On the one hand I want to be at least somewhat optimistic about the Rangers chances. I mean, there’s no way that Ron Washington can screw up the bullpen so badly a second time in one series, right? There’s no way that a formidable Rangers lineup will remain so utterly impotent, right? There’s no way they won’t do a lot more damage against lefties Jonathan Sanchez and Madison Bumgarner — at home no less — than they could do against Lincecum and Cain, right?
But then I look at the numbers and realize how dire things truly are:
- Teams have taken a 2-0 lead in the World Series 51 times. Forty of those teams went on to win it;
- The last 11 teams that took a 2-0 lead at home have gone on to win it;
- The last three teams to take a 2-0 lead in the World Series went on to win the thing in a sweep.
I mean, sure, you can point to the 1996 Yankees who went down 2-0 at home and went on to steamroll the Braves in the next four, but they were rather exceptional for that very reason. And, in hindsight, that was the beginning of a sustained run of excellence for the Yankees, the likes we haven’t seen since Mickey Mantle’s day. The exception that proved the rule, as it were. Unless the Giants sign Mark Wohlers between now and Sunday I don’t know that the 1996 Yankees’ example is very instructive.
So get the antlers and the claws ready, Rangers fans. Be prepared to scream your head off. But likewise be prepared for this thing to end poorly, because it usually does for teams in the Rangers’ shoes.
Angels reliever Cam Bedrosian will take the next few days to decide whether or not to undergo surgery to remove a blood clot naer his right armpit, Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports. The alternative is to treat the clot with blood-thinners and rest.
Bedrosian, 24, hasn’t pitched since blowing a save against the Athletics on August 3, shortly after he took over the closer’s role from the injured Huston Street. Bedrosian was diagnosed with flexor tendinitis in the middle finger of his throwing hand about a week later.
Overall, Bedrosian — the son of former major league closer Steve — has had an outstanding season, compiling a 1.12 ERA with a 51/14 K/BB ratio in 40 1/3 innings.
Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that Shelby Miller will return to the Diamondbacks’ starting rotation on Wednesday to start against the Giants at AT&T Field.
Miller had an abysmal first half of the season, which included a stint on the disabled list with a finger injury caused by his follow-through. In 14 starts with the D-Backs this season, Miller put up a 7.14 ERA with a 50/34 K/BB ratio in 69 1/3 innings.
Miller was demoted to Triple-A Reno and made his first start shortly after the All-Star break. In eight starts in the minors, Miller compiled a much-improved 3.91 ERA with a 55/10 K/BB ratio in 50 2/3 innings.
The Diamondbacks acquired Miller along with minor leaguer Gabe Speier from the Braves this past winter in a heavily-criticized trade that sent Ender Inciarte, Aaron Blair, and 2015 No. 1 overall pick Dansby Swanson to Atlanta.