Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Forecast for Jacobs Field: Scattered Angst

MLB's staggered postseason schedule has added a new dimension to pitching staff strategy this year. With at least three planned off days in the LCS, it is very reasonable to try and let your best starting pitcher go three times since rest is much less of an issue.

So since the Red Sox have one great starter (Beckett) and three others (Schilling, Dice-K, Wakefield) who all have some questionable aspect to their potential performance, they seem like the perfect candidate to bring back Game 1 winner Beckett for tonight's Game 4.

Even though pitching on three days rest has been spotty in the postseason for even great pitchers since the Division Series was added in 1995 (team record 39-54, starters ERA 4.37, 5.4 IP, 90 pitches), the Red Sox have a seemingly sure thing in Beckett.

But that is where all the statistical forecasting gets pushed aside for the meteorological forecasting. Rain is expected tonight and is expected to intensify by the start of Game 5. What if Beckett starts tonight and the game is delayed, forcing him to cut his outing short? But then what if they play an uninterrupted game tonight and Game 5 is disrupted by Mother Nature.

Red Sox Nation favors throwing the Cy Young favorite tonight. I agree, unless Chief Wahoo has been sighted doing his rain dance....

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