Hi all; Nico from Athletics Nation here. First off, I want to say that I think overall Bruce Bochy has managed an excellent post-season so this post is not to suggest he has erred much. But the one move that surprised me (be it from him or the "Giants brass") was the decision to set Jonathan Sanchez up to pitch games 3 and 7.
Electric but very erratic, Sanchez was coming off two very poor starts as the series opened and now it's three stinkers in a row. It's also too late to change course, as Bumgarner is set for game 4, Lincecum and Cain on turn for games 5 & 6, and only Sanchez will be available to start if there's a game 7.
Now perhaps Bochy and the Giants are counting on winning in 6 games, but if so that means it's a "best of 3" coming up as if neither team held a games advantage. In other words, if the Giants win two of three, great -- they win the World Series. But if the Rangers win two of three, then it's game 7, Colby Lewis vs. Jonathan Sanchez -- not so great. Given how consistent the trio of Cain, Lincecum, and Bumgarner have been, I thought Sanchez would be slotted into the game 4 slot where he would get only one start and then could be available as part of an "all hands on deck" bullpen in a possible game 7. As it stands, Bumgarner has that role behind Sanchez -- and I'm guessing the hook will be quick if Sanchez wobbles anything like he has done for three starts running.
I guess there's some wisdom in putting all your energy into precluding a game 7 and then figuring you can piece that game together with a couple innings from Bumgarner, Affeldt, Romo/Lopez, and Wilson, if need be. But if you're a Giants fan -- and if you're on this blog I'm guessing maybe you are -- right now you have to be thinking that your team needs to win in 6 or else...eek.
Or does it not feel that way to you? I'd be interested to know.