Game Five, 2019 World Series

Astros at Nationals, 5:07 PM PDT, TV: Fox

The big news of the day is that the Nats’ scheduled starter Max Scherzer has neck spasms and has been scratched. In his place will be RHP Joe Ross, who started the season in the bullpen but emerged as a member of the Nationals’ rotation when relieving didn’t suit him. He had Tommy John surgery in 2017; 2019 was his first full season back from that. He’ll face the Astros’ Gerrit Cole, who had an uncharacteristic loss in Game One in which he gave up five runs on eight hits in seven innings.

Astros lineup:

Nationals lineup:

16 thoughts on “Game Five, 2019 World Series

  1. Quoting the WaPo discussion of robo-umps that RBI linked to below:

    The introduction of the system in MLB would come with undesirable consequences, some of them unintended and some unforeseen. It would change the way the sport looks as we know it. For 150 years, a pitcher who misses his spot in the strike zone and makes his catcher lunge awkwardly was punished with a ball; those would be strikes. The three-dimensional nature of the zone, and a human’s eye to recognize how a 90-mph projectile flies through that plot, means balls in the dirt have always been balls, even if they clip the very front of the zone at the knees. Those would be strikes. It would also eradicate the skill of pitching framing or expanding the zone throughout the game, skills that make baseball richer.

    Baseball does not want the problem the NFL faces. It introduced replay to get calls right. New technology necessitated an expansion of the rule book, to the point that trying to define a simple act such as a catch is rendered undecipherable. Trying to legislate out officiating errors introduced more problems and bastardized the game. Rule books are written with human eyes in mind, and legislating sports with advanced tech inherently changes how those rules govern the sport.

    But maintaining status quo also creates problem. It places umpires in an unfair spot, and their exposure is only growing. A Twitter account with the handle Jomboy_ has gained a following for an expert ability to enhance and isolate audio of players and umpires picked up by broadcast microphones. After Rainey’s should-have-been-strike-three, it picked up an exchange between Gomes and Barksdale.

    “You were taking off on me,” Barksdale said, seeming to suggest he had called the pitch a ball because Gomes had leaped out of his crouch in anticipation of a strike call, which could be perceived as a form of showing up an umpire.

    “Oh,” Gomes replied, putting both hands on his chest. “It’s my fault?”

    • Yeah, but who knows? Ross might go six or seven strong innings. In 1956 the Yankees’ Don Larsen lasted 1 2/3 innings in Game Two of the Series. He came back in Game Six with his perfect game. Similarly, in 1966 Dave McNally only went 2 1/3 innings against the Dodgers in Game One of the Series but came back with a complete game win in Game Four.