Texas starter Max Scherzer left his World Series Game 3 outing against Arizona after three innings on Monday night because of back tightness.
Scherzer was grimacing and stretching even before he came out of the dugout for the bottom of the fourth inning with a 3-0 lead. The 39-year-old right-hander winced after each warmup, causing Rangers manager Bruce Bochy and head athletic trainer Matt Lucero to come out to the mound.
Scherzer headed to the dugout with a disappointed expression and was replaced by Jon Gray.
Scherzer allowed two hits in three innings with two walks and one strikeout, throwing 21 of 36 pitches for strikes.
He was hit on his right elbow by a 92.6 mph comebacker off Alek Thomas’ bat in the second inning. The ball ricocheted to third baseman Josh Jung, who threw to first for the out.
A three-time Cy Young Award winner acquired from the New York Mets on July 30, Scherzer strained a muscle in his right shoulder Sept. 12 and returned to make a pair of starts in the AL Championship Series against Houston, going 0-1 with a 9.45 ERA. Scherzer allowed five runs over four innings and took the loss in Game 3, and then gave up two runs in 2 2/3 innings in a no-decision in Game 7.
He was pitching with a cut on his right thumb covered with cotton and Super Glue, what he termed Sunday as “a little arts and crafts in the training room.”
Scherzer is 1-0 with a 3.72 ERA in four World Series starts, getting a no-decision for Detroit against San Francisco in 2012’s Game 4, winning the 2019 opener for Washington at Houston and getting a no-decision in the Game 7 win after getting scratched from a Game 5 start because of an irritated nerve near his neck.
Reporting by The Associated Press.
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