Although the visitors’ clubhouse at Chase Field was clearly in a celebratory mood after a 3-1 victory over the D-backs gave Texas a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series and a sparkling , record-breaking 9-0 road record this postseason, Max Scherzer is standing in his locker talking about back spasms and Adolis García is headed for an MRI on his injured left side. What Tuesday night’s Game 4 means remains to be seen.
All we know now is that Scherzer’s sudden departure after three innings on Monday means potential Game 4 starter Jon Gray will have to work. So now it’s Andrew Heaney, who lasted just two-thirds of an inning in his first postseason start against the Astros in the American League Championship Series, who gets the nod for the Rangers. And the García injury amid an epic October for the Rangers right fielder (a postseason record of 22 RBIs, eight homers and a 1.108 OPS) is a major subplot.
“It’s tough,” said Marcus Semien about the Game 3 injury setbacks. “Let’s see what happens with these two men. Adolis became the heart and soul of our team. Hope nothing bad happens. Our group is deep. We have some guys who haven’t played yet but are very good players as well.
The D-backs are up against Joe Mantiply as the starter in a bullpen battle. They will try to change the math to work against them. The Rangers’ 2-1 lead is an advantage that 68 of 99 (69%) teams in best-of-seven postseason series have converted into consecutive wins. Teams up 2-1 on the road in a 2-3-2 format won the series 29 out of 39 (74%) times.
Here’s what’s available for Game 4:
When is the game and how can I watch it?
First pitch is set for 8 pm ET on Tuesday at Chase Field, televised on FOX.
The Fall Classic is available in the US on MLB.TV with authentication by a participating Pay TV provider. Games are available live internationally (except Canada). Full game archives will be available approximately 90 minutes after the game.
Who are the starting pitchers?
Rangers: LHP Andrew Heaney
Texas plans to return to the semi-bullpen game it used twice this postseason, with Heaney getting most of the innings before manager Bruce Bochy handed it to Dane Dunning in a piggyback situation. Heaney has made two starts and two relief appearances this postseason, allowing four runs in six innings. Bochy usually rides Heaney until he gets into trouble early in his postseason, so that should stay true in Game 4.
D-backs: LHP Joe Mantiply
In what could be a full-on bullpen game, manager Torey Lovullo will use his high-leverage lefty to set the tone against the top of the Texas order. The key factor here is left-handed hitting Corey Seager, who has crushed two big home runs in the first three games of this series. Seager’s career OPS is nearly 100 points higher against right-handers (.905) than against lefties (.808) — and it’s even more pronounced this season, when he posted a 1.075 OPS against in righties compared to .882 vs. .left hands. If fellow lefty hitter Evan Carter starts — something he didn’t do against Astros lefty Framber Valdez in the ALCS — it’s possible Mantiply will return to face him in the second inning, but he won’t go much further. .
What are the planned starting lines?
Rangers: With the lefty Mantiply starting Arizona’s bullpen game, Bochy planned to slide Robbie Grossman into the three hole to start the game before pulling him to Carter when Mantiply exited. Everything remains status quo.
D-back: Arizona numbers to stay with the same lineup it used for the first three games of this series, although the order of the first two hitters – Corbin Carroll and Ketel Marte – will likely be swapped, because because Heaney is a southpaw. D-backs are often paired with Carroll-Marte against righties and Marte-Carroll against lefties.
How will the bullpens line up after the starter?
Rangers: Gray likely won’t be available after throwing 30 pitches in three innings of relief in Game 3, following Scherzer’s injury. The high-leverage trio of Josh Sborz, Aroldis Chapman and José Leclerc threw just 16 pitches apiece and should all be available in Game 4, but the Rangers’ long relief group — Dunning, Cody Bradford and Martín Pérez — figures to get one heavy job behind Heaney.
D-back: Between Saturday’s blowout Game 2 win, Sunday’s off-day and Monday’s Game 3 loss, Arizona hasn’t used any of its top high-leverage options since Friday’s Game 1.
With Mantiply starting, the next high-leverage spots against Texas’ tough left-handed bats — Seager and Carter — will likely fall to fellow southpaws Kyle Nelson and Andrew Saalfrank. On the other hand, right-handers Ryan Thompson and Kevin Ginkel will handle other big spots along the long bridge to bring closer Paul Sewald. The three remaining bullpen arms — Ryne Nelson, Miguel Castro and Luis Frías — will fill the remaining gaps. The only reliever who might be unavailable is Frías, who pitched 1 2/3 innings Monday — though he only threw 20.
Rangers: Both Scherzer (back strain) and García (left side soreness) left Game 3 early with injuries. Texas hopes to have more information on both players before Game 4 on Tuesday night.
“For now, we will just evaluate them,” said Bochy. “Doli will do diagnostics, see where he is. Tight left side — we’re optimistic there but we’ll know more tomorrow.
“Same as Max. Max lands a great elbow shot. That’s what we’re concerned about. But it was his lower back that tightened him. He couldn’t go any further. The like him; we will see where he is in the next 24 hours and decide where we are with him.”
D-back: Outfielder Jake McCarthy was removed from the roster before Game 1 of the National League Wild Card Series after suffering a strained right oblique. He was not expected to return.
Rangers: Seager continued to grind, hitting his second homer of the World Series and moving his postseason slash line to .298/.444/.649. Carter has reached all 15 of his postseason games this year safely after a 2-for-3 night in Game 3.
Semien’s struggles continued with a 1-for-4 night, and Taveras is hitting just .200 this postseason.
D-back: Pham homered in Game 1, went 4-for-4 in Game 2 and had two hits in Game 3. Walker is just 6-for-48 (.125) with five RBIs and 17 strikeouts in his past. 14 games, though he has six hard-hit balls (exit velocity of 95 mph, per Statcast) and just one strikeout over the last two games. Marte has recorded a hit in all 15 games this postseason — and in all 19 of his career playoff games.