WORLD SERIES WRAP
Phil Garner was all mad at his team for failing to put the ball in play and scoring runs. In today’s Trib, Dave Van Dyck analyzes Game 4 inning by inning.
He wrote about Garner choosing–again–to bunt in the 1st inning. “Phil Garner was playing for one run early, which is a good idea the way his team has been hitting. So Willy Taveras sacrifices Craig Biggio to second. But Lance Berkman strikes out and Morgan Ensberg bounces out.” That’s twice in 2 nights that didn’t work. Van Dyck says it’s the right move. No way.
It’s the exact opposite of what he should be doing. Guys who are in a funk don’t need to be hitting with men in scoring position and 2 outs, down 3 games to zip in the World Series. It’s added pressure. You need a big inning. Big innings release pressure and restore confidence. Why would you be playing for one run in the 1st inning? What happens in game 3 if Garner does not give away an out? Do they score 2, 3 or 4? Does the game go to 14? What about last night? Suppose they get a hit or two and score one or two that way–how are they feeling about themselves then? Much was made of the Sox sweeping with a run differential of only 6 in the 4 games. Well Garner is a huge part of that.