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World Series Game 5 Open Thread

The 2023 season could come to an end tonight.

World Series - Texas Rangers v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Four Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

If this World Series hasn’t been exciting you, you’re apparently not the only one. It’s fair to say not much of the casual and neutral audience has been tuning in to watch this Rangers-Diamondbacks World Series, which could end up being the least-watched such series on record.

This is really only a problem for the Fox Network that paid money to broadcast this thing every year, at least for now, but when the time comes to renew the contract, that might turn into an MLB problem. I’m not going to lose any sleep over all of that. They can figure out what to do about it.

Last night’s result in Game 4 probably has contributed to people feeling like it’s not even much of a competitive series. Arizona turning to a bullpen game in desperation in the World Series doesn’t feel like much of a winning move, and of course, it wasn’t. That wasn’t Plan A. It might not have even been Plan B. But it was the plan they were forced into. The rotation beyond Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly was a weakness in the regular season.

This team only won 84 games and barely qualified for a postseason spot for a reason. They’ve done well for themselves to make it as far as they have, but that “Snakes Alive” magic has expired for them. Or at least it feels like it has. They are certainly capable of winning tonight, prolonging the series, and seeing what happens in Texas on Friday or Saturday. Or they might scrub out against a star-laden Rangers roster that probably underachieved in the regular season to win only 90 games and not win its division and has been firing on all cylinders in nearly every game of this postseason.

Rangers lineup

  1. Marcus Semien - 2B
  2. Corey Seager - SS
  3. Evan Carter - LF
  4. Mitch Garver - DH
  5. Josh Jung - 3B
  6. Nathaniel Lowe - 1B
  7. Jonah Heim - C
  8. Leody Taveras - CF
  9. Travis Jankowski - RF

Multi-year postseason hero Nathan Eovaldi is the starter for Texas. He was not very good in Game 1 of this very series, allowing five runs in 4.2 innings before being taken off the hook by the ninth inning home run that tied the game. He was good up until that start in this postseason, though, and has a 3.30 ERA in 73.2 career postseason innings. That’s a good guy to have pitching in a potential clinching game.

Diamondbacks lineup

  1. Corbin Carroll - RF
  2. Ketel Marte - 2B
  3. Gabriel Moreno - C
  4. Christian Walker - 1B
  5. Tommy Pham - DH
  6. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. - LF
  7. Alex Thomas - CF
  8. Evan Longoria - 3B
  9. Geraldo Perdomo - SS

Zac Gallen will start for Arizona to carry on a Game 1 rematch. Gallen threw 210 innings in the regular season and has gone on for another 27.1 through this postseason. Pretty good in the regular season (3.47 ERA / 125 ERA+), he has a 5.27 ERA over five postseason starts. Most of that was the Phillies sticking it to him in the NLCS; he gave up three runs in five innings in Game 1 and would have been the winning pitcher if not for his bullpen.

Diamondbacks fans can probably feel like this is the best chance they’ve got. Maybe that will work out better for them than the Orioles having Kyle Bradish and Grayson Rodriguez pitch Games 1 and 2 of the ALDS did.