday he'll start three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series at home Wednesday against the Houston Astros.

The Rangers followed series sweeps against the Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles by winning 2-0 at Houston in Game 1 on Sunday. Texas added a 5-4 victory in Game 2 on Monday to remain unbeaten this postseason.

The Rangers are the sixth team to win each of their first seven games in a single postseason, one shy of the 2014 Kansas City Royals for the longest unbeaten streak in a postseason.

Scherzer, who was 13-7 with a 3.77 ERA this season with the New York Mets and the Rangers, left his Sept. 12 start because of a muscle strain near his pitching shoulder.

The 39-year-old right-hander sat out the Rangers' first two playoff series but was added to the ALCS roster.

"He's ready. That's why he's starting Game 3," Bochy said. "A few days ago back (at) home he threw 69 pitches to hitters and came -- he came out of that fine. And during that time, he maintained his stamina stuff.

"So, he was available (Sunday). In fact, he said he wanted to pitch yesterday if needed, if it went extra innings or something."

Scherzer will have that 60-70 pitch count as a starting point. "I don't think it would be less than that because he's gone that far," Bochy said. "He didn't hold back. He was being Max out there.

"And we were going to cut him a little short and he said I want to go one more inning, that's how good he felt. So that's where I'd start with."

Bochy added that Scherzer, who was not expected to recover in time for the playoffs when the injury was initially diagnosed, is eager for Wednesday.

"Believe me," Bochy said, "he's been wearing me out a little bit, just assuring us that, hey, I'm healthy, I'm ready to go."

Houston will give the ball to Cristian Javier for Game 3. The right-hander threw five shutout innings in his lone appearance so far this postseason, a win in Game 3 of the AL Division Series against the Minnesota Twins.

Javier owns a stellar career postseason record: 5-1 with a 1.91 ERA in 15 games (three starts). He threw six scoreless innings for a win over the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 4 of last year's World Series, and he hasn't allowed a run in his past 16 1/3 postseason innings, covering three starts.

--Field Level Media