Rangers’ Max Scherzer (back) unsure of status for Series’ remainder

Field Level Media

October 31, 2023 at 5:19 am.

Texas Rangers pitcher Max Scherzer left Game 3 of the World Series with back tightness after pitching three scoreless innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday in Phoenix.

The right-hander consulted with a team trainer and appeared to be grimacing in pain as he headed to the dugout after finishing the third inning. Jon Gray replaced him for the fourth inning, and the Rangers went on to win 3-1 to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

After the game, Scherzer did not rule out a return to the mound in the series. That could be a significant development, as he would be in line to start a possible Game 7.

“My back tightened up and then it went into full spasm,” Scherzer said. “In the third inning, we were trying everything to kind of stretch it out and try to get going. Went out there to warm up in the fourth and I tried and I was going to hurt it even more and I wasn’t going to be myself, so I think at that point that’s why I came out of the game.”

Looking ahead, he added, “I’ve had spasms before. The way that this kind of goes, tomorrow I’ll be sore, then the second day. The second day will let you know where this is at. Are you starting to show improvement or are you in the same position? That’s the history for me with getting spasms. At that 48-hour mark, you kind of know where this is going.”

Scherzer scattered two hits and two walks with one strikeout over his three innings. He left the game with a 3-0 lead.

Texas acquired Scherzer from the New York Mets at the trade deadline. He suffered a teres major muscle injury on Sept. 12 and was sidelined until the American League Championship Series, when he started Games 3 and 7.

Scherzer, 39, was pitching in a World Series game for the fourth time in his career and the first since Game 7 in 2019, when he helped the Washington Nationals defeat the Houston Astros for the title.