Bruce Bochy is lucky, at least at this point, that his Rangers have given him enough runway that he could get as itchy and sweaty as he did in Game 4. The Rangers have a 3-1 series lead, they had a 10-run lead in Game 4 and they have their two best starters lined up the next two games (their only two starters, at this point). But certainly when Rob Manfred was talking about fans’ frustration with the amount of relievers they have to sit through these days, sometimes even starting off the game, this is probably what he meant.
There were enough groans across baseball nation every time Bochy wobbled out of the dugout with a huge lead to bring in one of his stiffs from the pen, doing so twice at the top of innings when a pinch hitter was announced, as if he was chasing a matchup while up a touchdown at least. And certainly there were some Giants fans nodding their heads and pouring a top-off to their drink.
As the last time we saw Bochy in a postseason before this one, he was sliding out of the 2016 NLDS, cycling through five relievers in the ninth inning of Game 4 as the Giants blew a 5-2 lead. Matt Moore had cruised through eight innings (causing me to throw a folding chair across my living room), but Bochy cycled through his pen so quickly it was a question if anyone had enough time to even get warmed up or prepare properly. And the Cubs went for four runs (causing me to leave that folding chair in place where it had landed for the rest of the month).
Perhaps those were the flashbacks Bochy was having, or he just felt like he had to prove it could work. Having José LeClerc throw 10 pitches in a game he shouldn’t have ever had to stand up during shouldn’t have any effect in Game 5 or beyond. But then, one never knows.
It should be a footnote. A quirk we’ll remember from a World Series that won’t be all that memorable if the Rangers wrap this up in 5. Hey, remember that time Bochy thought this was a real baseball game?
Anyway, this was a pretty good example of why both teams are doing their best to keep one section of their pen in the attic and away from their friends. It was the third time the Rangers had seen Miguel Castro in four games, and they lit him up. It was the third time the Rangers had seen Kyle Nelson. Rubbed his ass in the moonshine, too. Luis Frias? You guessed it, third appearance of the series, and then it was time for the Gashouse Gorillas act.
Meanwhile, once the Rangers allowed Andrew Heaney to go much longer than planned thanks to their huge lead, and then didn’t let Dane Dunning take it to the house, it was four different goofuses to get eight outs before LeClerc acted as Bochy’s Alka-Selzter. Best believe Bochy will not be using any of them tonight unless he absolutely has to. But that plan still includes probably having to use Aroldis Chapman, which will not make Bochy any less itchy.
Get ready to see more of those saunters to the mound that make you want to check in on your dad.
And in the dead of the Vegas night . . .
Elsewhere around the ol’ sportsaroo, At least you can always count on the Raiders to be the Raiders. Is there a darker time they could have snuck this in?
The NFL doesn’t allow for Friday news dumps, at least in season. This is as close as you can get. Josh McDaniels’s ratio of being totally incompetent vs how up his own ass he was deserves entry into Canton. Not him, just that ratio.
How’s Ryan Reaves doing in Toronto, you ask?
Let’s check in on how that Ryan Reaves signing is working in Toronto:
Why, yes, that is Toronto’s new favorite oaf falling asleep at the back door to let Phillip Danault score the first goal of a 4-1 win. Reaves is a -6 in nine games, having played a total of 63 minutes. The Leafs signed up for the privilege of this for three seasons and $1.5 million a year.
The parade will be the usual route. Right into the abyss.
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