David Price versus Clayton Kershaw at 8:15pm.
I’m beginning to think that Joe Maddon has done as much damage to baseball as Tony LaRussa. Watching Alex Cora and Dave Roberts try to strategerize their way to a title, I get the feeling they both believe that the fate of the universe hangs on their every decision. It’s like Clint Hurdle writ large. Or #managershow, which remarkably is even worse than the Joe West #umpshow. They each seem to be determined to manooover into a situation where they have a lead in the middle innings and can then bewilder the other team into scorelessness (or terminal boredom) by simply making enough pitching changes until they, at last, bring Mariano Rivera in to blitz the last two innings. Except neither of them has Mariano Rivera.
Never mind that a large part of the scoring in this series has resulted from plain old, middle- and late-inning dingerz. The managers keep staking everything on that Bullpen Deathblow. That’s why Cora played a large part of Friday’s 18-inning snoozefest with a lineup that looked more like a Pirates September lineup that a World Series team. (Two zero-bat catchers; Ian Kinsler, who’s been a basket case since the Sox got him; a hobbling Xander Bogaerts and a hobbling Eduardo Nunez; and Nathan Eovaldi batting twice.) It doesn’t seem to occur to these guys just to let the players play. These are two powerhouse offenses (when Cora doesn’t genius all of his good hitters onto the bench), yet both managers seem to think if they just make the right moves, the other team can’t score. Sure worked like a charm last night.