Thursday, June 13, 2024
Sports Gaming Monitor

MLB ALCS | Game 3 Preview: Houston Astros (0-2) at Texas Rangers (2-0)

Texas lead the series 2-0

HOUSTON ASTROS NOTES:

ALCS GAME 3: The Astros and Rangers will play Game 3 of the 2023 American League Championship Series tonight as the series shifts to Arlington…starting tonight for Houston will be postseason legend RHP Cristian Javier, who’s a career 5-1 with a 1.91 ERA (8ER/37.2IP) in postseason action…he’ll be opposed by future Hall of Famer RHP Max Scherzer, who’s returning from injury to make his first start since Sept. 12.

FACING 0-2: The Astros are in an unfortunate 0-2 deficit, a spot they’ve only been in twice in a seven-game series in franchise history…on both occasions, the 2020 ALCS vs. Tampa Bay and the 2004 NLCS vs. St. Louis, the Astros battled back to force a Game 7, falling a win shy of taking the series.

ABOUT JAVIER: RHP Cristian Javier has had an up and down season, but has pitched the Astros to a 22-9 record in his 31 starts, including one in the postseason…he opened the season in vintage form, going 7-1 with a 2.90 ERA (26ER/80.2IP) in his first 14 starts…he then had a rough 13-start stretch from June 21-Sept. 9, in which he logged a 7.27 ERA (49ER/60.2IP)… Javier has finished strong, posting a 2.45 ERA (7ER/25.2IP) over his last five outings, including 5.0 scoreless innings in his last start in Game 3 of the ALDS at MIN.

THE UNTOUCHABLE: Including his start in Game 3 of the ALDS at MIN, RHP Cristian Javier has allowed one hit or fewer in each of his first three career postseason starts…according to OptaSTATS, no other pitcher in MLB history has had three such starts over their entire postseason career (consecutive or not)… opponents are 2×50 off Javier in his three postseason starts.

WE’RE BACK!: The Astros are playing in their unprecedented seventh straight American League Championship Series (2017- 23)…they are just the second team in MLB history to advance to seven straight LCS (since 1969), joining the 1991-99 Atlanta Braves (excluding 1994 when the LCS was not played), who did so in eight straight completed seasons…2B Jose Altuve, 3B Alex Bregman and RHP Justin Verlander are the only three players who have been with the Astros for all seven.

LAST SIX ALCS MATCHUPS
2017 HOU vs. NYY (HOU in 7) 2020 HOU vs. TB (TB in 7)
2018 HOU vs. BOS (BOS in 5) 2021 HOU vs. BOS (HOU in 6)
2019 HOU vs. NYY (HOU in 6) 2022 HOU vs. NYY (HOU in 4)

POSTSEASON VETS: Since 2017, the Astros have played more postseason games (92) and have earned more postseason wins (56) than any other club…the Astros are 56-36 in that span with a .608 winning pct. in the postseason.

AT THE HELM: Dusty Baker ranks fourth all-time in postseason managerial wins (54), going 31-17 as an Astro…Baker’s 31 postseason wins are the most in club history…Baker has now managed his clubs to six LCS (2002-03, 2020-23).

ALL-TIME MANAGER WINS LIST (POSTSEASON)

  1. Joe Torre 84-58 3. Bobby Cox 67-69
  2. Tony La Russa 71-61 4. Dusty Baker 54-49

THE SKIPPERS: Astros manager Dusty Baker and Rangers manager Bruce Bochy have a long history, with the two facing off against each other as managers in 204 total regular season games…per Elias, Baker owns the advantage, posting a 119-85 record against Bochy’s squads…this series marks the second postseason meeting between these two legendary managers, which also occurred in the 2012 NLDS between the Reds (Baker) and Giants (Bochy), won by the Giants in five games.

ROAD WARRIORS: Including a 2-0 record this postseason, the Astros have gone 53-30 (.639) on the road this season, which ranks as the best road record in the Majors…among AL teams in road games in the regular season, the Astros led the AL in runs per game (5.70), HR (130), batting average (.268), OBP (.337), SLG (.460) and OPS (.798).

AIR YORDAN: LF Yordan Alvarez has homered six times this postseason, in six games, to give him 12 career postseason homers, the most by a Cuban-born player in Major League history…he has two multi-homer games, becoming the first player in Astros history and sixth player in Major League history with two multi-homer games in a single postseason…he also is the first player in Astros history and the second in Major
League history to homer six times through their team’s first six games of a postseason, joining the Yankees OF Giancarlo Stanton, who also did so in 2020.

THE HOT CORNER: 3B Alex Bregman has played seven full seasons in the Majors (2017-23) and has advanced to at least the ALCS in every full year, winning two championships…he now has 17 career postseason homers and 50 career postseason RBI, both MLB records for a third baseman.

WHAT A RELIEF: The Astros bullpen has tossed 12.0 scoreless innings over their last three games, while allowing just one hit and three walks in that span…the bullpen has combined for a 2.28 ERA (6ER/23.2IP) in the club’s six postseason games.

TOSSING ZEROES: RHP Bryan Abreu has a pair of lengthy scoreless innings streaks working entering tonight…including regular season action, Abreu has worked 33.0 consecutive scoreless innings, across 32 appearances, dating back to July 18…in postseason play, Abreu has worked 17.1 consecutive scoreless innings, spanning his last 16 postseason appearances, including all 11 of his postseason appearances in 2022.

LONGEST SCORELESS IP STREAKS IN POSTSEASON (ASTROS)

  1. Joe Niekro: 18.0 IP (1980-81)
  2. Bryan Abreu: 17.1 IP (2022-active)
  3. Brad Lidge: 16.2 IP (2004-05)
  4. Cristian Javier: 16.1 IP (2022-active)

THE KING: RHP Ryan Pressly is 13-for-13 in career postseason save opportunities, giving him the most postseason saves in Astros club history, and giving him the fifth-most saves in MLB postseason history…Pressly did not allow an earned run in 11.0 innings last postseason, and has not allowed an earned run in each of his last 18 postseason appearances (19.2IP)… he’s allowed just one unearned run in that span.

THE REGULAR SEASON SERIES: The Astros offense dominated the regular season series between these two clubs, with the group combining to hit .282 with 30 homers in the 13 games played…in their most recent series in Arlington, from Sept. 4-6, the Astros dismantled the Rangers, putting together an offensive performance the likes of which had never been seen, outscoring the Rangers 39-10, while hitting .397 (50×126)
with 16 homers in the three-game sweep…notes on that series:

  • the Astros became the first team in MLB history to record 50 hits and hit 16 homers in a three-game series.
  • the Astros became the first team in MLB history to score 12-plus runs and hit five-plus homers in three straight games.
  • the Astros set three-game series franchise records in homers, SLG (.833) and OPS (1.299)…they eclipsed their previous three-game home run record of 12 by four home runs.

TONIGHT’S ASTROS STARTER: RHP CRISTIAN JAVIER
LAST START – 2023 ALDS GM 3 AT MIN: was outstanding in his last outing, allowed 1 hit and 5 walks with 9 strikeouts in 5.0 scoreless innings… has allowed 1 hit or fewer in each of his 1st 3 career postseason starts…according to OptaSTATS, no other pitcher in MLB history has had 3 such starts over their entire postseason career (consecutive or not)…his postseason scoreless inning streak now spans 16.1 innings, which ranks as the 3rd-longest in Astros postseason history (per Elias)… opponents are 2×50 off Javier in his 3 postseason starts.

ABOUT JAVIER: the Dominican hurler made 31 starts in 2023 with the Astros going 21-10 in his starts…the Astros also won 7 of his last 10 starts.

  • went 7-1 with a 2.90 ERA (26ER/80.2IP) in his first 14 starts to begin the season…also recorded a 1.04 WHIP, 8 quality starts, and a .219 opponent batting average during that span.
  • in his 17 starts to finish the regular season, he recorded a 6.20 ERA (56ER/81.1IP) with a .248 opponent batting average, 3 quality starts and a 1.49 WHIP.
  • was better in September/October, recording a 4.11 ERA (14ER/30.2IP) with a 1.08 WHIP and a .198 opponent batting average….also recorded 40 strikeouts and 11 walks during his final 6 starts of the regular season.
  • allowed a .189 (53×281) opponent batting average and a .637 opponent OPS against right-handed hitters this season…lefties had better success, hitting .273 (90×330) with an .815 OPS opposite Javier.
  • was backed by huge run support on the season…ranked 3rd in the AL in run support average (5.83) (min. 150 IP).

500 CLUB: reached 500 career strikeouts during his outing on Sept. 3 vs. NYY…reached that number in his 104th career game, making him the 7th player in Astros history to reach 500 strikeouts within their first 104 career appearances (all coming with the Astros).

SILVER BOOT SERIES: in his career vs. the Rangers, he’s recorded a 5-1 record with the Astros going 11-3 in his 14 appearances…has also recorded a 3.84 ERA (27ER/63.1IP) with 71 strikeouts, a 1.09 WHIP and a .197 opponent batting average.

  • in his only start vs. the Rangers this season, he allowed 8 runs on 9 hits with 4 strikeouts in 4.1 innings.

LEAGUE LEADERBOARD: has pitched primarily as a starter over the last 2 seasons for the Astros (2022-23)…among qualifying AL pitchers over that span, ranks 4th in opponent average (.204) and 8th in strikeouts per 9.0 innings (10.23).

INVISIBALL: has held opponents to a .198 average (335×1688) throughout his MLB career…it’s the lowest opponent’s batting average among qualified AL pitchers since he entered the league in 2020, directly ahead of LAA RHP Shohei Ohtani (.199) and NYY RHP Gerrit Cole (.211).

HOME SWEET HOME: has fared well when pitching at Minute Maid Park throughout his career, going 17-8 with a 2.87 ERA (74ER/232IP) in 54 career home games (35 starts)…since his debut in 2020, his 2.87 ERA at home ranks 4th in the AL.

  • has recorded a 3.71 ERA (28ER/68IP) at home this season compared to a 5.17 ERA (54ER/94IP) on the road.
  • his 2.87 career ERA at Minute Maid Park ranks 5th in the ballpark’s history (min. 200 IP)…Roger Clemens ranks 1st with a 2.55 ERA (89ER/313.2IP).

POSTSEASON HEROICS: has delievered on the biggest stages with a strong postseason career, posting a 5-1 record with a 1.91 ERA (8ER/37.2IP) in 15 postseason games (3 GS)…it’s the 3rd-lowest ERA of any postseason pitcher (min. 30 IP) since the beginning of the ‘20 postseason, trailing teammate RHP Ryan Pressly (0.87 ERA) Braves RHP Ian Anderson (1.26 ERA)…has held opponents to a .119 average (15×126) in his postseason career…is the lowest postseason opponent’s batting average of any MLB pitcher (min. 30 IP) since ‘20.

  • delivered one of the most historic starts in MLB postseason history in Game 4 of the 2022 World Series, throwing 6.0 hitless innings to begin the Astros combined no-hitter in a 5-0 win….was followed by RHP Bryan Abreu, RHP Rafael Montero and RHP Ryan Pressly to complete the no-hitter, with each pitcher contributing 1.0 inning…Javier struck out 9 batters to just 2 walks in the start…was the second no-hitter in World Series history and first combined no-hitter…became the 10th pitcher in World Series history with a no-hit bid of 6+ innings and was first to do so since LHP Jerry Koosman (NYM) (6 IP) in Game 2 of the 1969 World Series at BAL.

TEXAS RANGERS NOTES:
LUCKY SEVEN: The Rangers have won 7 consecutive games to open this postseason…the current 7-G postseason win streak is the longest in franchise history, surpassing a 5-0 span in 2011 (ALDS G2-3-4 vs. TB + ALCS G1-2 vs. DET).

  • The 7-G win streak is T5th-longest in MLB history in a single postseason, as only longer win streak in one year is 8 games, done 4 times (see chart).

MLB TEAMS WITH WIN STREAKS OF 7+ GAMES IN A SINGLE POSTSEASON
Win Streak Teams
8 2004 BOS, 2005 CWS, 2014 KC, 2019 WSH
7 1976 CIN, 1995 ATL, 1998 NYY, 2006 DET, 2007 COL, 2007 BOS, 2012 SF, 2020 ATL, 2022 HOU, 2023 TEX

  • The 2023 Rangers are just the 6th team in MLB history to win 7-or-more straight to open a postseason…4 of the previous 5 clubs to do it have advanced to the World Series, with 2 of the 5 winning the WS.

MLB TEAMS WITH WIN STREAKS OF 7+ GAMES TO OPEN A POSTSEASON
Year/Team Win Streak Result
1976 CIN 7 Won WS
2007 COL 7 Lost WS
2014 KC 8 Lost WS
2020 ATL 7 Lost NLCS
2022 HOU 7 Won WS
2023 TEX 7 TBD

ALCS IN ARLINGTON: Tonight’s ALCS Game 3 will be just the Rangers’ 2nd home game in the 2023 postseason, also just the 2nd-ever postseason game for the Rangers at Globe Life Field…Rangers won the previous GLF contest in the series-clinching ALDS G3 vs. BAL on Tuesday.

  • Rangers’ 10-4 (.714) all-time record in LCS play is the highest win pct. in MLB history among teams with multiple appearances.
  • Rangers are 10-16 (.385) all-time in postseason home games, the 3rd-lowest home win pct. of any franchise in MLB history to COL (.300, 3-7) and CHC (.350, 21-39)…TEX has lost 5 of 6 at home, but is 10-9 in Arlington beg. with 2010 ALCS G2 vs. NYY, this after losing 1st 7 home playoff games in franchise history.
  • Texas is 5-1 all-time in ALCS home games (all in 2010-11), winning 5 straight since dropping 1st such contest in 2010 ALCS G1 vs. NYY…all of those contests took place at the now-retired Globe Life Park.

ALCS UPDATE: Texas has a 2-games-to-none lead in this best-of-7 ALCS vs. HOU…some notes on the current situation ahead of Game 3:

  • Teams to take a 2-0 lead in a best-of-7 postseason series have gone on to win the series 75 of 89 times (84.2%), including 31 of 35 times in the LCS (88.6%).
  • Teams taking a 2-0 lead on the road in a 7-game series have gone on to win 24 of 28 times (85.7%), including 13 of 14 times (92.9%) in the LCS… the only team to lose an LCS after taking a 2-0 road lead was the 2020 Braves (vs. Dodgers), that series taking place at a neutral site here at GLF.

GAME 3: The Rangers are 4-8 all-time in Game 3 of postseason series, with a series-clinching win in 2023 ALDS G3 vs. BAL snapping a 4-G losing skid in postseason Game 3’s…team had dropped 4 straight since winning 2011 ALDS G3 at TB…8 of the 12 all-time Game 3’s for Texas have come in Arlington, with club going 2-6 in those 8 home contests, only wins in 2010 WS G3 vs. SF and 2023 ALDS G3 vs. BAL…the 2010 win over Bruce Bochy’s Giants was the 1st World Series game ever in Arlington and club’s only win in that 1st-ever Fall Classic.

  • Game 3 will be just the 2nd time the Rangers have ever played on Oct. 18 in a postseason…other instance was 2010 ALCS G3 at NYY, when Texas
    posted an 8-0 win as Cliff Lee recorded 8.0 SHO IP.

WE ALL WALK THE LONG ROAD: Texas has opened this postseason with 6 consecutive road wins, just the 3rd time in MLB history that a team has won its 1st 6+ road games in a postseason.

LONGEST ROAD WIN STREAKS TO BEGIN A POSTSEASON, MLB HISTORY
Win Streak Team Games
8 1996 NYY ALDS G3-4 at TEX, ALCS G3-4-5 at BAL, WS G3-4-5 at ATL
6 2005 CWS ALDS G3 at BOS, ALCS G3-4-5 at LAA, WS G3-4 at HOU
6 2023 TEX ALWC G1-2 at TB, ALDS G1-2 at BAL, ALCS G1-2 at HOU

  • The current 6-G road win streak is T8th-longest in MLB history, longest since Houston had a 7-G away win streak spanning 2019-20.
  • Rangers’ .545 (18-15) all-time postseason road record is the 2nd-highest away win pct. in MLB history (25+ G) to only NYY (.547, 117-97).

ARE YOU TOO GOOD FOR YOUR HOME!?: Tonight’s Game 3 of this ALCS will be the Rangers’ 2nd postseason game ever at Globe Life Field, the other a 7-1, series-clinching win in 2023 ALDS G3 vs. BAL on 10/10… today marks 24 days since the Rangers’ final regular season home game on 9/24 vs. SEA, and this will be just the club’s 2nd home game over that 24-day span…in those 24 days, the team was 3-4 on the regular season-ending road trip to LAA (2-1) and SEA (1-3), and has gone 6-0 in away games in the postseason at TB (2-0), at BAL (2-0), and at HOU (2-0).

  • GLF hosted 16 games in the 2020 postseason (NLDS, NLCS, WS), the most at any single venue in one postseason in MLB history…the Rangers were 50-31 (.617) at home in the regular season, 4th-best win pct. in MLB to LAD/TB (.654, 53-28) and ATL (.642, 52-29).

ROOF STATUS, CLOSED: The roof is scheduled to be closed for tonight’s ALCS G3 at Globe Life Field…each of the Rangers’ last 57 regular season games at GLF, beginning 6/2, were played with the roof closed, and this will be the 2nd time in as many playoff games for the roof to be closed…last GLF game with the roof open was 5/21 vs. COL, the most recent of Rangers’ 11 home games with the roof open in 2023.

TO THE MAX: Max Scherzer takes the mound tonight in a game for the 1st time since 9/12 at TOR…Rangers will be the 5th team with which Scherzer
has appeared in the postseason, also DET, WSN, LAD, NYM…he will be pitching in the postseason for the 3rd straight season, 4th time in last 5 years, and 10th time in the last 13 years beg. 2011…will make his 23rd career postseason start tonight, which will tie John Lackey and CC Sabathia for 8th-most in MLB history…Scherzer (age 39 years, 83 days) will be the oldest Ranger ever to make a postseason start and has easily the most postseason starts of any pitcher to start for Texas in a playoff game.

  • Scherzer will be starting consecutive ALCS games in Arlington, as he started for the Tigers in most recent LCS contest here: 2011 ALCS G6 vs. DET on 10/15/11.

CLEAR THE WAY FOR JOSÉ: José Leclerc’s 4-out save in ALCS G2 was just the 2nd save of 4+ outs in Rangers postseason history in a one-run win…the other: Neftali Feliz (1.1 SHO IP) in 2011 ALDS G3 at TB…according to MLB’s Sarah Langs, Leclerc is the 1st pitcher in MLB history to finish each of his team’s 1st 7 games of a postseason…previous longest span was 6 G by Kenley Jansen for 2017 LAD…Leclerc’s 7 postseason games
rank 2nd in Rangers history (15-Feliz).

GLOBE TROTTER: Corey Seager has slashed .355/.461/.806/1.267 (22-62) with 8 HR and 20 RBI across 17 career postseason games at Globe Life Field with Los Angeles-NL (2020) and Texas (2023)…he is the venue’s all-time PS leader in hits, HR, RBI, and total bases (50)…the only batter in MLB history with a higher career postseason OPS figure at a single venue (min. 75 PA) is Brooklyn’s Duke Snider at Ebbets Field (1.298 in 75 PA).

GETTING TO STARTERS: Each of the Rangers’ 7 wins in the 2023 postseason have been pinned on opposing starters…after Framber Valdez took the loss in ALCS G2, opposing starters vs. Texas in the 2023 postseason: 0-7, 8.56 ERA (26 ER/27.1 IP), 16 BB, 33 SO, .364/.435/.605/1.040 (47-
129) slash line.

  • According to Elias Sports Bureau, the 2023 Rangers are just the 4th team
    in postseason history to pin a loss on opposing starters for at least 7 straight
    games, just the 2nd club to do it in a single postseason (also 2007 BOS).

MOST CONSECUTIVE GAMES FOR OPPOSING STARTER TO TAKE LOSS, MLB POSTSEASON HISTORY
G Team Games
8 New York-AL 1937 WS G5, 1938 WS G1-2-3-4, 1939 WS G1-2-3
8 Boston 2007 ALCS G5-6-7, 2007 WS G1-2-3-4, 2008 ALDS G1
7 New York-AL 1928 WS G1-2-3-4, 1932 WS G1-2-3
7 Texas 2023 WC G1-2, 2023 ALDS G1-2-3, 2023 ALCS G1-2

THE BOCHY EFFECT: Rangers manager Bruce Bochy recorded career postseason win no. 51 in ALCS G2, 5th all-time and just behind 4th-place Dusty Baker (54)…Bochy has won 13 of the last 14 postseason series in which his teams have participated…according to MLB’s Sarah Langs, Bochy is the 7th manager to reach the LCS round with 3 different franchises… Bochy would become the 1st manager in MLB history to win an LCS with 3 different teams (SD/SF/TEX). Bochy’s .607 (51-33) postseason win pct. is 3rd all-time among managers with 5+ appearances in the postseason to only Hall of Famers Joe McCarthy (30-13, .698) and Sparky Anderson (34-21, .618).

GAME 3 STARTING PITCHER – #31 Max Scherzer, RHP (13-6, 3.77)
LONG ROAD BACK: The 3-time Cy Young Award winner (2013, 2016-17) and 8-time All-Star is set to make his 1st start of the 2023 postseason this evening…was selected to Texas’ ALCS roster on Sunday after he was not included on club’s ALDS or Wild Card squads…has not pitched since his final regular season start on 9/12 at TOR (W, 5.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO), the same outing in which he suffered a right teres major strain in his throwing shoulder that sidelined him for the rest of the campaign…was on 15-day Injured List from 9/13-end of season…participated in pitcher fielding practice during Rangers’ ALCS workout on Friday at Globe Life Field, and has thrown simulated games last Wed. in Arlington (69 pitches) and 10/6 in Baltimore…initially ramped up throwing intensity in bullpen session on 10/4 at Tropicana Field prior to ALWC G2 at TB.

POSTSEASON: The 2019 World Series Champion (Washington) owns a lifetime record of 7-7, 3.58 ERA (53 ER/133.1 IP) over 27 games/22 starts in the postseason…ranks 3rd among active pitchers in playoff innings, starts, and strikeouts (164)… his ranks among MLB’s all-time postseason leaders (min. 75.0 IP): strikeouts per 9.0 innings (3rd, 11.07), strikeouts (6th), opp. BA (7th, .201), starts (T10th), innings (T13th)…5 career 10+ strikeout games in the postseason (last 10 SO on 10/11/21, NLDS G3 vs. SF w/ LAD) rank T3rd-most in MLB history behind only Justin Verlander (8) and Clayton Kershaw (6)…the 39-year-old would be the oldest pitcher ever to start a postseason game for Texas, as he is already more than 2 years older than current record-holder Colby Lewis in 2016 ALDS G3 at TOR on 10/9/16 (37 years, 68 days)… has gone 6-6 with 3.47 ERA (49 ER/127.0 IP), 10.91 strikeouts per 9.0 innings figure, and .196 opp. BA (90-460) as a starter in the postseason…last playoff outing came in 2022 NLWC G1 vs. SD w/ NYM (L, 4.2 IP, 7 R-ER, 4 HR), a 7-1 Mets defeat…is winless in his last 6 G/5 GS in the playoffs (0-2, 4.44) since his last victory with Washington in 2019 World Series G1 on 10/22/19 at HOU (W, 5.0 IP, 2 R-ER)…started decisive of 2019 World Series G7 on 10/30/19 at HOU (ND, 5.0 IP, 2 R-ER, 3 SO)…faced 2009 Cy Young Award-winner Zack Greinke in that start, the first time in World Series history that a pair of Cy Young Award winners faced off in Game 7 (Elias)…has gone 1-0, 3.86 ERA (7 ER/16.1 IP) over 3 games/starts spanning a pair of Fall Classic appearances with Detroit (2012, 1 GS) and Washington (2019, 2 GS), capturing the 2019 World Series title vs. Houston (4-3)…went 3-0, 2.40 ERA (8 ER/30.0 IP), 37 SO/15 BB over 6 G/5 GS in the 2019 postseason, with the Nationals going 6-0 in his outings.

ALL-TIMER: Three pitchers in MLB history have 200+ wins, 3000+ SO, and a WHIP figure below 1.10: Walter Johnson, Pedro Martinez, and Max Scherzer.

  • Strikeouts: Scherzer is MLB’s active career leader in regular season strikeouts (3,367), ranking 11th on the all-time strikeouts list as one of only 19 players to reach 3,000+ career K’s in MLB history…passed Phil Niekro (3,342) for 11th all-time on 8/20 vs. MIL…next on list is 10th-place Greg Maddux (3,371)…is only the 5th member of the esteemed “3,000 Strikeout Club” to appear for Texas, joining Nolan Ryan (1989-93), Bert Blyleven (1976-77), Gaylord Perry (1975-77, 1980), and Fergie Jenkins (1974-75, 1978-81)…has recorded 9 seasons of 200+ strikeouts, which ranks 5th all-time behind Nolan Ryan (15), Randy Johnson (13), Roger Clemens (12), and Tom Seaver (10)…8/26 at MIN (10 SO) was his 113th career double-digit strikeout game, 3rd-most in MLB history behind only Nolan Ryan (215) and Randy Johnson (212).
  • The Wild Card Era: Among pitchers with 1500.0 IP in the Wild Card Era (since 1995), Scherzer ranks 2nd in SO (3,367) to only Randy Johnson (3,545), 4th in WHIP (1.08), 4th in opp. BA (.220) and 6th in ERA (3.15). AT HOME: Combined to go 5-2, 3.09 ERA (23 ER/67.0 IP) in 12 starts at home for the Mets and Rangers this season, including 2-2, 4.56 ERA (13 ER/25.2 IP) in 5 starts at Globe Life Field…his 3.09 home ERA would have ranked 14th in the Majors if he qualified…allowed 3 times as many HR in away outings (21) vs. at home (7).
  • Way Back Texas: Scherzer made 2 postseason starts in Arlington at the former Globe Life Park, both for Detroit in the 2011 ALCS vs. TEX: Game 2 on 10/10/11 (ND, 6.0 IP, 3 R-ER) and Game 6 on 10/15/11 (L, 2.1 IP, 6 R-ER)…took the loss in Tigers’ 15-5 elimination defeat in the latter outing, as the Rangers rallied for 9 runs on 6 hits in the bottom of the 3rd inning…the 2.1-inn. outing remains the shortest start of his PS career.

VS. HOUSTON: Scherzer is 6-2, 3.80 ERA (31 ER/73.1 IP) over 12 games/11 starts in his career against the Astros, including a pair of starts in Game 1 (W, 5.0 IP, 2 R-ER) and Game 7 (ND, 5.0 IP, 2 R-ER) of the 2019 World Series (see ‘Postseason’)…faced Houston twice in 2023, going 1-1, 6.55 ERA (8 ER/11.0 IP): 6/19 at HOU w/ NYM (W, 8.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R-ER, 1 BB, 8 SO, 1 HR) and 9/6 vs. HOU w/ TEX (L, 3.0 IP, 6 H, 7 R-ER, 2 BB, 4 SO, 3 HR)…faced former DET and NYM teammate, Justin Verlander (W, 7.0 IP, 2 R-1 ER, 6 SO), in the latter start for Texas at Globe Life Field, a 12-3 ‘Stros win… allowed season-high 7 R-ER in that outing, all on home runs by Yordan Alvarez (2-R, 1st inn.), Michael Brantley (solo, 2nd inn.), and José Abreu (grand slam, 3rd inn.).

2023: Combined to go 13-6, 3.77 ERA (64 ER/152.2 IP) with 174 strikeouts across 27 games/starts with NYM (19 GS) and TEX (8 GS) in his 16th Major League season… his 10.26 SO/9 figure was his lowest since 2013 (10.08), but was the 7th-highest mark ever by a pitcher in his age 38-or-older season (min. 150.0 IP)…2023 marked his 13th career 10-win season, T2nd-most among active MLB pitchers behind only Verlander (15), and his 14th campaign with 150+ strikeouts, T5th-most all-time: 20-Nolan Ryan, 19-Roger Clemens, 18-Steve Carlton, 16-Randy Johnson, 14-Scherzer/Bert Blyleven/Don Sutton/Gaylord Perry…opponents batted .221/.282/.407/.689 (126-570) this season, including opp. BA’s of .220 (62-282) vs. RHB and .222 (64-282) vs. LHB…allowed at least one HR in 16 of 27 GS and 2+ HR in 7 GS, as 1.65 HR/9 figure was highest of his career (prev. 1.34 in 2011 w/ DET)…opp. BA by time thru the order: 1st (.202, 44- 218), 2nd (.211, 46-218), 3rd (.267, 35-131), and 4th+ (1-3)…69.9% 1st-pitch strike pct. was the 3rd-highest mark of career (71.3% in 2015 and 70.4% in 2019).

TEXAS: Was acquired from the Mets, along with cash considerations, in exchange for INF/OF Luisangel Acuña on 7/30, and added to Texas’s active roster on 8/1…went 4-2 with a 3.20 ERA (16 ER/45.0 IP), 15 BB/53 SO, .174 opp. BA (28-161) over his 8 starts with the Rangers, but finished the season on the 15-day Injured List (right teres major muscle strain) from 9/13-end of season…his 2.21 ERA over his first 6 starts with TEX was the 2nd-lowest ever by a pitcher in his first 6 GS in WSH/TEX franchise history, trailing only a 1.84 ERA (11 ER/53.2 IP) by Fergie Jenkins over his first 6 GS of the 1974 campaign…Scherzer’s 47 SO in that span were also the 2nd-most ever by a Ranger in his first 6 GS with the club (52-Nolan Ryan in 1989)…3rd pitcher in club history to earn wins in each of his first 3 GS with the team, joining Aaron Sele (1998) and Jamie Moyer (1989)…earned win in TEX debut on 8/3 vs. CWS (6.0 IP, 3 R-ER), as 9 SO in that game were most in a TEX debut since Moyer on 4/8/89 vs. TOR (13 SO).

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