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Rangers’ Adolis Garcia, Max Scherzer Out Of World Series

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Due to injuries sustained in Monday’s Game 3, Max Scherzer—the three-time Cy Young Award winner who was scheduled to start a potential Game 7—and Adolis Garcia—who was having an incredible postseason offensive—were taken off the Texas Rangers World Series roster. This was a devastating blow for a team that was only one victory away from winning its first championship in franchise history.

The Rangers decided to take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series just hours before they defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 11-7.

Left-hander Brock Burke took over for Scherzer, who was pulled after the third inning due to back spasms during his Monday start.

Utility player Ezequiel Duran took Garcia’s position after the latter injured his left oblique on a swing in the eighth inning.

Garcia’s oblique was diagnosed as having a “moderate strain” by Rangers manager Bruce Bochy. Shortly after being substituted for Monday’s 3-1 victory, he had imaging done. On Tuesday, he was the first player from the Rangers to arrive at Chase Field and had a strong course of therapy. Rangers general manager Chris Young stated that although Garcia tried to take swings in the batting cage, “it was very clear he was in pain.”

“It’s not something that’s going to get any better over the next five to seven days,” Young added. “I think it would be a more significant timeline if this were the regular season. It made the decision pretty easy.”

For what would be a bullpen game for the Diamondbacks, Travis Jankowski took Garcia’s place in right field, while Mitch Garver moved up to the No. 3 slot in the lineup, with rookie left fielder Evan Carter batting cleanup and third baseman Josh Jung hitting fifth.

Jon Gray, who relieved Scherzer on Monday for three scoreless innings, will most likely start the seventh game of this World Series. Following Monday’s game, Scherzer expressed hope that, within 48 hours, his back spasms will either go away or at least start to get better.

Though Young acknowledged that it was “clear” that Scherzer’s back was reacting, he noted that waiting an additional day was “certainly a consideration”.

“His back is in the same spot it was last night,” Young said. “He received full day of treatment, and there was no progress. Our medical team has extreme concern in terms of his ability to recover over the next few days that would allow him to pitch in this series.”

After emerging as a 28-year-old rookie in 2021, Garcia is a two-time All-Star who has had an incredible playoff, slashing 323/.382/.726 with eight home runs in 15 games. Garcia hit three home runs and drove in nine runs in a six-at-bat stretch to close off the American League Championship Series. He also won the ALCS MVP award and helped the Rangers defeat the Houston Astros twice on the road.

Then, in extra innings, he hit the walk-off home run to win Game 1 of the World Series.

To help the Rangers get over this hump in the season, Scherzer was acquired from the New York Mets in a blockbuster trade. Midway through September, the 39-year-old right-hander experienced a mild strain of his right shoulder’s teres muscle, which resulted in a 3.20 ERA in eight starts. After making a comeback, he started two games in the ALCS, giving up seven runs in 6⅔ innings. In the World Series, he pitched three scoreless innings before experiencing a back spasm.

In 53 relief appearances this season, Burke, 27, has a 4.37 earned run average (ERA), walking just nine batters while striking out 52. He pitched 592 3 innings. Duran, 24, took a swipe. In 439 plate appearances this season, he is batting 276/.324/.443, and he can play left field, shortstop, third base, and second base.

Burke broke into the Rangers’ wild-card round and division series lineups; he and Duran have been participating in live-batting practice sessions during the team’s training days. In this series, neither seems to have any bearing, but as Young stated, “The game will determine that.”

Young anticipates that the Rangers will make it even if they don’t have the same impact as Garcia or Scherzer.

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