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World Series Game 6 open thread

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This could be the last MLB game of the year, so enjoy as much of it as you can.

World Series - Atlanta Braves v Houston Astros - Game Three
Luis Garcia is set to start for Houston. The Astros need to win to force a Game 7.
Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Are you ready for baseball to be gone for the year yet? I have to say that I am not, so I find myself sorta rooting for the Astros heading into tonight’s Game 6 of the World Series. If Houston wins, the series goes the distance to seven games, with the last game set to be played tomorrow. If Atlanta wins, that’s it. The 2021 season is over and they are the champions for the first time since 1995.

Game 6 is set for a first pitch at 8:09 Eastern and will air on Fox.

If you don’t spend all day reading takes about baseball on Twitter, you may have missed today’s discourse about World Series game start times. There’s been angst throughout this postseason regarding how late the games are ending. Is it bad for baseball’s future if people can’t stay up to watch?

The average length of game so far this postseason has been 3:45. It’s a long commitment. That’s 25 minutes more than the average postseason game five years ago. Regular season games have “only” lengthened by 14 minutes in the same timeframe.

An illustrative example of this problem was Game 4 of this series, in which Atlanta beat Houston, 3-2. The game took that exact average length to play: 3:45. That’s a heck of a long time to sit through a game where the teams combined for five runs and 16 hits.

A lot of people have theories about what the best way to address this would be. I don’t have a specific solution. I just know that I agree with everyone who thinks it’s a problem. 8 o’clock start times may be necessary for considering prime time in different time zones, but postseason games ending near or after midnight is no good. Maybe this one can at least wrap up around 11:30.

Atlanta lineup

  1. Eddie Rosario - LF
  2. Jorge Soler - DH
  3. Freddie Freeman - 1B
  4. Austin Riley - 3B
  5. Adam Duvall - CF
  6. Joc Pederson - RF
  7. Ozzie Albies - 2B
  8. Travis d’Arnaud - C
  9. Dansby Swanson - SS

The starting pitcher is Max Fried, who had a 3.04 ERA in the regular season but sports a 5.40 ERA in the postseason so far. If the trend of this postseason holds, there could easily be a quick hook for either starting pitcher at the slightest sign of either fatigue or struggle.

Houston lineup

  1. Jose Altuve - 2B
  2. Michael Brantley - LF
  3. Carlos Correa - SS
  4. Yordan Alvarez - DH
  5. Yuli Gurriel - 1B
  6. Kyle Tucker - RF
  7. Alex Bregman - 3B
  8. Jose Siri - CF
  9. Martin Maldonado - C

Pitching for Houston is Luis Garcia, who was the losing pitcher in Game 3 four days ago, meaning he makes this start on short rest. On that occasion, Garcia only allowed one run, but he walked four and also gave up three hits in a 3.2 inning outing. Pitchers ending up in different roles has been one of the stories of this postseason.