By: Nicholas Gilanfar
After an overwhelming 9-1 defeat in Game 2, the Rangers were able to respond well as they headed to enemy territory in the desert for Game 3 and were found victorious through a 3-1 victory to take a series lead of 2-1.
Prior to Game 3, the Texas Rangers made some notable changes regarding their lineups as they flipped the three and four hitters with Adolis Garcia being moved to three and Evan Carter being moved to the cleanup spot. With Carter’s move to the cleanup spot, he made some history as the fourth youngest player in MLB history to hit from the cleanup spot in the World Series at 21 years old.
The pitching matchup featured a tale of two pitchers as the Texas Rangers rolled out Max Scherzer ahead of his 30th postseason game against rookie Arizona pitcher Brandon Pfaadt who is making his first career postseason start. Scherzer has been banged up as of late and has been relying on workload to get back to postseason form. As for Pfaadt, he has had a surprising postseason campaign after a tough rookie year as he has put up a 2.70 ERA so far.
Luckily, the Rangers were able to get the rookie quick as they were able to score three runs in the third inning which also featured a Corey Seager home run which was his fifth of the postseason. As for Scherzer, he had a solid outing pitching three scoreless innings but then was forced out of the game due to injury which was a trend for both Max Scherzer and Adolis Garcia in game three.
After Scherzer’s exit, the Rangers were putting on a clinic on the defensive end as the bullpen continued their consistency as well as the infield making dynamic plays to secure a dominating 3-1 game three victory.
World Series Jon Gray
After a masterful pitching performance from Jon Gray in game one where he found himself pitching 1.2 innings while letting up one hit and 0 runs, Gray was able to duplicate his success in game three as he pitched three innings while only letting up one hit, 0 runs and three strikeouts.
Gray was a mainstay in the starting rotation for the majority of the season until he was forced to go onto the IL with a forearm strain. Gray was not on the roster for the Wild Card or ALDS but has now found his groove back as he has now stacked back-to-back undeniable performances for the Rangers.
Prior to game three, rumors were circulating that Jon Gray may be slated as the game four starter but because of Scherzer’s back injury that forced him to leave the game early, the most viable option to tandem with Scherzer that day was Jon Gray. Because there is no saying on the status of Max Scherzer moving forward, keep an eye out on Jon Gray potentially starting game seven if necessary.
Although the Rangers were able to secure a game three victory, it did not come without news regarding key injuries to keep in mind. As noted before, starting pitcher Max Scherzer was forced to leave the game after three innings due to back spasms after he was plunked by a line drive in the third. The Rangers were also dealt an additional blow regarding the injury news of Adolis Garcia as he suffered an oblique injury in his final at-bat of the game.
Not many updates have been left for either guy long term, but for Garcia, he was slated out of the lineup for Game 4 and will be replaced by RF Travis Jankowski who will be making his first start in the 2023 postseason. Aside from the scratch into game four’s lineup there still isn’t any additional diagnosis when it comes to a timetable on the ALCS MVP.
As for Scherzer, you won’t know what’s going on likely until he makes his next scheduled start which is slated for game seven if necessary. Luckily it was just back spasms for Scherzer and not the major teres strain that forced him out for a month of play. The bright side of all of this is the recent performances from Jon Gray as it likely would not be the end of the world if Scherzer can’t pitch anymore as we will have Jon Gray to fill in as well as an abundance of starting pitching in the bullpen.
Photo Via Caitlin O’Hara/ MLB Photos via Getty Images