Mister Tee wrote:One last thing about Wednesday night: I understand the instant euphoria around the game, but even the lifelong Cub fan I saw last night (who was at Progressive Field for the clincher) questioned the widespread "greatest game ever" verdict being bandied around. It strikes me as equivalent to saying "best sex I ever had" two minutes after orgasm.
Your analogies are always so fucking spot on...and no pun intended...well maybe that's a lie haha
So for fear of sounding as contradictory as possible....I totally agree with you against this prisoner of the moment hot take running rampant...largely because of Maddon. YES I defend him as Krazy Professor and yes I think it is dumb to go apeshit critical on him when he told us who he trusted a la who he was going to use. Not letting Hendricks go farther after dominating (Smoltz said it best...and it holds true in most professional sports...do not purposefully do something that will make the opponent ecstatic i.e. Hendricks removal when only the ump even allowed Santana to reach base, going for it on 4th down when a stop will turn momentum enormously, resting the hit hand in basketball because it's the start of 2nd or 4th quarter normalcy etc.) was a very questionable choice, I just never imagined the crazy combo of him pitching less than 5 plus Lester being brought on plus Ross, both cold, into a hideous situation for a starter who hasn't been brought in dirty like for over a decade I think.
But in the instance of this being considered the best game ever...Maddon paradoxically caused such hyperbole as well as simultaneously likely being able to avoid any potential comparison to any decent clinching game ever by removing Hendricks combined with the Chapman/Lester inning position swap.
Did I think Hendricks was removable via Maddon any time after he faced the entire lineup and let a runner on...specifically at the top of the order ? Yes
Did I think he absolutely would pitch Chapman in game 7 no matter what transpired in game 6 or then vitriolic reaction ? Yes
Did I think Lester would pitch 2 or 3+ innings in relief and this was largely why he used Chapman extensively in game 6? Yes
Do I also think Hendricks likely retires Kipnis via ground ball right after the non-K to Santana? Yes
I thought Krazy Professor set it up and had it working almost exactly how I envisioned and predicted:
Hendricks goes into the 6th...if he needs mid-inning help, Chapman is ready to close the 6th and depending on how the 6th went...maybe pitch the 7th...then Lester comes in totally fresh (Ross also beginning of inning fresh) either to start the 7th or 8th inning and close out what is likely a 6-1 or so victory.