There was some fear, I assume from people who sunburn easily, that MLB’s pitch clock and speeding up would somehow ruin the postseason and especially the World Series. That it wouldn’t be the same if Fox didn’t have three minutes between each pitch to get in all their close-ups that show us the booger situation of every pitcher and hitter. That the shine would come off the World Series if every piece of action didn’t have a serious build.
Well, the Diamondbacks and Rangers just finished their second consecutive World Series game that ended in less than three hours, and it’s wonderful.
Corey Seager’s righteous stab and flip to Marcus Semien to kill off an eighth-inning rally from Arizona didn’t carry any less of a punch because Aroldis Chapman wasn’t allowed to walk around the mound 12 times (his lack of control needed no help building the drama). Jose LeClerc’s final strikeout of Tommy Pham, who the Rangers haven’t been able to get out all series, was no less authoritative. Game 3 lacked a lot of back and forth, as there was only scoring in two half-innings and the teams combined for 11 hits. But why would it have been any better stretched out over 3:45?
Sure, the stories are already coming out that Game 1 was the least-watched World Series game in history or whatever, but that didn’t have much to do with the time it took (which was actually over four hours). But that’s probably the conclusion Rob Manfred will draw.
Anyway, more thoughts from Game 3:
We aren’t learning from history here
I know the Diamondbacks don’t exactly have a long and storied postseason history, but we don’t need to be reminded of Luis Gonzalez’s Game 7-winning hit off Mariano Rivera every goddamn night. It was 22 years ago, has nothing to do with this series, doesn’t speak to some Arizona tradition of winning in their last AB in the postseason or even a long postseason winning tradition of any kind. Yes, the cupboard’s a little bare when it comes to these two teams, and Rangers fans will probably thank Fox for not showing David Freese and Nelson Cruz repeatedly. But perhaps when two teams don’t have much of a history, then we don’t have to focus on the history they don’t have. Find something else.
Rangers are trying to win a World Series while running a triage unit
This series may come down to how many pieces the Rangers can keep from falling off of themselves before they get to four wins. Max Scherzer left this one with back spasms (though he probably wouldn’t have gone much more than one more inning than he did) and then Adolis Garcia left in the eighth with an oblique problem, which is not a huge issue for hitters or anything. Jordan Montgomery flattened out in Game 2, his stuff didn’t have any of the zip it did previously in the postseason. The Rangers are doing a fine impression of an NHL team trying to get through the Final before a raft of offseason surgeries are announced at its conclusion.
Rested bullpens could be the key
The biggest key of the game might end up being that the Rangers only had to use LeClerc, Chapman and Sborz for 16 pitches each, making them all available tomorrow. Both teams are going with a bullpen game and the Diamondbacks didn’t have to use any of their preferred relievers. That advantage is somewhat wiped out by the Rangers only using theirs in a limited fashion. They’ll have to figure out how to get 18 outs to get to them, though.
Also, Chapman throwing anymore than 16 pitches might kill Bruce Bochy in the dugout.
Why is this still happening in hockey?
Bouncing around, a pretty chilling story came out of junior hockey yesterday, which is far too regular of an occurrence for a league made up of children:
Once again, it has to be asked why any junior player is allowed to fight, or be put in a position to suffer enough concussions to have a lesion on the brain, or not allowed to properly recover from them, or feels a duty to return to the ice before he’s ready either due to perceived or actual pressure from his team.
To be fair to the QMJHL, where Charlottetown plays, banned fighting this season. But that didn’t come soon enough to save Lane Hinkley’s career and possibly quality of life down the road. The OHL and WHL have not followed suit as of yet, though this retirement should be yet another obvious sign to do so that these leagues will probably do everything they can to ignore. For some reason, hockey fans north of the border in various outhouse laden backwaters get their rocks off watching other people’s kids fight each other for their entertainment.
And, yet, there is more . . .
Of course, hockey’s problems with head injuries has a lot more layers than that when at the top level players have this amount of respect for a fellow pro:
This is cheap and cowardly from Charlie McAvoy, who comes from the blindside right to Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s head simply for the sake of it. This is only an attempt to injure, has no hockey value and as long as players think this is part of the game and the league lets them think that, hockey will have a long way to go.
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Original source here
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