HOUSTON – There will be a matchup of former Cy Young winners who were first-round draft picks if there is a Game 7 in the World Series.
Zack vs. Mad Max.
Zack Greinke, who allowed one run over 4 2/3 innings in his first-ever World Series start when the Houston Astros won Game 3, would start Wednesday night if another game is needed for them to have a chance to win their second title in three years.
Nationals manager Dave Martinez said Max Scherzer, who missed his scheduled start in Game 5 because of an irritated nerve near his neck, would be the starter in Game 7 if Washington forces another game.
Neither Scherzer, a three-time Cy Young winner, nor 2009 AL Cy Young winner Greinke have ever pitched in a postseason Game 7.
Greinke, a trade deadline acquisition by the Astros this year, is 0-2 with a 5.30 ERA in his four starts this postseason. The 36-year-old right-hander departed Game 3 with a 3-1 lead.
Scherzer had a cortisone shock in his neck Sunday and threw in the outfield Tuesday before Game 6.
“He threw. He felt good,” Martinez said.
The 35-year-old right-hander told a few reporters after throwing, “I’m good.”
Scherzer is 3-0 with a 2.16 ERA in five games, four starts, this postseason for the Nationals. The seven-time All-Star allowed two runs in the first inning in the World Series opener, but no more while throwing 112 pitches over five innings in only his second start in the Fall Classic.
The Nationals are the first team to use five different starters in the World Series since the Philadelphia Phillies in 1980.
That hadn’t been the plan for Washington until Game 1 starter Scherzer had to be scratched from Game 5 and Joe Ross started instead. Stephen Strasburg, Anibal Sanchez and Patrick Corbin also started in this series for Washington.
As for those 1980 Phillies, who beat the Kansas City Royals in six games, their five starters were Bob Walk, Steve Carlton, Dick Ruthven, Larry Christenson and Marty Bystrom.
The roof at Minute Maid Park would have been closed anyway, but it’s a good thing the home park of the Astros does have that retractable dome overhead.
It was raining Tuesday in Houston, and wet weather would have had an impact on batting practice and pregame activities. The rain was tapering off closer to first pitch, but there was still a chance for scattered thunderstorms into the evening.
If there is a Game 7 on Wednesday, the forecast calls for widespread rain and thunderstorms throughout the day and into night.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.