Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Playoff Starting Rotation?

The playoffs are all but a certainty at this point and due to our lackluster play in KC it will be as the Wild Card. Let's start to look ahead at the starting rotation against the Angels and realizing that the Yankees (best record) get to choose this year the playoff schedule they will take. This means they will go with schedule A giving them a day off between Games 1/2, thus needing only three starters. Forcing the Angels and Sox to go with four starters.




Jim Storer said...

The first three are a lock for the rotation, IMHO. The fourth depends on a couple of things:

- Is Wake feeling ok? There was talk that he might have aggravated something in his back with the last start.
- Which Dice-K shows up? He's looked solid over the last two starts... did the break do enough to re-set his clock and does he have the legs to pitch well into the post-season?

I've got to think the fourth starter is going to be a game-time decision... Tito needs a few more data points on each guy and then he can make the decision.

FWIW... I like Wake out of the bullpen more than Dice-K, but would put Wake in the starting rotation if he's healthy.

Aaron_Strout said...

KF - I'm mostly with you but agree with Jim. Not sure Wake is going to be available. Based on Byrd's outing against KC the other night, I take my chances with Dice K as my #4.

Tim Walker said...

The Sox have to win all of Lester's and Beckett's starts. Big dropoff after that, IMO.

As for Buchholz and Matsuzaka -- let's hope one of them catches fire.

Wakefield: bullpen/swingman.

Byrd: in case of emergency, break glass.

Derek Peplau said...

Based on what I've seen, I would only put Wake as 50/50 to answer the bell for the rotation. He doesn't look too comfortable out there. I have absolutely no idea what to expect from Dice-K. None.

Tim's right: I think you lose a Beckett or Lester start, and you're in trouble. I can't say I'm confident Buchholz or Matsuzaka can deliver transcendent performances down the stretch.

It will be a very interesting test for both, particularly in Buchholz's case with how he handles giving up a few hits and can he pay less attention to runners on 1st. With him I think it's 75% mental.

KFFBOS said...

No way do I put Daisuke in a starting position in the short series. Wakefield is my pick, even if he has one leg.

And I'm not joking.

adamcohen said...

I'm with Kyle - Dice-K should only come in if Wake loses his other leg. "It's only a flesh wound..."

Aaron_Strout said...

Guys - two things (and yes, I have one more point of data after last night's dominating victory) but Buccholz is by no means a question mark. He's won 5 of his last 6 starts and most of them with ease. Did you know tha he also had the 3rd lowest ERA in the AL since August 29?

My second point is this. While we all would feel more comfortable with the stability and veteran presence Wakefiel offers, he's not exactly been "Mr. October." Much of this is beyond his control as the cool nights of fall dramatically reduce the efficacy of his knuckleball. As a result, he's been left of several playoff rosters over the past couple of years. Dice K on the otherhand, may have been a total douchemeister early in the year but he seems to have seen the err of his ways and has pitched respectably the last few games. Oh yeah, he's also been money in the playoffs in both 2007 and 2008.

Bryan Person said...

It's going to be:
1) Lester
2) Beckett
3) Buchholz
4) Daisuke

If somehow the Red Sox get the "B" series--not likely--and only 3 starters are needed, Daisuke would get skipped.

Have to disagree with Kyle here. I don't think I want to Wakefield on the hill in a short series, *especially* in his current condition. Too bad, too. He really is a trooper.

KFFBOS said...

Aaron--I think Clay saw my post and wants to be considered for #2.

Bryan--We'll hash this out over a pint while Daisuke gets lit up by the Angels. ;)