Shame on Colby Lewis for witnessing the birth of his daughter

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Whenever I point out and link a column or an article that seems outrageous, there’s always someone who notes that the writer was probably just “trying to get a reaction” or that he’s an otherwise OK guy who says audacious or controversial stuff in order to draw attention to themselves.

I get that. I understand that there are trolls out there trying to get a rise out of folks and that they might otherwise be fine upstanding  people. But as a wise man once wrote, we are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be. If you write idiotic things, for whatever reason, sorry, you’re an idiot.

Which brings me to Richie Whitt of the Dallas Observer. He wrote the other day about how Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis missed his last start. The reason:  Lewis’ his wife was giving birth to their daughter. Most people would think that’s a good reason. Not Whitt:

Follow me this way to some confusion. Imagine if Jason Witten missed a game to attend the birth of a child. It’s just, I dunno, weird. Wrong even. Departures? Totally get it because at a funeral you’re saying goodbye to someone for the last time. But an arrival is merely saying hello to someone you’ll see the rest of your life … Baseball players are paid millions to play baseball. If that means “scheduling” births so they occur in the off-season, then so be it. Of the 365 days in a year, starting pitchers “work” maybe 40 of them, counting spring training and playoffs.

If it was a first child, maybe. But a second child causing a player to miss a game? Ludicrous.

The writer admits in the article that he has no children of his own but that he “raised a step-son for eight years.” Color me shocked that he (a) could not find a woman to procreate with him; and (b) was apparently dumped by his step son’s mother at some point.  With an attitude like this, I presume the issue of family and fatherhood isn’t going to come up for him any time soon.

But hey, at least someone is paying attention to you know.

A.J. Hinch: “We’ll use every pitcher in Game 7 if we have to”

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It’s not entirely clear why the Astros threw Ken Giles into the ninth inning of Game 6 of the ALCS. With a six-run advantage and the bottom half of the Yankees’ lineup due up, pushing the series to its seven-game capacity looked like a sure bet. Giles may be one of Houston’s better bullpen arms, but he’s not their only option, and it would have made more sense to keep him fresh for a do-or-die Game 7 on Saturday night.

Of course, there’s no such thing as a sure bet when it comes to postseason baseball. That’s more or less what Astros’ manager A.J. Hinch had to say after the game, telling reporters that he had envisioned a quick three outs from his closer as they tried to pull back from the brink of elimination. “We didn’t have the luxury of limping into that inning,” Hinch said. “We’ve seen how these guys can explode in these innings.”

It’s not difficult to recall the Yankees’ explosive drive in the eighth inning of Game 4, when they exploited the holes in Houston’s ‘pen and evened the series with Gary Sanchez‘s go-ahead double off of Giles. Back home in Minute Maid Park, however, there was a slightly different feel to the eighth and ninth innings of Game 6. Jose Altuve led off the eighth with a solo home run, followed by Alex Bregman‘s two-run double and Evan Gattis‘ sac fly. In the ninth, Giles labored through a 23-pitch outing to lock down the win, handing out a base hit and a seven-pitch walk before eventually whiffing Chase Headley on three straight pitches for the last out.

So, while Hinch’s decision to lean on Giles in Game 6 may have felt wasteful, his concerns were not entirely unfounded. He’s prepared to roll with the same strategy during Saturday’s series finale, too, leaving nothing on the table as the Astros battle for their first World Series showdown since 2005. According to Dallas Keuchel, that means all hands on deck — except for Justin Verlander, whose four wins, 24 strikeouts and 1.46 postseason ERA have gotten the Astros as far as he could possibly be expected to take them. “No pitcher is going to be in the dugout,” said Keuchel. “They’re all going to be in the bullpen, myself included. Any way we can help out, we’re trying to get to the World Series, the same way the Yankees are, and that’s a nice feeling to have.”

Does that mean Giles will be available for a Game 7 appearance? Stranger things have happened. Joe Sheehan notes that the right-hander has pitched in back-to-back days 13 times this year, though he’s never thrown as many as 23 pitches on Day 1. Granted, he likely doesn’t have enough left in the tank for another 20+ pitch run on Saturday, but with the World Series on the line, any help he can offer will be invaluable.