Going nine.

Nathan Eovaldi pitches his second complete game of the year.

Maybe this is all part of a plan. Maybe Bruce Bochy is so old school, he is determined to bring back the complete game. After all, he played in an era when a starter was expected to go nine innings. And their arms didn’t fall off.

Then closers came in. Then eighth-inning guys. Then the bridge guy to get you to the eighth-inning guy. Then the set up guy to get you to the bridge guy to get you to the eight-inning guy who got you to the closer. Then the middle reliever who took you to the set up guy.

Then, the dumbest of all experiments: the opener. 

Little by little, baseball eroded the confidence, and importance, of the starting pitcher. 

Maybe this is Bochy’s devious way to bring back the starter. Run out a bullpen that it so monumentally bad, it can’t hold a thimbleful of water in a bucket. Make it painful. Really painful. No, really really painful. 

Then, have your starter go nine innings and totally eliminate the need for a bullpen like Nathan Eovaldi did last night in the Rangers 6-1 win over Pittsburgh. 

The starting pitches a complete game. So, the bullpen never has to enter into the game. And the best relief pitching is the starter, who is relieving the bullpen of every having to enter the game in the first place.