World Series Game Four, try two
First, how’s the weather in St. Louis? From the National Weather Service, it’s 54 degrees, 90% humidity, and their forecast should make you wince:
Tonight: Areas of drizzle, then occasional rain after 1am. Low around 50. South wind 5 to 7 mph becoming east. Chance of precipitation is 90%.
Friday: Periods of rain. High near 52. Breezy, with a north wind 6 to 9 mph increasing to between 17 and 20 mph. Winds could gust as high as 28 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%.
Niiiiiiiiice. Anyway, if this games goes off, it’s Bonderman v Suppan, which brings me back to my frustration with the Tigers rotation.
How would you order these pitchers in a playoff rotation that goes 2-off-3-off-2?
A. RHP 4.08 ERA, 2.69 BB/9, 8.50 K/9, .76 HR/9
B. RHP 3.63 ERA, 2.9 BB/9, 6 K/9, 1.02 HR/9
C. LHP 3.84 ERA, 2.74 BB/9, 4.37 K/9, 1.01 HR/9
D. LHP 3.84 ERA, 2.89 BB/9, 5.91 K/9, 1.25 HR/9
An average pitcher walks 3 guys in 9, strikes out 6, gives up a home run, more or less.
But wait- say the other team’s vulnerable to lefties, and scores a third of a run/game less against them. That might bump a couple guys around, but assuming that this year’s lines are a good measure of the talent level right now, I’d arrange this ADBC, with the thought that with this scheduling, you’re looking at AD(off)BCA(off)DB, with the added benefit that in Game 7, you could conceivably start A on three days rest, and certainly pitch him out of the bullpen, along with C.
That ADBC rotation is Bonderman-Robertson-Verlander-Rogers. Now, I don’t care how you weight the relative intangibles of these guys, Bonderman is clearly the pick of the litter, and if you start him #1 you may well wring three starts out of him if it comes to that. The other guys don’t really matter so much
What if there’s a rainout, say, for game four, and you lose the second travel day and you’re down in the series? If you were super-aggressive, you could go AD(off)B(off)ADBC and immediately get another start out of the best pitcher in the rotation to give you your best shot at evening the series.
This has been driving me nuts all Series. Bonderman is, by far, the best pitcher in the rotation, and he’s #4, so you get one start out of him and then maybe you can bring him out again in game seven.
Anyway. Hoping for a good game.