We will remember some individual performances and moments from the 2018 season, but the thing that will likely be remembered the most from this year is the advent of the “opener” and the full-scare regular season use of bullpen games by design.
Whether that lasts as a long-standing innovation or whether it just serves to mark the era, not unlike the White Sox short pants of the 1970s or 1980s ballplayer cop mustaches is unclear, but we’ll certainly talk about it. I talked about it a bit here not too long ago. I’m sorta cranky about it, but I’ll own my crankiness.
The Rays are the team that originated the idea, but the Oakland A’s are taking it to the postseason, baby:
The quotations marks are used, of course because, before this season and the Hendriks had not started a game since 2014. He began eight games this season, all in September, after the A’s went full-bore into bullpenning mode. He pitched one inning in seven of those, an inning and a third in the eighth.
Figure he’ll get one inning tomorrow night and that will be that.