Monday newsletter time: Rangers appear calm, collected ahead of World Series Game 3
(Rangers Today/Jeff Wilson)
PHOENIX — One of the flight attendants Sunday morning asked if I was sad.
She had spotted my snazzy Rangers Today jacket and thought I might be down in the dumps after the Rangers dropped Game 2 of the World Series.
Her concern was appreciated but unnecessary. My sense is that’s how Rangers players were feeling Saturday night after their 9-1 loss and the concerning questions thrown their way by media.
The Rangers are in the midst of a seven-game series, when losses are magnified, but they weren’t devastated by the outcome. It was a loss, just like Game 1 was a win, and it’s time to move on.
That’s how players process most losses — and wins for that matter. There’s a new chance to win awaiting them, usually the next day. Rangers players won’t be pressing tonight as the best-of-7 series resumes with Game 3. Max Scherzer will be on the mound for his third start since coming off the injured list.
Don’t be fooled by Arizona’s 84 regular-season wins. Diamondbacks hitters put the ball in play and use speed to their advantage. They play small ball, but can hit the ball out, too. Their defense was the best in the National League, so they’re not going to beat themselves.
The Rangers knew that and that Arizona was on a roll similar to theirs. Both teams won the wild-card round, swept the division series and won the championship series in seven games.
They sound pretty even, and that’s what they are after two games.
Back to Max
Scherzer is back where it all started. He was drafted by the Diamondbacks in 2006, had a tumultuous negotiation with them that ended up with him pitching for the Fort Worth Cats, and was traded by them before the 2010 season.
His job tonight is to beat them.
He will start Game 3 for the Rangers in what will be his third start since coming off the injured list. Scherzer allowed seven runs in 6 2/3 innings over two starts in the American League Championship Series and has been nursing a cut on his right thumb.
However, he hasn’t missed any throwing time and said that the pain associated with the cut, caused by the seams of a baseball, is easy to manage.
The pitching seems to becoming together, though he wasn’t gawd awful in his first two starts. He had the anticipated command issues in his first start after more than a month off, and he likely would have been able to pitch deeper in his second start in Game 7 had Jordan Montgomery not been available in relief.
But Scherzer needs to be better. He knows it.
This is why the Rangers acquired him.
Of all the places I’ve been since starting on the Rangers beat in 2008, Phoenix is the city I’ve been to most. The American League West cities are in the mix, but the Rangers hold spring training and their instructional league northwest of here in Surprise and MLB will host general managers meetings here, too. I’ve written more stories from Arizona than any other state, besides Texas. Here’s our latest content, from Texas and Arizona, in case you missed it.
The Sunday Read: Big-moment players
Game 2 recap: Outpitched
Game 1 recap: Late heroics
In the Clutch Rangers gear (use RANGERSTODAY for a discount)
Where did he go? Enjoy.
— out of context dogs (@contextdogs) October 16, 2023
Jeff Wilson, email@example.com