What. A. GAME. 7. I am by no means a baseball fan. I like the Red Sox, only because of regional bias. However, whenever any sport has a Game 7, I will be watching. Game 7 is just such a magical thing in the sports world. Every Game 7 that I have had the pleasure to watch has been entertaining. Last night was no exception.
One thing that was noticeable in the World Series, especially Game 7, were the trends the series followed. The home team never won a game. The Nats never lost an elimination game. They were 5-0 in elimination games, and made comebacks in most of their wins. They came back against the Brewers in the Wildcard round. They came back again against the Dodgers in Game 5 of the series. They were down 3-0 until the 6th inning, and then mounted a 3 run comeback in the next 3 innings. Then, Howie Kendrick hit a 10th inning grand slam, to permanently put the Nats on top of the Dodgers. Game 2 of the world series saw a tight contest all the way up until the 7th inning, when the Nats opened up the scoring with 10 unanswered runs.
And then we have the spectacle that was Game 7. The Nats were down 2-0, facing Zack motherf’in Greinke on his GAME. Greinke gets taken out of the game after the 6th inning, and his replacement, Will Harris, threw all of 5 pitches. 2 out of those 5 pitches yielded 3 runs for the Nats. A.J. Hinch made a HUGE mistake by taking Greinke out, and by not putting in Gerrit Cole AT ALL. Howie Kendrick again, hits a 2 run homer to the right field pole. That put the Nats up for good, as the Astros wouldn’t score again. What was A.J. Hinch thinking by taking Greinke out of that game?
Listen, I understand that analytics play a big part in baseball now. But those baseball nerds, Hinch included, must have been looking at WALL. Greinke was on fire, and he should’ve stayed in that game. He was in a rhythm, and was in control. It only took five pitches for the Nats to turn a 2-0 hole into a 3-2 lead. 5 PITCHES. That is solely on A.J. Hinch. He should have at least gone to Gerrit Cole, if he was so dead set on bringing Greinke out of the game.
I’m sure anyone actually watching that game would have told Hinch to either keep Greinke in the game or put in Cole. That is a no brainer. ESPECIALLY when Harris gave up runs the night before that led to the Nats comeback in Game 6. Hinch had no feel for that game, or the moment. If he left Greinke in, we would most likely be talking about the Astros taking the last 2 out of 3 World Series.