If you looked up the word tenacious in the dictionary there could easily be a picture of Texas Rangers pitcher, Max Scherzer staring at you. And we all know about that one blue eye, one brown eye stare. Unfortunately, Webster's Dictionary doesn't have a picture of the ALCS Game 3 starter in it for the definition of tenacious, but instead says this: persistent in maintaining, adhering to, or seeking something valued or desired.
When Scherzer sees something that he values and that is desired, he goes for it. All of the greats do, that is what makes them legendary. Scherzer got hurt on September 12th in Toronto and could have easily called it a season, and lightly started rehabbing. That is not how Mad Max ticks. He made a promise to himself, that he was going to do everything that he could to be ready to pitch in the postseason if the Rangers were to get there and advance far enough. Well, all of those things come together today.
Mike Leslie of WFAA ABC 8 out of Dallas posted the following quote on X.com from Max. It was part of a postgame celebration when the Rangers won the ALDS against Baltimore. The quote tells us all that we need to know about Scherzer. He is a competitor and a teammate who loves the big moments and desires to be a part of this playoff run, not just from the dugout, but from the mound.
"Just give me a chance, give me a chance, give me a chance, let me get back into this thing... been grinding away, doing everything I can to just be in position to have a chance, and the guys going out there and provide that chance."- Max Scherzer
Max Scherzer to start Game 3 of ALCS
No one, including Scherzer, knows what to expect tonight. He will obviously not be able to go extremely deep into the game, as he hasn't pitched in over a month outside of bullpens, live batting practice, and a sim game. But holding a 2-0 series lead and coming home with a future Hall of Famer on the mound has got to get the club fired up. And with several long relief options out of the bullpen at manager Bruce Bochy's disposal, there is no stress for Scherzer to get through a certain inning.
Watching Scherzer in the dugout during the Rangers playoff run has been comical. He looks like a cowdog that is just itching for its owner to say the word and let them do their thing. Well Bochy has finally called #31, and Scherzer is thrilled to get into the fight. In fact, Jeff Wilson of Rangers Today tweeted out a great quote by Bochy on Scherzer constantly wanting to pitch.
"He excited. He’s been wearing me out a little bit."- Bruce Bochy on Scherzer's desire to play
That is the kind of guy that you want on your team. He wants the ball and was willing to put in the hard work for the slim chance that he would be able to rejoin his teammates this season. Scherzer is making $43,333,334 guaranteed this season. He is 39 years old. It isn't about the money or building a resume. It is about competing on the biggest stage and doing everything that he can to help his team win the World Series. He got to taste that victory in 2019 when he was a part of the Washington Nationals team that took down the Astros in an epic seven-game slug match.
It's the middle of October and it's Scherzday for the Rangers! That is something that I honestly never thought that I would be able to write unless it was in a fiction novel. Enjoy the ride!
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