Briefly covering some topics and links as I watch game 6 of the NLCS…
One of the benefits of all the off time is that the rotation can be set however Jim Leyland desires. What we’ve learned is that Jim Leyland’s desires are often different than our own. But if it were up to me, I’d go with one of following 2 rotations:
Rogers-Bonderman-Robertson-Verlander: Kenny Rogers has been pitching like a man possessed and needs to be at the front of the rotation. In the interest of alternating arms, I went with Bonderman next. He’s pitched better than Justin Verlander in the postseason. Also, I think the Tigers would like to limit Verlander’s starts just to protect his arm. Robertson has started the first road game of each series so far, and it would seem to work in this situation also.
Bonderman-Rogers-Robertson-Verlander: This is almost identical with just the first 2 spots flipped. Everybody will be on extended rest, but Bonderman would be closest to his regular routine. Also, if the series were to last 6 games both of Kenny Rogers starts would come at Comerica Park. This isn’t a huge concern because Rogers has an ERA of 3.05 at Shea Stadium. But all of those starts came in 1999 so they are terribly relevant. If it means going to St. Louis, none of the starters have pitched in the new stadium so it is a wash.
As I’ve said before though, I don’t think the rotation makes a significant difference with this team. They are balanced and all very good so there aren’t clear advantages in who starts when and where. The other issue is that the Tigers don’t need to set their entire rotation. They can wait and see what happens in the first 2 games before making their decision on the next 2.
There is a justifiable concern that the layoff will hurt a team that is red hot. Last year the 2005 White Sox – who have been compared to the Tigers many times – won the ALCS on October 16th and didn’t start the World Series until October 22nd. The White Sox swept the Astros.
!n 1996 the Yankees has a full week off while waiting for the Braves who’s series went to 7 games versus the Yankees 5. New York won that series 4 games to 2.
Finally in 1995, the Braves swept the NLCS while the Indians battled the Mariners for 6 games. The Braves had a week off and won the World Series in 6 games.
So in the 3 instances since the Wild Card where one league Champion has a week off and the other doesn’t, the rested team has prevailed. I think the bigger issue for the Tigers (and their eventual opponent) is the length of the NLCS series, not the length of the layoff.
- There’s talk that Andrew Miller is in town and could be on the World Series roster. This is catching me by surprise, and at first glance I don’t see how this could be a good idea.
- A reader tipped me to this article from Baseball America BaseballAmerica.com: Prospects: Arizona Fall League Feature: Brent Clevlen
- Get your game-worn Dmitri Young Erie Seawolves jersey.