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The DH Helps The Giants More Than It Hurts

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In need of a win in Game 3, the Texas Rangers got much-needed power from the end of their lineup. Mitch Moreland says he's happy to bat last, even if it's not the typical place for a starting first basemen; he's just happy to be in the batting order at all. The Rangers have power top-to-bottom in their lineup which allows them to keep Moreland at the bottom, hidden away. He was there partly because the D.H. spot was used on Vladimir Guerrero who batted 4th (and went 0 for 3). You'll recall that in Game 1 Guerrero had so much trouble in the field that the Rangers benched him for the second game because he was such a defensive liability.

The Rangers got shut out in Game 2, 9-0. Without Guerrero's power in the lineup, the Rangers struggled to get on the board. So when the Rangers headed home, they must have been eager to get their team back in order. It's fair to say that the San Francisco Giants were aided in the first two games by the N.L.'s rule against the designated hitter. So when the series headed to Texas, the Rangers could play the game they were more accustomed to. But there's at least one claim that an injustice is taking place in these middle games as a result of the extra hitter. Gregg Doyel at CBS Sports says:

Guerrero vs. [Pablo] Sandoval? Not fair. Not fair at all. But I'm not bemoaning the system. It is what it is, and what it has been since the AL began using the DH in 1973. I'm not demanding a change to the system. I'm just telling you, the system hurts San Francisco worse than it hurts the typical NL World Series team, because San Francisco isn't the typical NL World Series team.

This position, while it holds up based on last night's results, pales in comparison to the reverse argument. The Giants get to slot in an additional player in the A.L. home games, which, to me, can't be seen as a disadvantage. Sure, the A.L. rosters are more strategically built to include the likes of Guerreros, but that is hardly an edge when you consider how much the Rangers lost when they had to play in San Francisco. Having to sit a regular player strikes me as far worse a punishment than having to play a non-regular. The Giants can just as easily fill that spot with a player that comes through and hits well in the extra lineup spot, regardless of whether that production came last night.

Moreland wasn't only batting in the 9th spot because it was a home game for the Rangers - he would have started at first base regardless. So claiming that his decisive homer was the result of the D.H. inclusion doesn't hold water. However, you can easily make the case that the Giants stole some wins as a result of the D.H. exclution earlier this week.

This article was originally published on The Sports Nook blog.

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