Re: Playoff Roster
posted at 9/30/2013 1:55 AM EDT
In response to manosome's comment:
Boston bullpen entering playoffs:
3) Hope and a prayer
4) Hope and a prayer
5) Hope and a prayer
6) Hope and a prayer
7) Hope and a prayer.
In other words, the starters better go deep in all games.
You sound like the same poster (torgorocksinhishead) that kept saying the Red Sox would never make it with their lousy pitching staff. Now, I do concede that the Red Sox are thin beyond Breslow and Uehara in the pen, but the game is played differently in the post season for a number of reasons.
1. Given the importance of each game, especially the elimination ones, the main guys are handled differently. Both Breslow and Uehara will be extended beyond an inning if necessary. If you recall 2007, the Sox were heavily dependent upon Oki and Paps. Both players were pushed to their limits in the post season to secure key victories.
2. As an extension of the above, all set-up relievers are given a much shorter leash. Tazawa especially will not necessary be expected to finish an inning once he lets a runner or two on base (depending upon the score of course). The same holds true for most of the rest of the relief corps except for Breslow and Uehara.
3. There will be more strategic match ups and more pitching changes. Certain pitchers will be targeted for specific opposing hitters and game situations based upon how well they match up. Think Joe Madden.
4. Dempster and maybe Doubrant (if he's on the roster) are wild cards in the sense that it's hard to predict how they'll perform in this role in the postseason. If Tazawa looks shaky, Dempster could end up stepping up big in the 7th inning. Expect new heroes and goats to emerge because of the importance and scrutiny of each at bat. Just remember the rebirth of Derek Lowe in 2004. There are bound to be many surprises in the post season and a lot of drama.
5. In certain situations, another starter can sometimes end up in a less familiar role. For example, if Buchholz is on 3 three days rest in a final game, and Breslow and Uehara have either been used or are gassed, you might see Clay close out a game in extras or even before if the situation is desperate. The roles are more flexible when the situation demands it. Just remember Randy Jones and Schilling as both aces and closers in 2001.
You shouldn't conceive of a bullpen in the same way as in the regular season. There are a lot more dynamics at work.