Nolan Arenado Hit A Walk-Off Home Run That Completed The Cycle...As If It Could Have Ended Any Other Way
Watching a red hot Nolan Arenado hit a dinger that simultaneously won the game and completed the cycle while ultimately resulting in a celebratory ending so bloody that it would make John McClane proud was nothing short of awesome. For that reason, I am glad that San Francisco Giants chose to pitch to him in a spot where they were tempting fate by doing so, but I just can't - for the life of me - figure out why they thought it end any other way.
I don't have to be an analytics geek to know that intentionally putting two runners in scoring position while up one in the bottom of the 9th is a bad managerial decision. Unfortunately, throwing one straight down the pipe to a .300 hitter who was seeing the ball like a .800 hitter and was one swing away from a milestone seems like a worse managerial decision. I'm all for playing the percentages, but not when it's undoubtedly going to test the baseball gods.
Admittedly, I have a half assed knowledge of the game but stepping to the plate with the game and a cycle on the line seems like a pretty rare opportunity, and sports have a way of turning the rare opportunity into the unbelievable occurrence. Somehow, that home run felt too good to be true and also insanely predictable. I don't want to tell Bruce Bochy how to do his job, because he and his three World Series rings might be a tad bit better at it than myself, but when history is a knockin' it might be wise to close the door on the open base you have afforded to you. Not because it would have been a wise baseball choice, but because - from the Giants perspective - the potentially game winning bat would have been better off in literally anyone else's hands.