OK, so now the game is over and Garland looked terrific and threw 118 pitches and the White Sox bullpen is fresh going into Game 4. Three questions: 1. Are you still saying Ozzie made the right call sticking with Garland tonight (not for this game, because it obviously worked out well, but for the full length of the series, because at this point he's had two guys in a row go nine innings and has seen just nine pitches from his 'pen, total)? Do you not want to see what your 'pen is made of, how they're handling situations, etc., before things are really pressing? 2. Given the way Gregg and Donnelly looked tonight, did Scioscia wait too long on taking Lackey out? And 3. Has the Rally Monkey lost a step?
Rob: I've made this point before, but 50 years ago the starter probably would have been yanked after the first or second inning, because managers simply didn't have any patience in World Series games. Managers don't have quite as much flexibility these days, because they don't have "swing starters" and "long men" (I put those terms in quotes, Eric, because you're probably too young to remember when those beasts actually walked the earth). Let's say Scioscia pulls Lackey after three innings ... and by the way, it's not at all clear that pitchers "do" or "don't" have their good stuff on a given night ... so then what? He's got to get six innings out of his bullpen, which leaves him little flexibility the next night.
Which is my typically long-winded way of saying that Scioscia got five innings out of Lackey, and I don't blame him for it.
I don't blame Guillen for sticking with Garland, either. Let's assume for a moment that you want to get your bullpen some work ... but do you use Jenks, your best reliever, for an inning? If so, does that mean he can't pitch two innings tomorrow night? And if you don't want to use Jenks because you want him rested, which of your good relievers do you not want rested? I see your point, but it's not like these guys haven't pitched in a week. I think they can handle a few days off. And if Garcia pitches a complete game tomorrow night and again the bullpen spends nine innings in the bullpen? Then the Sox are sitting pretty anyway.
Rally Monkey? The Angels need some Rally Walks and a Rally Guerrero, otherwise the Monkey stays in his cage.
Previous Second Guesses
• Oct. 13: Why pitch Lidge two innings?