Game three of the 2018 World Series was a wild ride, but within are nuggets of information the San Francisco Giants should learn from.
I hope the San Francisco Giants front office — whoever that might be — stayed up to watch that record-setting World Series game.
For once, being on the Westcoast benefited from an early start time as it was only 1 a.m. when the 18-inning thriller inning — instead of 3 a.m. where I was, or 4 a.m. back in Boston.
If there was one thing a team can learn from game three, is how important depth is in today’s game.
The day’s of putting your best nine on the field and letting your starter go the distance is over. Today you need a complete effort from all 25 guys on your roster, especially in the National League.
The Red Sox and Dodgers used a combined 46 players in game three, including 18 pitchers.
Now I know not every game is going to go 18 innings, but the fact remains that you need reliable depth to succeed over 162 games and in the postseason.
I don’t think anyone will argue that the Dodgers and Red Sox are the two deepest teams in baseball. Most of the Dodgers bench could start on most teams in baseball.
The Red Sox had players coming off the bench like Ian Kinsler, Eduardo Nunez, and Andrew Benintendi. While the Dodgers had David Freese, Matt Kemp, and Brian Dozier come off their bench.
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Coming into the postseason, I think the biggest question mark for both of these teams was their bullpen. But they both turned a negative into a positive by turner starters into dynamite relievers.
Boston used Eduardo Rodriguez, Joe Kelly, David Price, and Nathan Eovaldi all out of the pen, and all were former starting pitches in the big leagues. Eovaldi pretty much was a starter in this game going six-plus innings.
The Dodgers turned to former starters Kenta Maeda, Julio Urias, and Alex Wood for the last four innings of the game.
I still think it’s imperative to get length from your starting pitcher, and you can argue that was the difference in game three of the World Series.
Dodgers starter Walker Buehler was able to go seven innings, while Boston starter Rick Porcello was pulled after 4.2 innings after just 61 pitches.
Dave Roberts has been criticized heavily for going to his bullpen too early in this World Series, but it was Alex Cora who slipped up this time. Who knows how different this game might have played out had Cora allowed Porcello to go another inning or two.
For the San Francisco Giants, in order to compete in the future and get back to the World Series, they not only need to focus on improving the starting lineup, but making sure they have reliable depth behind them.
As a team that has been devastated by injuries the past couple of years, they should know how important it is to have a 25-man roster full of starters.