Max Scherzer to start ALCS Game 3 for Rangers

HOUSTON — The day after Max Scherzer landed on the injured list, he was running sprints in the outfield of the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

The Rangers ace has been sidelined since Sept. 13 with a low-grade strain of the teres major muscle in his right shoulder. Despite general manager Chris Young saying it would be “unlikely” he could pitch again this season, Scherzer knew if Texas made a run in the postseason, he could make a potential return. He was right.

Scherzer will make his first start of the postseason in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series on Wednesday at Globe Life Field, the Rangers announced on Monday before their 5-4 victory in Game 2.

“Well, he’s ready,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “That’s why he’s starting Game 3. A few days ago back home he threw [about] 69 pitches to hitters and came out of that fine. During that time he maintained his stamina and his stuff.

“It works out well that he can go Game 3. He’s good to go. He’s excited. Believe me, he’s been wearing me out a little bit, just assuring us that, ‘Hey, I’m healthy, I’m ready to go.’”

Scherzer threw a live bullpen session of about 65-70 pitches ahead of the ALCS, putting him around that pitch count for his return to the mound. Scherzer felt so good, in fact, that Bochy said he would have been available in an emergency situation in Game 1 against the Astros.

“He didn’t hold back, he was being Max out there,” Bochy said. “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. Nobody knows his body better than him. He’s unbelievable at just telling us where he’s at, how close he is and things like that.”

Scherzer posted a 3.20 ERA across eight starts after joining the Rangers at the Trade Deadline in a blockbuster trade with the Mets. He is 7-7 with a 3.58 ERA in 133 1/3 postseason innings in his career, including winning the World Series with the Nationals in 2019.

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