Bochy's delay in having relievers warmed up and ready to go
Monday's game saw multiple examples of the game getting out of hand and Bochy not having relievers ready to go. The first example was in the sixth. Otto had gotten out of the fifth and the Rangers went back ahead 5-4 on a Corey Seager home run. Bochy could have decided to take Otto out at that point. He was not bound by the three-batter rule. If a pitcher ends an inning he can be taken out and not have to face three batters. Bochy could have chosen to go to Perez or Dunning at that point for two innings. Instead, he chose to go back to Otto.
The issue was that the sixth inning started and no one was warming up. Otto gave up the back-to-back home runs on lazy sliders and then pitchers started to scramble and get ready. How do you not have someone ready to go after the first home run? Altuve was coming up next and he smelled blood. He enters the batter box in attack mode and he jumps all over the second pitch and takes Otto deep. It was at that point that Perez started throwing. It was too late by then, the lead was gone.
That was not the only time though. Josh Sborz then came in for the seventh after the Rangers had tied the game. The same Sborz who had allowed eight runs combined over his last five appearances. Sborz got into trouble quickly allowing the first three batters to reach. At that point it was quite clear that Sborz had nothing to offer. A seven pitch at-bat to Kyle Tucker where he hit a single should have been enough to take him out. Sborz could not put Tucker away. No one was warming or ready to go. Again Bochy had put in a struggling reliever with no way to really bail him out.
It was not until after Sborz had walked Jose Abreu to force in a run that Perez once again started throwing. It was not until the Astros had put up six runs on the board that Bochy decided to remove him. Yeah Sborz shoulders the blame for not being good enough, but Bochy not having a plan B ready to go after three batters is inexcusable. I know he has complained some about the three-batter rule, but it is on him if he does not have someone ready to go after three batters are faced.
Bochy could be doing better. These are just two examples from Monday's game. The not having relievers ready to go has been a season-long issue. Today it was Sborz, but it has been other pitchers this season that have been left in too long because relievers were not ready to go.