Rangers remain undefeated on the road this post season: Take 2-1 lead over Diamondbacks

The Texas Rangers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-1 in Game 3 of the World Series on Monday night at Chase Field. The victory gives the Rangers a 2-1 edge in the best-of-seven series as they aim to win it all for the first time in franchise history.

Corey Seager hit his fifth home run of the 2023 postseason in the winning effort, and the Texas bullpen – Jon Gray in particular – provided strong work after starter Max Scherzer left with back tightness prior to the bottom of the fourth. Slugging Texas right fielder Adolis García left with an injury issue of his own in the eighth inning after appearing to hurt his side on a swing.

The victory means the Rangers are now 9-0 on the road this postseason. The nine road wins -- two against the Rays, two against the Orioles, four against the Astros and one against the Diamondbacks -- are the most ever by a team in a single postseason. They'll try to keep that record intact in Tuesday night's Game 4. Now for some takeaways from Game 3.

Scherzer and García each left with injuries

The 39-year-old Scherzer didn't look anything like his usual self in a pair of ALCS starts against Houston -- 9.45 ERA across those two outings -- which raised concerns that he still may not be fully recovered from his September shoulder strain. As well, he was dealing with a cut on his pitching thumb leading into his Game 3 start. 

In spite of all those headwinds, Scherzer pitched well in Game 3, allowing no runs on two hits against Arizona with one strikeout and two walks.

Unfortunately, Scherzer was able to pitch just three innings. Prior to taking the mound for the bottom of the fourth, Scherzer's back tightened up, and, much to his visible frustration, he was unable to continue. Scherzer did take a batted ball off his lower back during the second inning, and the Rangers soon after he was removed said they were unable to determine whether his back issues were related to that. Here's a look: 

Scherzer's status of course bears monitoring, as he'd be lined up to start a potential Game 7 for Texas. 

That wasn't all the bad news for Texas on the health front. The 2023 postseason's leading slugger and ALCS MVP Adolis García was forced to leave in the middle of the eighth inning with what was announced as left side tightness. 

You worry about an oblique injury in that spot, which needless to say would be a troubling development for García and the Rangers. Prior to his going 0 for 3 with a walk in Game 3, García had a slash line of .339/.391/.763 in these playoffs.

Seager brought the thunder 

While it wasn't as memorable as his clutch game-tying blast in Game 1, Texas shortstop Corey Seager did it again, this time at the expense of Arizona starter Brandon Pfaadt and his changeup in the third inning of Game 3.

Remarkably, that laser left Seager's implement at 114.5 mph, which makes it the hardest-hit World Series homer on record.

That was also Seager's fifth home run of 2023 postseason and the 18th playoff homer of his career. Those 18 playoff home runs ties him with Carlos Correa for second-most ever among shortstops. Tops on the list is Derek Jeter with 20, but Seager may not be done hitting postseason bombs this year. 

Texas is in charge for now

In any MLB postseason best-of-seven series, the team that wins Game 3 after being tied 1-1 in the series goes on to win that series 69% of the time. Across all MLB postseason series regardless of how those first games played out, teams up 2-1 go on to win the series 70.3% of the time. Teams in the Rangers' specific situation – up 2-1 and having opened the series at home – win the series 75.9% of the time. So it's a good spot they're in, but that of course will change in a hurry if the Diamondbacks take Game 4. Speaking of which, the team up 2-1 has historically won Game 4 56.1% of the time. 

Up next: Game 4

Tuesday's Game 4 will be back at Chase Field in Phoenix with first pitch scheduled for 8:03 p.m ET. While the starting pitchers haven't been announced yet, it figures to be something resembling a bullpen game on both sides. For Texas, they already have a suspect pen, and they could've been in a bad spot if not for Jon Gray's three scoreless frames in relief of Scherzer in Game 3. They're in a much better spot for Game 4 thanks to his yeomanlike turn. 

Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher (aka HP Pundit) is not a Democrat or Republican. He is a free thinking independent bringing you news and commentary with a dose of much needed common sense.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post