Stories to follow in Game 4 World Series

Would you believe me if I told you the undefeated record the Texas Rangers had on the road this year? It’s true: They finished 40-41 in the regular season. Obviously, that doesn’t mean anything now that they’ve won nine straight games in the postseason, which dispels the whole idea that it’s always good to start at home. Now, in a worst-case scenario, they’ve promised to return home for Game 6 if necessary, but do they really want to?

However, after injuries to their two key players, Max Scherzer and Cuban Adolise Garcia, turned into a costly win in Game 3, they will want to hold on to any possible advantage after setting the table for Game 4. Enormous importance that can take infinite directions.

There are three main storylines to watch for Game 4 of the World Series on Tuesday night (Halloween!).

Rangers vs T-backs
Rangers went up 2-1
Andrew Heaney vs. Joe Mandible
8:03 pm ET

Story no. 1: Will Arizona’s offense ever get into a consistent rhythm?

In Game 2 of the World Series and on numerous occasions throughout the playoffs, it looked like the T-backs would score indefinitely. Everyone was clicking in that 9-1 win.

Then, Monday night… the T-backs were quiet. Christian Walker was retired at the plate in the second inning after the coach stopped him, and the D-backs’ bats were shut down until the eighth. Take Aroldis Chapman’s hitless eighth inning — which, like so many episodes with Chapman this October, should have been worse than it turned out to be — and the T-Backs went 4 for 27 on Monday with Corbin Carroll, Venezuela. Gabriel Moreno, Dominican Ketel Marte and Walker were 2-for-14.

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They could do more damage to the weakest part of the Rangers’ bullpen over the next two days — all of the Rangers’ key relievers were out Monday, even if they couldn’t pitch every night — but the T-backs have gotten this far thanks to a series of offensive outbursts. They need another one, and fast.

Story #2: Will we see Adolis Garcia again in this series? If not, what will the Rangers do?

Oblique injuries are very difficult to treat during the regular season and can really only be fixed by leaving it alone and giving it time to heal. But one thing you don’t have in the postseason is time.

Garcia was the ALCS MVP and swept the World Series again, ending Game 1 and securing his place in Fall Classic history. But still As he held his side Immediately after he flew out to center field in the eighth inning of Game 3, the baseball world let out a collective scream. The Rangers immediately recalled Garcia, and it certainly wouldn’t surprise anyone if he was out of the lineup on Tuesday. Needless to say, losing a hitter of Garcia’s caliber, who is currently on fire, is a big deal for the Rangers. Travis Jankowski or Robbie Grossman seem like possible replacements, but there’s no way to replace Garcia. We are all unfortunate to lose the electrifying Adolis from this World Series. But it was really unfortunate for the Rangers.

Story no. 3: How are these teams going to cover all the innings of Game 4?

Now, the Rangers will turn to Andrew Heaney. It’s hard to imagine him taking the field much longer. This comes a day after the Rangers needed five pitchers and the day before they get Game 5 started by a man (Nathan Ewaldi) who didn’t make it past the fifth inning in Game 1.

If you think that’s a problem, you should check out the T-backs. They’ve already announced they’re going to play a bullpen — remember the one used for emergencies instead of Game 4 of the World Series? — something they did in Game 4 of the NLCS. They won that game against the Phillies, but they needed eight pitchers, which was more than they had to ask of Jack Galen in Game 6. (They only won that Game 4 when Craig Kimbrel scored three in the eighth.) Either way, the D-backs will start Joe Mandy tonight.

“Trial and error” is the best way to describe the strategy used by both teams today. They try everything to see what works. And they’ll have to do it again in Game 5 on Wednesday.

Eden Hayes

"Wannabe gamer. Subtly charming beer buff. General pop culture trailblazer. Incurable thinker. Certified analyst."

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