The Texas Rangers saw two important pieces go down with injuries during Game 3 of the World Series.
Right-hander Max Scherzer left the game accompanied by a trainer after only three innings due to what the team said was back tightness. Five innings later, slugger Adolis García was removed because of left side tightness after flying out to end the top of the eighth.
García left Chase Field to undergo an MRI at a Phoenix hospital.
“We’re being optimistic there but we’ll know more tomorrow,” manager Bruce Bochy said of García’s status, according to The Associated Press.
García pulled up and grabbed at his side after hitting the fly ball. He was replaced in right field by Travis Jankowski.
The 30-year-old has emerged as a star for Texas this postseason, winning ALCS MVP honors after hitting five homers and driving in 15 runs against the Astros. He followed up that performance by hitting a walk-off homer in Game 1 of the World Series.
García went 0-for-3 with a walk in Game 3 but made a critical defensive play when he threw out Arizona’s Christian Walker at home plate in the second inning.
Scherzer, meanwhile, was hit by an an Alek Thomas comebacker in the second inning. Although it looked like the line drive hit him in the back, Scherzer said postgame that it actually struck his elbow, according to Jeff Wilson of Rangers Today.
After working a clean third inning, Scherzer came out to warm up for the bottom of the fourth but found he was unable to continue because of what he said were back spasms. The 39-year-old was seen wincing just before leaving the dugout.
“I’m in full spasm. It locked up pretty good,” Scherzer told reporters postgame, according to Robert Murray of FanSided.
Scherzer added that this isn’t the first time he’s experienced this issue, according to The Athletic’s Levi Weaver. He said this spasm has sometimes cleared up within 72 hours but has also affected him for longer periods.
Scherzer didn’t allow a run during his abbreviated start. He gave up one hit, two walks, and struck out one on 36 pitches.
It’s been a difficult playoff run for the three-time Cy Young winner, who was acquired by Texas from the New York Mets ahead of this year’s trade deadline. Scherzer landed on the injured list with a shoulder issue late in the regular season and missed the first two rounds of the playoffs. He allowed seven earned runs in 6.2 innings during two ALCS starts against Houston.
Scherzer revealed Sunday that he was dealing with a cut on his pitching thumb that had to be “glued together” in order to pitch in Game 3.
Jon Gray, who was a candidate to start Game 4 for Texas, replaced him on the mound. Gray was flawless in relief of Scherzer, allowing only one hit while striking out three in three shutout innings to help the Rangers grab a 3-1 win and a 2-1 series lead.
Game 4 of the World Series will be a battle of the bullpens, with Arizona starting opener Joe Mantiply against Rangers left-hander Andrew Heaney.
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