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Thursday, October 10, 2019

Why did the Cardinals let ace Jack Flaherty throw 100 pitches in a game decided after the first inni

It’s not often that you see all suspense of a winner-take-all game in the MLB playoffs deflated by the end of the first inning, but that’s pretty much what happened Wednesday during Game 5 of the NLDS between the Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals.

The Cardinals batted around and then some in the first inning, hanging a postseason-record 10 runs on the Braves and increasing their lead to 13-0 in the third inning.

Obviously, that was great for the Cardinals. That didn’t stop them from making an odd choice on the pitching side, however, of a game that had been all but decided.

Because we’ve seen how well playing short-rest games has worked for the other teams in the playoffs, and there’s something to be said for learning by example?

 

QLE Posted: October 10, 2019 at 12:11 AM | 59 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cardinals, jack flaherty

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   1. The Duke Posted: October 10, 2019 at 12:49 AM (#5888696)
Made perfect sense. Anyone seen Carlos Martinez pitch lately?

You have to get at least 18-21 outs into the game before you start thinking bullpen. Even if they pull him after 5 he’s still not starting until game 3
   2. Dr. Vaux Posted: October 10, 2019 at 12:59 AM (#5888706)
Exactly. I could see deciding not to pitch him at all, but once he's pitching, pulling him early isn't going to affect how soon he should pitch again.
   3. Red Voodooin Posted: October 10, 2019 at 02:18 AM (#5888714)
I think the argument is that they should have pulled him after 1. Or before 1, actually.
   4. bunyon Posted: October 10, 2019 at 07:32 AM (#5888735)
Agreed. Once he pitched, get as much as you can out of him. Everyone else will be fresh for the LCS. Me? I’d have pulled him at 10-0. You’re not blowing 10-0.
   5. The_Ex Posted: October 10, 2019 at 08:17 AM (#5888743)
Because thats what baseball managers always do. When has a manager pulled a pitcher in the playoffs to save him? There is no saving in the playoffs.
   6. PreservedFish Posted: October 10, 2019 at 08:30 AM (#5888746)
If this were a computer game, you pull him immediately, and hope he can start on Saturday. 10 runs is safe, and there's no reason you can't quickly turn it into a 'bullpen game.' But given how goddam sensitive these guys seem to be about their routines and schedules, I probably would've let him go about 80 pitches, and just planned to keep him on his regular schedule.
   7. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: October 10, 2019 at 09:34 AM (#5888760)
Normally the answer would be that with a huge lead he doesn't need to exert himself as much as he would in a close game, isn't wearing himself out, so he might as well pitch. Is that true anymore?
   8. pikepredator Posted: October 10, 2019 at 09:45 AM (#5888768)
I'm good with letting him pitch. I think it would be strange to start warming up another pitcher at 6-0 or whatever in the top of the first.
I'm also of the "no lead is safe" mentality - particularly in the first inning. Yeah 10-0 is a massive lead, but there is a ton of baseball left to play. A couple crooked numbers and it's 10-7 in the 5th and you've got a ballgame. I'd rather rest the relievers and use Flaherty as expected.

It would be one of the great comebacks, but it wouldn't be *unprecedented*. And game 5 is by definition must-win. I wouldn't support Flaherty pitching 1/4/7 in the NLCS anyway, so he's only getting two starts. Once he's slated to start Game 5, you've already got him penciled in for 3/7 (or 3/6, possibly). Disrupting everyone's planned schedule because you think this one is "in the bag" before the other team even gets up to bat is too presumptive for my taste.
   9. Nasty Nate Posted: October 10, 2019 at 09:48 AM (#5888769)
4. bunyon Posted: October 10, 2019 at 07:32 AM (#5888735)
Agreed. Once he pitched, get as much as you can out of him. Everyone else will be fresh for the LCS. Me? I’d have pulled him at 10-0. You’re not blowing 10-0.

6. PreservedFish Posted: October 10, 2019 at 08:30 AM (#5888746)
If this were a computer game, you pull him immediately, and hope he can start on Saturday. 10 runs is safe, and there's no reason you can't quickly turn it into a 'bullpen game.' But given how goddam sensitive these guys seem to be about their routines and schedules, I probably would've let him go about 80 pitches, and just planned to keep him on his regular schedule.
I don't think I'd choose to use any bullpen to go 8-9 innings in a deciding game unless it was 14+ in the top of the first.
   10. kubiwan Posted: October 10, 2019 at 09:55 AM (#5888773)
I’d have pulled him at 10-0.

there's no reason you can't quickly turn it into a 'bullpen game.'


So the plan is to exhaust your bullpen just before a series in which you expect** to rely heavily on your bullpen??!!?? In circa 2019, every playoff series is one in which teams expect to rely heavily on their bullpen.

If you to argue he shouldn't have pitched the 6th inning, fine, but otherwise, I don't see the benefit. On his normal rest, he is good to go for Games 3 and 7.
   11. pikepredator Posted: October 10, 2019 at 10:16 AM (#5888782)
I'm wondering if I would feel differently if this were a wild-card game, and making the quick-switch to a bullpen game meant he could get 2 starts in the ALDS rather than 1.

I still don't think so, but it's a closer call. You can't win the ALDS without getting to it, and no pitcher can win it single-handedly anyway. Christy Mathewson isn't walking through that door.
   12. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 10, 2019 at 10:25 AM (#5888786)
There probably is a point they could have pulled him where he could have still started game 2 in the NLCS and you feel more secure with the outcome of this game. I agree that probably isn't before the 1st but it also isn't after the 6th. Maybe after the 2nd when it's 11-0, even more likely after the 3rd when it's 13-0. Aren't there some guys in the pen that can go multiple innings and aren't likely to be high leverage guys?

I have more questions about other moves he's made (was Wong sac bunting? why'd he IBB the go ahead run in game 3? why was Carpenter pulled early yesterday - if he was hurt, I missed that?), and do agree almost every team would have let Flaherty go multiple innings in the same situation.
   13. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: October 10, 2019 at 10:28 AM (#5888789)
Given that he's not pitching until Monday (on regular rest) I don't see any reason to get overly creative. Keep him on a regular schedule, let the bullpen rest a bit and have him comeback ready to go. It was about as low stress a 110 pitches as you can get. I think I might have called it a day after the fifth but that's about as close to criticism as I will get on this one. As good as he's been I don't think the Cards view him as an undeniable ace, they seem pretty confident (rightly so) with Mikolas and Wainwright out there so no reason to get cute.
   14. wjones Posted: October 10, 2019 at 10:40 AM (#5888798)
why was Carpenter pulled early yesterday - if he was hurt, I missed that?),

Defense. Took the announcers two innings to complete the announcement about it.
   15. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 10, 2019 at 10:44 AM (#5888800)
Christy Mathewson isn't walking through that door.
Christy Mathewson would get pummeled by 2019 batters anyway.
   16. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 10, 2019 at 10:45 AM (#5888801)
Defense. Took the announcers two innings to complete the announcement about it.


The radio guys (on the SiriusXM MLB Channel broadcast) mentioned the defensive replacement as soon as the bottom half of the inning started after coming back from commercial.
They joked that it was the quickest non-injury replacement they'd ever seen.
"He even drew a walk!"
   17. PreservedFish Posted: October 10, 2019 at 10:49 AM (#5888805)
I was wondering if that was the quickest defensive replacement in history.
   18. kubiwan Posted: October 10, 2019 at 10:53 AM (#5888809)
There probably is a point they could have pulled him where he could have still started game 2 in the NLCS


What is the advantage to having your ace go in Game 2 rather than Game 3? The latter allows him to still start Game 7 on regular rest, while the former yields two options:

1. Pitch him in Game 5 on short rest

2. Pitch him in Game 6 on regular (actually, extra) rest

Option 1 allows his use as a G7 reliever, but at the cost of a short rest start (which would be second consecutive such one in this case). Option 2 basically kills his availability for G7 outside of maybe a couple of batters.

All in all, that strikes me as a lot of re-jiggering and bullpen slagging for very marginal returns, even in theory.
   19. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 10, 2019 at 11:03 AM (#5888814)
If this were a computer game, you pull him immediately, and hope he can start on Saturday. 10 runs is safe, and there's no reason you can't quickly turn it into a 'bullpen game.' But given how goddam sensitive these guys seem to be about their routines and schedules, I probably would've let him go about 80 pitches, and just planned to keep him on his regular schedule.


I don't know, this feels kind of backwards. Flaherty is going to start at most two games in the NLCS (and, at most, two games in the World Series) under any usage scenario. Having him pitch 0 or 1 or 5 or 8 innings in Game 5 of the NLDS doesn't change that. It might change which two games he pitches, but regardless, it's two games - the Cardinals have to win (at least) two non-Flaherty starts in every series from here on out.

The argument for pulling him early is that he's young and has never thrown this many innings before so you want to keep him fresh. And based on that, I'd have probably pulled him after maybe 4 or 5 innings - I don't know, maybe pinch hit for him his 2nd or 3rd time up? But having him in position to pitch Games 1 and 5 of the NLCS instead of Games 3 and 7? I don't see the point.
   20. jmurph Posted: October 10, 2019 at 11:04 AM (#5888816)
What is the advantage to having your ace go in Game 2 rather than Game 3? The latter allows him to still start Game 7 on regular rest, while the former yields two options:

1. Pitch him in Game 5 on short rest

2. Pitch him in Game 6 on regular (actually, extra) rest

Option 1 allows his use as a G7 reliever, but at the cost of a short rest start (which would be second consecutive such one in this case). Option 2 basically kills his availability for G7 outside of maybe a couple of batters.

Don't know the percentages, but surely a series is more likely to only go 6 games than it is to go 7?

I don't have an opinion on the overall question, but I guess that would be one possible reason to prefer 2/6 vs 3/7.
   21. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: October 10, 2019 at 11:12 AM (#5888821)
These are humans, not APBA cards.

Flaherty was dying to pitch a series-deciding game 5. They all live for this stuff.

Now you expect him to sit down without throwing a pitch? You're crazy.

Get out of your spreadsheets and play the game sometime.

   22. Nasty Nate Posted: October 10, 2019 at 11:14 AM (#5888823)
uh, you forgot the part about mothers' basements
   23. The Duke Posted: October 10, 2019 at 11:26 AM (#5888833)
21. Completely agree. I still remember like yesterday when our high school coach made a last minute switch and started our number 1 instead of number 2 in a key playoff game. We won but the number 2 guy got crushed in next game. He was completely amped to pitch but got shoved aside and it shattered his confidence.

Only high school but it was my first lesson in the fragile psyche of ballplayers.

It was right to let flaherty have his moment and if he does have to pitch a game 7, he’ll be ready to do it
   24. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: October 10, 2019 at 11:32 AM (#5888838)
10 run lead safe? Wow, you guys tempt the baseball gods.
   25. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 10, 2019 at 11:40 AM (#5888842)
Don't know the percentages, but surely a series is more likely to only go 6 games than it is to go 7?


Actually, if all games are pure coin flips, then the likelihood of a series going 6 games or 7 games are identical. One team goes into Game 6 leading 3-2: that team either wins and the series is over or that team loses and the series goes to Game 7.
   26. pikepredator Posted: October 10, 2019 at 11:50 AM (#5888849)
Actually, if all games are pure coin flips, then the likelihood of a series going 6 games or 7 games are identical. One team goes into Game 6 leading 3-2: that team either wins and the series is over or that team loses and the series goes to Game 7.


You're speaking about "ending after 6 or 7" . . . but that's not quite what was being asked, I think. In your scenario, there are only half as many game 7's as game 6's, since every 7-game series includes Game 6, but only half of series that go 6 end up going to game 7.

   27. jmurph Posted: October 10, 2019 at 11:57 AM (#5888855)
Yeah Kiko I'm admittedly a dumb but that's clearly wrong.

EDIT: Which isn't to say my first supposition was correct: is it, in fact, more likely that a series only goes 6 games, not 7? I assume it is, but don't know for sure.
   28. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: October 10, 2019 at 12:04 PM (#5888863)
Over a large enough sample you'd expect a slight tendency for the better team to be up 3 to 2 going into Game 6, thus also slightly more likely to win any one game, therefore slightly more 6-game than 7-game series.

Whether that is actually the case I don't know. I'm also not sure whether all of baseball history is yet a large enough sample for confidence. All of American sports history (drawing in the NBA and NHL, which for the past couple decades have played 15 best-of-sevens a year to MLB's 3) might be.

(It may also be noteworthy for checking into this that in baseball, the better team is usually at home for Game 6, whereas in the 2-2-1-1-1 format the NBA and NHL use the better team is usually away for Game 6. So we should probably expect more Game Sevens in those sports than in baseball, over a large enough sample. Then there's the issue that the better team is far more likely to win any individual basketball game than baseball or hockey... y'know what? Let's just forget the whole idea of drawing other sports into this, it muddies rather than clarifies.)
   29. Nasty Nate Posted: October 10, 2019 at 12:07 PM (#5888868)
I just took a quick look, and I believe there have been slightly more 7-game baseball playoff series than 6-gamers.

The WS leaned heavily towards 7, while the LCS's leaned the other way.
   30. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: October 10, 2019 at 12:08 PM (#5888869)
https://stats.stackexchange.com/questions/101063/statistics-of-7-game-playoff-series

My conclusion is that:

P(4games)=224=12.5%
P(5games)=825=25%
P(6games)=2026=31.25%
P(7games)=4027=31.25%
   31. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: October 10, 2019 at 12:11 PM (#5888874)
There's also the notion that a team down 3 games to 2 will treat Game 6 as if it were Game 7; they'll play it with no thought to preserving a pitcher for tomorrow and will employ desperation strategies when behind, whereas the team up 3 games to 2 may not be quite so aggressive, knowing they get two chances to win. Might that effect be large enough to move the needle a percentage point or two, over a large enough sample? I don't know.
   32. jmurph Posted: October 10, 2019 at 12:14 PM (#5888881)
From Barry's link:
Interestingly, another mutual friend pulled out some statistics on 7 game series played (NHL, NBA, MLB 1905-2013, 1220 series) and came up with:

4 Game Series - 202 times - 16.5%
5 Game Series - 320 times - 26.23%
6 Game Series - 384 times - 31.47%
7 Game Series - 314 times - 25.73%

But of course that includes the other two leagues.
   33. Nasty Nate Posted: October 10, 2019 at 12:16 PM (#5888886)
But of course that includes the other two leagues.
If you are going with a baseline that every game is a 50/50 toss-up, it doesn't matter what league it is.
   34. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: October 10, 2019 at 12:20 PM (#5888892)
It feels like the 6 vs 7 is actually an argument for pitching Flaherty 3/7 instead of 2/6? If you "switch the results" of games 6 and 7, it of course doesn't change the outcome of the series, and if you would have won in 6 either way, that way Flaherty is lined up to start 1 and 5 of the WS (opening the door to relieve game 7) since you haven't burned him, while if you started 2 and 6 he wouldn't be ready rest wise to start until game 2 of the WS.

Against that, though, using Flaherty in game 6 instead of 7 to lose in 7 instead of 6 does have one big advantage for the Cards: one more game of playoff revenue.
   35. jmurph Posted: October 10, 2019 at 12:20 PM (#5888893)
If you are going with a baseline that every game is a 50/50 toss-up, it doesn't matter what league it is.

PASTE's homefield points surely matter though, in reality, right?

A simple control-f here for 4-2 and 4-3 yields more 4-3s (56 4-3s, 48 4-2s, and one other 4-2 that is actually the middle portion of a team's W-L record so I dismissed that, obviously).
   36. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 10, 2019 at 12:23 PM (#5888898)
I would have pulled Flaherty when he came to bat in the top of the 3rd. They were up 13-0, with the bases loaded and two-out.

Having only thrown 2 innings, maybe 30 pitches, I'm pretty sure Flaherty could have started G2 on Saturday.

You want your ace going in G2/6, rather than 3/7 because all game sixes are deciding games. Either you have to win to get to 7, or you can end it.
   37. Nasty Nate Posted: October 10, 2019 at 12:24 PM (#5888900)
PASTE's homefield points surely matter though, in reality, right?

A simple control-f here for 4-2 and 4-3 yields more 4-3s (56 4-3s, 48 4-2s, and one other 4-2 that is actually the middle portion of a team's W-L record so I dismissed that, obviously).
Yes in reality it would matter how strong the homefield advantage is, and the format of home/away for the series, and so we wouldn't expect the exact same probability for each league.
   38. Nasty Nate Posted: October 10, 2019 at 12:29 PM (#5888909)
You want your ace going in G2/6, rather than 3/7 because all game sixes are deciding games.
Well obviously all game sevens are deciding games too.

All things being equal, you'd want your ace 2/6 rather than 3/7 because of potential rainouts. 2/6 can become 2/5, 2/6 (or the potential 2/5) leaves the opportunity for a relief appearance in game 7, etc...
   39. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: October 10, 2019 at 12:29 PM (#5888910)
You want your ace going in G2/6, rather than 3/7 because all game sixes are deciding games. Either you have to win to get to 7, or you can end it.


Yeah, but the alternative in both cases is a series that keeps going, not the opposite outcome, as it is in game 7.

Game 7 is half as likely to happen but twice as important if it does happen. It cancels out, as you would hope it would. Of course, all other things being equal, winning in 6 is better than winning in 7 baseball wise (since you get to rest going into the next series), but worse financially for the team with HFA, so there are still considerations. But from the standpoint of winning the series alone, deploying your ace in two games is the same no matter which two.

Baseball for the thinking fan.

EDIT: Nate also makes a good point about rainouts.
   40. Nasty Nate Posted: October 10, 2019 at 12:34 PM (#5888913)
Game 7 is half as likely to happen
what are you basing this on? EDIT - Nevermind - brain fart on my side
   41. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 10, 2019 at 12:36 PM (#5888915)
Game 7 is half as likely to happen


what are you basing this on?

Game 6 is always 3-2. ~50% of the time the leading team will win. So # of G7s = .5*# of G6s.
   42. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 10, 2019 at 12:39 PM (#5888921)
Yeah, but the alternative in both cases is a series that keeps going, not the opposite outcome, as it is in game 7.

Game 7 is half as likely to happen but twice as important if it does happen. It cancels out, as you would hope it would. Of course, all other things being equal, winning in 6 is better than winning in 7 baseball wise (since you get to rest going into the next series), but worse financially for the team with HFA, so there are still considerations. But from the standpoint of winning the series alone, deploying your ace in two games is the same no matter which two.

Baseball for the thinking fan.


If you are down 3-2, G6 is more important than G7. The existence of a G7 is predicated on you winning. Therefore you want your best pitcher pitching. If you are ahead 3-2, then the two games are equal. You need to win one, either will do. So no reason not to want your ace starting G2. And if for some reason you'd rather hold him back, you have that option.

2/6 is without question superior to 3/7, simply because you can't guarantee G7 happens.
   43. Nasty Nate Posted: October 10, 2019 at 12:42 PM (#5888924)
Game 6 is always 3-2. ~50% of the time the leading team will win. So # of G7s = .5*# of G6s.
Ah right. I was getting confused with the other concept earlier in the thread.
   44. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: October 10, 2019 at 12:54 PM (#5888934)
2/6 is without question superior to 3/7, simply because you can't guarantee G7 happens.

Unless you are saying starting him in 2/6 makes you more likely to win BOTH 6 AND 7, it doesn't matter (or increase your chance of winning game 6 by more than it reduces your chance of winning game 7). You need to increase your win-percentage to actually have it make a difference in the outcome. If there is no game 7, it is because the outcome of that extra start does not matter, win or lose. You are just shuffling deckchairs around on the titanic in that case. If the series ends 4-2, it doesn't matter that you could have managed to lose it 4-3 instead.

If you are down 3-2, G6 is more important than G7. The existence of a G7 is predicated on you winning.

No. You need to win BOTH. Winning the first, and then losing the second, is just as bad as losing the first. They are both equally important, even if one of them ends up never being played.
   45. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 10, 2019 at 03:53 PM (#5889048)
No. You need to win BOTH. Winning the first, and then losing the second, is just as bad as losing the first.

No, it's actually not. Every step you advance further in the post-season is an achievement. In your logic losing a epic 7-game series is not better than being blown out in four straight. No GM, manager, player, or fan feels that way.
   46. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 10, 2019 at 04:15 PM (#5889058)
But from the standpoint of winning the series alone, deploying your ace in two games is the same no matter which two.

If your best pitcher only pitches once in a 6 game series because he pitched multiple meaningless innings the series before... I mean, there's a risk the series doesn't go 6 either (or 5) and he still only goes once, but you are reducing the odds he can pitch twice.
   47. Jay Z Posted: October 11, 2019 at 01:56 AM (#5889198)
If your best pitcher only pitches once in a 6 game series because he pitched multiple meaningless innings the series before... I mean, there's a risk the series doesn't go 6 either (or 5) and he still only goes once, but you are reducing the odds he can pitch twice.


But you need to win 4 games. You can win in 7 or less. Or lose in 7 or less.

If your best pitcher is starting Games 1 and 5 or games 3 and 7, it's about the same. Even if he wins both, you need 2 other wins somewhere. If he starts game 3 and wins, and you lose 1, 2, 4, 5 the series is over. Yes, he only got to pitch once. But you already lost your 4. If he starts game 1 and game 5, you lose games 2, 3, 4, you will have to win 6 and 7 without him starting.

Game 1 and 5 ideally are better because maybe you could use him in relief in Game 7. That reminds me of Whitey Ford. Whitey started the first game of the World Series 8 times from 1955 to 1964. 7 of those Series went the full 7 games, but Whitey never started a game 7.

The one series he didn't start Game 1 was 1960. Ford and Art Ditmar had similar seasons though Ford was a touch better and had the much longer rep as a staff ace. Ditmar started the opener in Pittsburgh. Then Bob Turley in Game #2. Ford was held back for the first Yankee Stadium in Game 3. Then Ralph Terry pitched Game 4, with Ditmar going in Game 5. That would put Ford on tap for Game 7 seemingly. But the Yankees lost Games 4 and 5 after taking a 2-1 lead. So, backs against the wall, Ford starts in Game 6 and wins. Then Turley starts in Game 7. Ford pitched on short rest because it was a do or die game. I suppose it could have rained for a couple of days, making Ford available again. But if he'd started in Game 1 and 5, he should have been ready for Game7.

Anyway, Flaherty could not be taken out in the 1st or the 3rd. Way too much lenience. The Braves scored 10 or more runs 19 times during the year.
   48. McCoy Posted: October 11, 2019 at 07:08 AM (#5889202)
Eh, im pretty sure there are times when losing an epic 7 game series is preferred to be blown out in 4. Losing sucks and all but there are a lot of cases where getting blown out is worse
   49. DJS Thinks Apples and Oranges are Similar Posted: October 11, 2019 at 09:22 AM (#5889215)
Yeah, running the probabilities game-by-game, I get about the same for 3/7 as 1/5. But that doesn't take into consideration the chance of using him in relief in game 7.

The Cardinals didn't have to tire their bullpen to cover the game. They had both Genesis Cabrera and Daniel Ponce de Leon who hadn't thrown a single pitch in the NLDS at this point.
   50. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 11, 2019 at 09:32 AM (#5889221)
Yeah, running the probabilities game-by-game, I get about the same for 3/7 as 1/5. But that doesn't take into consideration the chance of using him in relief in game 7.

It also assumes each game is an independent event. If we think there is some negative effect from playing under greater pressure, we should think that teams playing from ahead will have an extra edge in each game.
   51. pikepredator Posted: October 11, 2019 at 10:18 AM (#5889243)
Eh, im pretty sure there are times when losing an epic 7 game series is preferred to be blown out in 4. Losing sucks and all but there are a lot of cases where getting blown out is worse


Agreed. I could imagine players reminiscing about the highs and lows of losing a 7-game series. I'm a Red Sox fan, but I still remember the thrill of the 2003 ALCS. The ending sucked, but it was still exciting and unforgettable up until that HR and Boone's heroics didn't change the memories. We still enjoyed the drama of the first six games and the first 80% of game 7. Wakefield pitching a scoreless 10th . . . thrilling.

Whereas, I doubt Padres fans spend much time reflecting on the 1998 World Series.
   52. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 11, 2019 at 11:53 AM (#5889286)
Whereas, I doubt Padres fans spend much time reflecting on the 1998 World Series.

Every Yankee fan's memories of 1976 stop right after the Chambliss HR.
   53. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 11, 2019 at 01:57 PM (#5889383)

Right, I actually remember the excellent 1999 Mets team that lost a hard-fought NLCS to the Braves in 6 games, or the 2006 team that lost to the Cards 4-3 in the NLCS, more fondly than I do the 2015 that lost to the Royals 4-1 in the World Series. I still go back and watch the Endy Chavez catch or Robin Ventura's "grand single" from time-to-time.
   54. kubiwan Posted: October 11, 2019 at 03:13 PM (#5889420)
The Cardinals didn't have to tire their bullpen to cover the game. They had both Genesis Cabrera and Daniel Ponce de Leon who hadn't thrown a single pitch in the NLDS at this point.


I assume the reason they didn't pitch at all is because they are the worst pitchers on the roster. So your plan boils down to "leave an elimination game entirely in the hands of your two worst pitchers". Umm....no thanks.
   55. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 11, 2019 at 03:16 PM (#5889423)
I assume the reason they didn't pitch at all is because they are the worst pitchers on the roster. So your plan boils down to "leave an elimination game entirely in the hands of your two worst pitchers". Umm....no thanks.

He didn't say he wouldn't use other pitchers if they gave up a bunch of runs. a 13-0 game is exactly when you use your two worst pitchers.
   56. kubiwan Posted: October 11, 2019 at 03:52 PM (#5889440)
He didn't say he wouldn't use other pitchers if they gave up a bunch of runs.


At which point, you are right back to wearing out your bullpen...
   57. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 11, 2019 at 03:59 PM (#5889444)
At which point, you are right back to wearing out your bullpen...

Not really. If 5 or 6 RPs go one inning each with an off day the next day, that's perfectly fine. No one will be worn out.

Of course the odd are heavily in favor of the two pitchers giving you 6 IP while allowing 6 or fewer runs, and you never have to use anyone else.
   58. DJS Thinks Apples and Oranges are Similar Posted: October 11, 2019 at 06:30 PM (#5889510)
He didn't say he wouldn't use other pitchers if they gave up a bunch of runs. a 13-0 game is exactly when you use your two worst pitchers.

And if you can't trust your two pitchers to *not hold a lead so large that it has never been done in baseball history*, then why do you have them on the playoff roster to begin with? There would never *be* a lower-leverage scenario.

This wasn't a 4-0 lead.
   59. greenback slays lewks Posted: October 11, 2019 at 07:25 PM (#5889520)
And if you can't trust your two pitchers to *not hold a lead so large that it has never been done in baseball history*, then why do you have them on the playoff roster to begin with?

They're there to pitch in the 12th inning after your closer blew a game where your starter only went four innings. Or to soak up innings when you're down 5-0 in Game 2.

What this series says to me is that the Cardinals shouldn't have started Flaherty in the first place. That is, the visiting team's starter in a non-WS elimination game should be an opener, whom you pull pretty quickly, either for Flaherty or a more conventional reliever. It seems like teams haven't adopted to the fact that their starters aren't going nine innings these days, so whether Flaherty goes 1-6 or 2-7 isn't particularly important.

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