Bare minimum is fine.

Max Scherzer threw six brilliant, scoreless innings in a meaningless September game.

“We felt he had done his job.”

That was Bruce Bochy’s casual, breezy explanation for why he removed Max Scherzer after only 88 pitches, after only six innings.

He had done his job.

As if it was a spring training tuneup getting ready for the regular season. As if it was as meaningless as every Rangers game the last six seasons.

Perhaps Bochy isn’t aware his team is desperately clinging to a playoff spot and the season is running out. Where is the sense of urgency? This is a just-playing-out-the-string mentality. This is let’s-just-get-this-over-with-and-go-fishing thinking. September in a playoff race is when you ask your stars to go more, give more, turn it up a notch, dig deeper. Not, hey, just give us the bare minimum, thank you.

Just like talking out Jordan Montgomery after eight innings in a 1-0 gem and not allowing him to finish the game ten days ago in Arizona only to watch the bullpen blow the lead , taking out Max Scherzer after six innings last night showed no desire to win.

In Bochy’s defense, his starters will have to pitch complete game shutouts in order for this team to win, but when they are doing just that, removing them because “they had done their job” is such a defeatist attitude and sends a signal to these pitchers that he doesn’t believe in them, that good enough is good enough, that they aren’t expected to push themselves.

Sure, Bobby is in a no-win situation. But when you have a bullpen that is guaranteed to give up three runs an inning, and you are desperately needing to win games, why on earth would you give that bullpen one inning of work more than it needs?

When Bochy removed Scherzer after six innings last night, hope and optimism walked off the field with him. They left. They carried this team the first two thirds of the season. But they had done their job, thank you.

Failure will take it from here.