Question: How do you keep the bullpen from blowing a lead?
Answer: Your starter goes all nine innings.
Question: How do you ensure your starter goes nine innings?
Answer 1: You get one with the mindset of Justin Verlander who said afterward that he had no intention of coming out of that game.
Answer 2: You have a manager that sees the value in letting brilliance shine. Verlander also said that his manager, A.J. Hinche, didn’t say a word to him about coming out either. And he didn’t panic when Verlander allowed a baserunner in the ninth.
It all said off when the Astros scored a run in the bottom of the ninth to give Verlander the complete game victory and the Astros a nice 2-0 lead heading into New York. The last time a team took a 2-0 lead heading into New York, they never won another game. That was the Cleveland Indians in the Division Series back in 2017. So there is still a long way to go in this series
But getting back to this game: as the game has evolved into a parade of bullpen arms, it’s just common sense that the more arms you bring in, the more your chances of finding one that is off that day.
Verlander is a throwback to when pitchers had the mindset of going all the way. But yesterday’s game was a prime example of why you ride the hot hand.
The Yankees took out Luis Severino, who was as equally brilliant as Verlander, through four. He got hit with a comebacker and they panicked. He lobbied to stay in the game.
“I didn’t agree with (coming out),: Severino said. “I was feeling good. I was getting outs.”
The Yankees ran three relievers out there. One of them was going to have a bad day. It was the last one.
Jon Lester (13-8, 4.33) vs Rich Hill (12-8, 3.32)
Game time: 6:38 on TBS