Rangers eye sweep of White Sox in Max Scherzer's debut

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Jul 22, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer (21) pitches against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning at Fenway Park.
Jul 22, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer (21) pitches against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning at Fenway Park.
Image: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Max Scherzer will make his highly anticipated Texas debut on Thursday afternoon as the Rangers try to finish a three-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox in Arlington, Texas

The Rangers dominated the first two games, outscoring the White Sox by a combined 13-1. Texas starters Andrew Heaney and Dane Dunning struck out 11 batters apiece in the first two games of the series. Enter Scherzer, who has 121 strikeouts in 107 2/3 innings


Scherzer (9-4, 4.01 ERA) will be appearing for his sixth team in 16 seasons after the New York Mets traded him to the Rangers for shortstop prospect Luisangel Acuna. The deal also included cash to pay roughly half of the $58 million that is owed to the right-hander for the rest of this season and next season

"With Texas calling, realizing the situation that I had in New York and realizing the situation that was now developing in Texas, this was going to be the best place for me to continue my career and have a chance to be able to win as well," said Scherzer, who waived the no-trade clause in his contract with the Mets for the deal to go through


On Friday, in his last start for the Mets, Scherzer allowed six hits and a run in seven innings against the visiting Washington Nationals

"I've kind of had a Jekyll and Hyde season," Scherzer told the media after being traded. "There's been some starts where I pitched well, some starts that haven't gone well. I've been trying to make adjustments, trying to iron it out and figure out what exactly I need to do to execute all my pitches where I want them.

Scherzer has made 24 career starts against the White Sox, but none since 2016. He is 13-6 with a 2.43 ERA in 163 innings against them

Luis Robert Jr. is hitting .267 with team highs in home runs (29) and RBIs (60 RBIs) for the White Sox. However, the team is 27th in the majors in OPS (.680) and has scored the sixth-fewest runs (447)


The sparse hitting puts added pressure on the pitching staff. Thursday's starter will be right-hander Touki Toussaint (1-3, 3.50 ERA), a somewhat recent addition himself

The White Sox picked up Toussaint off waivers from the Cleveland Guardians on June 20. He is 1-2 with a 3.34 ERA with Chicago, for whom he has made four starts in his eight appearances


"I've been in so many different situations," Toussaint said in early July. "I've been a starter, reliever, starter, long man, short guy. Just stay in the moment and go day by day. Just keep going out there and doing my job.

Toussaint will be facing the Rangers for the second time this season. In his White Sox debut on June 21, the 27-year-old fired four scoreless innings in relief and did not surrender a hit. He struck out four batters


In two career outings vs. Texas, both in relief, Toussaint is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA

Texas welcomed Corey Seager back to the lineup on Wednesday. The shortstop went 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs, raising his average to .352. He had been out since sustaining a right thumb injury on July 21


"I don't know what else to say about Corey," Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said postgame. "He's amazing. He's got a simple swing, and he's just that talented.

--Field Level Medi