Max Scherzer is expected to get the start for the Texas Rangers in arguably the most important game for the franchise in more than a decade. However, is that the right decision for the Rangers in a winner-take-all ALCS Game 7 against the Houston Astros?
Should the Texas Rangers really start Max Scherzer in Game 7 against the Houston Astros?
Sure, there may not be a lot of options for the Rangers as they battle their Lone Star State rivals for the right to go to the Fall Classic. Andrew Heaney and Jon Gray could potentially be a piggyback option, but Bruce Bochy's Game 7 options fall pretty short after that.
Which brings us back to Scherzer, the 39-year-old right-hander who has plenty of big game experience but looked nothing like the Scherzer of old when he returned from injury in time for Game 3. Houston pummeled him for five hits and five runs in 4.0 innings as the Astros won that game as the first of three consecutive victories inside Globe Life Field that turned the tide of the 2023 ALCS.
The rough outing followed the only start that Scherzer made for the New York Mets in the 2022 postseason when the San Diego Padres tagged him for seven runs on seven hits in 4.2 innings. It was part of New York's flameout in the Wild Card round, part of the downhill spiral for the Mets that eventually led to Scherzer being dealt at the 2023 trade deadline to Texas.
When Texas traded for him, they knew they would have Scherzer for 2024 as well. But that's the future. For the Rangers, there is nothing more important than the present and Monday's start. Scherzer has been roughed up by Houston in two straight meetings with them, giving up a combined 12 runs and 11 hits in his last 7.0 innings against them.
With that in mind, Scherzer may not be the best choice to take the mound for Game 7. However, Bochy is out of options in a game with so much riding on the outcome.