Game 3 on Saturday night will always be remembered for Albert Pujols’ ridiculous performance, but in the short term, it may be more significant for what it meant for the starting pitchers — Kyle Lohse and Matt Harrison — each of whom was terrible. It’s significant because this series has all of the hallmarks of a seven-game affair, and if we reach a Game 7 Lohse and Harrison are slated to meet up again.
The Rangers don’t seem to have any other ideas or options if that happens. Given Tony La Russa’s penchant for tinkering it’s always possible that he’d throw Jake Westbrook or a short-rest starter or Rick Honeycutt or someone out there instead of Lohse. According to Joe Strauss of the Post-Dispatch La Russa has not yet committed to anything but the sense at the moment is that it will be Lohse — on a short leash — who gets the call.
Of course, the way this series has gone so far, we’re just as likely to see dueling perfect games from Lohse and Harrison as we are a five-hour empty-the-bullpen affair. Did I mention that I love this World Series so far?
Mets left-hander Jason Vargas has a non-displaced fracture of the hamate bone in his right hand, the team announced Sunday. Vargas sustained the injury after taking a comebacker off of his hand on Friday and is expected to consult with a hand specialist later today as the team settles on a course of action. Comments from GM Sandy Alderson indicate that surgery is a possibility, though the left-hander may also pitch through it for the time being.
Vargas, 35, signed a two-year, $16 million pact with the team last month. He completed a four-year run with the Royals in 2017, earning his first career All-Star nomination with an 18-11 record in 32 starts and producing a 4.16 ERA, 2.9 BB/9 and 6.7 SO/9 over 179 2/3 innings. Prior to the incident, the southpaw was expected to help fill out the back end of the Mets’ Opening Day rotation.
Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News estimates that Vargas will likely miss the start of the season as he faces a two- to six-week recovery period. It’s a disappointing turn of events for a pitching staff that has been absolutely ravaged by injuries over the last couple of years.