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A.J. Hinch “likely” won’t use Ken Giles in a save situation in World Series Game 5

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Astros closer Ken Giles‘ struggles continued in Game 4 of the World Series on Saturday night. The right-hander faced three batters and gave up a single, a walk, and a run-scoring double before exiting. The other two eventually came around to score as well, putting him on the hook for three runs with no outs recorded.

Giles has now given up runs in six of his seven postseason appearances this year. Overall, he’s yielded 10 runs (all earned) on 12 hits (including three doubles and three home runs) and five walks with 10 strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings. Needless to say, that’s a far cry from his regular season performance.

If the Astros find themselves with a save situation in Game 5 on Sunday, manager A.J. Hinch said, “It most likely won’t go to Ken tonight,” MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports. Not particularly surprising. The Astros’ bullpen has been an issue throughout the postseason, but thus far in the World Series, Brad Peacock, Chris Devenski, and Will Harris have proven to be reliable so any of them could presumably be used in a save situation if one arises.

Zack Cozart thinks the way the Rays have been using Sergio Romo is bad for baseball

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The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.

In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.

The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.

Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”

It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.

It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.