Tuesday newsletter time: Rangers survive Game 3, may call Dr. Feelgood for Game 4
(AP photo/Brynn Anderson)
PHOENIX — Josh Sborz said that he will be available tonight after he slipped on the mound in the seventh inning of Game 3 of the World Series and felt something in the hamstring that sidelined him last month.
However, they are holding their breath on Adolis Garcia and Max Scherzer.
Garcia left Game 3 in the eighth inning after grabbing at his left side following a swing and was sent for an MRI. Scherzer left before the fourth with back spasms, which he hopes subsides by Wednesday.
Were this the regular season, Garcia would likely be unavailable for a few games, and Scherzer would probably be skipped in the rotation. But this isn’t the regular season.
This is the World Series, and if Garcia can’t make whatever is ailing him worse, expect him to play.
Back in 2011, Josh Hamilton played the entire postseason with a sports hernia. He said during the World Series that he was probably playing at about 50 percent of full strength, but before each game he got a little shot in a very delicate area that helped him get through nine innings.
The Rangers might be paging Dr. Feelgood to help get Garcia through the rest of the series.
Scherzer seems less likely to pitch again. His next start would be a potential Game 7, an assignment that could go to Jon Gray if the Rangers need a starter.
Heaney over Dunning
The last time Andrew Heaney started a game for the Rangers he recorded two outs. Manager Bruce Bochy quickly went and pulled him from Game 4 of the American League Championship Series, and things didn’t get much better from there.
Heaney will be in similar spot tonight as he gets the nod for Game 4 in what will amount to a bullpen game for both teams. Choosing Heaney to start in the postseason has been status quo for the Rangers even though their team leader in innings this season is also available.
So, why isn’t Dane Dunning starting games?
Bochy said that they prefer Heaney and then Dunning because of Dunning’s experience this season out of the bullpen. He made the Opening Day roster as a reliever and in essence backed up Jacob deGrom as he built up early in the season Dunning took deGrom’s spot when he was lost to an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery.
Dunning followed Heaney in the ALCS game and labored. However, he looked sharp Friday and Saturday in the first two games of the Fall Classic.
He doesn’t seem bothered by Heaney getting the starts and thinks he could still give the Rangers 80 pitches. Maybe that’s what happens tonight behind Heaney, whether the Rangers get good Heaney or not-so-good Heaney.
Arizona will start left-hander Joe Mantiply, presumably to neutralize the lefty-hitting Corey Seager and Evan Carter at the top of the order. The Diamondbacks had a bullpen game in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series, which Mantiply started. Seven relievers followed in a game Arizona won 6-5.
They can’t fall behind 3-1 in the best-of-7 series, so expect them to perhaps use even more than eight.
Frank Howard remembered
One of the most prodigious sluggers in Rangers franchise history and the first to connect at Arlington Stadium after the team moved to Texas from Washington passed away Monday at age 87.
Frank Howard hit 382 home runs with four teams in a 16-year MLB career, eight of which were spent with Washington/Texas. The Rangers traded him early into the 1972 season, their first in Arlington, but not before he hit nine home runs and drove in 31 runs.
He was a four-time All-Star with the Senators.
“What a wonderful man,” Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said.
Nicknamed “Hondo,” Howard batted .279 with 237 homers and 670 RBIs from 1965-71 in 1,077 games with Washington. He is the expansion Senators’ (1961-71) career leader in batting average, runs (516), hits (1,071), doubles (146), homers, RBIs, walks (533), on-base percentage (.368) and slugging (.513).
Howard went into coaching after his playing career and was Bochy’s manager in 1982 with the Mets.
“He called me a ‘tester,’ ” Bochy said. “I said, ‘What’s a tester?’ ‘As slow as you are coming around coming around when you’re at second and whether to send you or not. That’s a tester.'”
Happy Halloween. Enjoy.
— Melissa Jean (@MelissaJeanSays) October 28, 2023
Jeff Wilson, email@example.com