Saturday, September 29, 2007

Costly loss in Kay-Cee

Tonight's loss in Kansas City cost the Tribe quite bit.

It cost them guarateed home-field advantage throughout the post season and it cost them the eight-game ALDS format they were hoping for.

Even if the Red Sox lose tomorrow and the Tribe wins, the Sox - on tie-breakers - would be the top seed for the American League playoffs.

As a reward, the Sox get home-field advantage if they face the Indians in the ALCS.

Just as importantly, The Boston Globe reports, the Red Sox have chosen the eight-day format for their ALDS series against the Angels.

The Tribe will have to play five games over seven days, meaning they will not get to pitch CC Sabathia and Fausto Carmona in four of the five games on regular rest. They still could use the duo twice, but CC would have to pitch game four on three days rest.

CC would go on Thursday (Oct. 4) and Fausto on Friday (Oct. 5). There's no game on Saturday and either Jake Westbrook or Paul Byrd would pitch Sunday (Oct. 7) at Yankee Stadium (ugh!).

If Cleveland is up 2-1 after three, they could choose to start whichever guy (Byrd or Westbrook) did not pitch in game three and save CC (on an extra day's rest) for a game five back at the Jake if needed. Or they could push CC up a day and give each of their aces a shot at winning one of the final two games. In that scenario Carmona would be going on normal rest in game five.

If they are down 2-1 heading into game four in New York, I don't think there's any doubt they would move CC up a day and still have Carmona pitch on regular rest in game five on Weds (Oct. 10).

By the way, the Yankees have announced that Chien-Ming Wang will open against the Indians next Thursday.

So, the pitching matchups for the first three games are: CC Vs. Wang; Fausto Vs. Andy Pettitte and Westbrook or Byrd Vs. Roger Clemens, or Mike Mussina if Clemens is not healthy enough to pitch. The pitchers in games four and five will depend on where the series stands after three games.

There is one other major negative about the half-baked, TV-inflicted plan to start the playoffs four days after the season ends. The pitching staffs will come into the series over-rested and, possibly, rusty.

CC will be facing the Yanks on an extra day's rest, which is disruptive. Fausto Carmona - unless they give him a five-and-fly on short rest tomorrow - will be pitching with eight days rest in game two. That's a disaster for a sinkerballer because they often have trouble when they are too fresh. The same would apply to Westbrook, who would be pitching on seven days rest if he is tabbed to start game three. Byrd would be going on eight days rest if he pitches game three and nine days rest if the Tribe decides to use him in game four.

Wang last pitched for the Yankees on Wednesday, so - unless he gets some work in on short rest tomorrow - he would be facing the Tribe with a full week of rest. Andy Pettitte pitched (poorly) tonight, so he would come into game two on just one extra day of rest.


moose said...

well it was more than last nights loss

how about the losses in seattle

it is what it is - the red sox rallied and so the indians did not get the scheduled they wanted

in todays PD - wedge said CC, fausto, westbrook and byrd

but if down 2-1 you can be sure CC will go game 5

or would this be another mistake like colon in boston - forgot the year to pitch him with one day less rest

so now it is important to win the first 2 as going to ny 1-1 or down 0-2 will be big trouble

does anyone know the times yet

moose said...

thats cc will go game 4

Ron Vallo said...

Because the Yankees are patient veteran - not to mention good - hitters who won't let you get them out without coming into the strike zone, I'd take CC on 3 days rest over Byrd against them any day. Byrd's pitching style just doesn;t match up well against New York.