What Will Be the Biggest Controversy?
I think we are absolutely headed for at least one quick-hook controversy. Merrill Kelly wasn’t happy about being pulled after five innings in Game 6 of the NLCS, and goodness knows Max Scherzer has been known to stare daggers and breathe fire at managers who try to pull him before he’s ready to leave.
And while these bullpens have been money in the postseason, they were both far from reliable during the regular season. If those relief woes happen to resurface after an early hook, oh buddy, the takes will be hot.
JR: Torey Lovullo’s Managing
The X-factor for the D-backs might be how they navigate a potentially short outing from rookie Brandon Pfaadt in Game 3 and another all-hands-on-deck bullpen approach in Game 4.
Lovullo did a fantastic job traversing those two games in the NLCS, but the volatility of that approach opens him up for criticism if things don’t go as well in the World Series.
BS: Bruce Bochy’s Lineups
Anytime Bruce Bochy plays veterans Robbie Grossman or Travis Jankowski over rookie Evan Carter, eyes will roll in North Texas.
ZR: The Pitch Timer
The first season with the pitch timer went about as well as anyone could have hoped. It did what it was supposed to do, and the players got used to it as the year went along. And so it goes in October, wherein there have been only seven pitcher and batter violations.
Still, I live in fear of that moment. That moment when a big spot in a game is determined not by a big pitch or a big hit, but by someone taking just a little too long on the mound or in the box. I don’t want it to happen. But if it does…oh boy, there will be hell to pay.