PHOENIX – Max Scherzer paraded through the champagne-soaked visitors’ clubhouse at Chase Field with the World Series trophy high above his head, and his teammates followed him cheering.
The three-time Cy Young Award winner and former Mets pitcher enjoyed every moment of the Rangers’ first World Series title on Wednesday, even if he was quick to admit he didn’t contribute as much as he would have liked.
It was certainly a different feeling for Scherzer than in 2019, when he won a World Series title as a staff ace with the Nationals.
“More than anything, I was a better teammate in this game,” Scherzer said after the Rangers beat the Diamondbacks 5-0 in Game 5 of the World Series.
Scherzer was removed from the roster a day earlier due to back spasms that forced him to withdraw from his Game 3 start early.
The right-hander pitched three scoreless innings before his back spasmed.
Scherzer had two short, ineffective starts against the Astros in the ALCS after returning from the injured list.
A strained teres major muscle had cost him most of the final month of the regular season.
“Of course I would like to pitch more, but my body didn’t allow it,” said Scherzer. “It takes everyone to win one of these championships and I’m just looking at this one because we won this one together.”
The Mets traded Scherzer to Texas for infield prospect Luisangel Acuña as part of a roster overhaul.
Scherzer, who went 4-2 with a 3.20 ERA in eight starts for the Rangers, exercised his player option for next season worth $43.3 million as part of his agreement to waive his no- To waive trade clause with the Mets.
The Rangers are also hopeful that former Mets star Jacob deGrom will return from his Tommy John rehab late next summer.
“You expect more good things,” said Scherzer. “But I’m not stupid. I’m not going to stand here and say we’re going to win this again because there are too many great teams in the league. I’ve been part of great teams that don’t win.
“We have a great team coming back and I love this group. I can’t wait to compete with them too.”