Posted on: September 30, 2011 1:34 pm
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Posted on: September 30, 2011 12:40 am
Edited on: September 30, 2011 9:11 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans
This time of year, pitching can carry an otherwise flawed team all the way to a title, we saw that last year when the Giants rode their starters and a shut-down closer to a World Series championship. So which teams have the best rotations heading into this postseason? Glad you asked…
Here's our ranking of the eight playoff rotations:
Like there was a doubt? Halladay started last postseason with a no-hitter. It'll be tough to top that, but we'll see what happens when the National League's best pitching staff takes on the National League's best offense.
Joe Maddon is taking one heck of a chance giving a rookie with fewer than 10 big-league innings under his belt on the hill to start Game 1, but Moore is amazingly talented -- and he's never lost a start for the Rays (small sample size alert!).
Gallardo is perhaps the least-heralded of the Brewers' starters, but that could just be that unlike the other members of the team's rotation, he's spent his entire season in Milwaukee. The 25-year-old right-hander has gone 44-29 with a 3.69 ERA over the last three years. There's also former Cy Young winner Zack Greinke who wanted to be traded from Kansas City so he could pitch in the playoffs. Now he's here and it's time to deliver.
Call them top-heavy, and even heavier at the top since Fister joined the rotation. Fister, acquired at the deadline from Seattle, has gone 8-1 with a 1.79 ERA in 10 starts for the Tigers. Add him to Justin Verlander and you have a heck of a 1-2 punch. It's the 3-4 that lacks punch.
It looks like Arizona will go with a three-man rotation in the playoffs, which will certainly help the bullpen with the addition to Josh Collmenter. Kennedy was the breakout star of the Diamondbacks' rotation, winning 21 games, while Hudson and Saudners have also pitched well.
Sure, they don't have Lee this year, but they do have Wilson, who has established himself as an ace, going 16-7 with a 2.94 ERA this season, striking out 206 batters in 223 1/3 innings. Colby Lewis (14-10, 4.40 ERA) is the only right-hander in the rotation.
The Cardinals' two best pitchers are pitching Games 3 and 4, but everyone has contributed down the stretch. St. Louis would be higher on the list with Adam Wainwright, but he's not coming back this season. Jackson has pitched well since joining the team and Lohse, a former Phillie, has had a bounce-back season.
Sabathia's as good of a big-game pitcher as there is in the game, but Nova is a rookie and Garcia is anything but. The fact the team is going with a three-man rotation tells you what you need to know about the guys not in the rotation. Garcia's the team's third-best starter -- I guess $196 million doesn't buy what it once did.
Tags: 2011 playoffs, AL Central, AL East, AL West, ALDS, Brewers, Brewers-Diamondbacks, C. Trent Rosecrans, C.J. Wilson, Cardinals, CC Sabathia, Chris Carpenter, Cliff Lee, Colby Lewis, Cole Hamels, Daniel Hudson, David Price, Derek Holland, Diamondbacks, Doug Fister, Edwin Jackson, Freddy Garcia, Ian Kennedy, Ivan Nova, Jaime Garcia, James Shields, Jeremy Hellickson, Joe Saunders, Justin Verlander, Kyle Lohse, Matt Harrison, Matt Moore, Max Scherzer, MLB playoffs, MLB playoffs, NL Central, NL East, NL West, NLDS, Phillies, Phillies-Cardinals, Randy Wolf, Rangers, Rangers-Rays, Rays, Rick Porcello, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, Shaun Marcum, Tigers, Yankees-Tigers, Yovani Gallardo, Zack Greinke
Posted on: September 29, 2011 1:17 pm
Edited on: September 30, 2011 9:16 am
By Matt Snyder
Hopefully in the next month we get the kind of excitement baseball provided to us Wednesday night. If that happens, here's how you'll be able to take it all in.
We've got you covered here. The schedule and results page will be updated throughout the postseason. You can see -- and mock, I'm sure -- our predictions. I've always maintained you don't have the right to complain without listing your own in the comments section, so man up and post them. Also, throughout the postseason, if you can't watch the game on TV, our scoreboard updates live by the pitch. There's even a comments board where you can fight amongst yourselves, which is always popular. And much safer than doing so in person.
Also, if you're on Twitter, follow @EyeOnBaseball, @ScottMCBSSports, @DKnobler, @greggdoyelcbs, @MattSnyder27, @ctrent and @EvanBrunell. Engaging with us on that forum is definitely encouraged.
TBS has all NLDS and ALDS games. It also has the NLCS. Fox has the ALCS and the World Series.
TBS' lead broadcast team is Brian Anderson -- who has been the Brewers' play-by-play announcer -- along with color commentators John Smoltz and Ron Darling. That team will handle the NLCS and the Yankees-Tigers series. Tom Verducci will be the field reporter with this team. The other three broadcast teams for the divisional series are:
• Dick Stockton and Bob Brenly will work the Phillies-Cardinals series with Craig Sager reporting.
• Don Orsillo and Buck Martinez will work the Rangers-Rays series with Jaime Maggio reporting.
• Victor Rojas and Joe Simpson have the Brewers-Diamondbacks series with Sam Ryan reporting.
Of note, Ernie Johnson has been the top play-by-play man for TBS in the past, but he's unable to do so this year as he's with his family. His son has muscular dystrophy and has been hospitalized for weeks.
In the studio, TBS will go with Matt Winer as the host and a trio of former major-leaguers to analyze the action: David Wells and Hall of Famers Cal Ripken and Dennis Eckersley.
Fox will go with the Joe Buck-Tim McCarver tandem for both the ALCS and World Series as things currently stand. If Buck is unable to do so due to his coverage with the NFL -- and he's had voice issues this season -- expect either Thom Brennaman or Kenny Albert to take over. Ken Rosenthal will be the field reporter. Their studio show will be hosted by Chris Rose, with former players Mark Grace and Eric Karros analyzing. Also, White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski has been added as another analyst (Chicago Tribune).
Appatalism.com has a few good ones.
At bat lite, with video clips.
So let's all sit back and enjoy what should be a wonderful postseason.
For more postseason coverage.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: September 29, 2011 10:56 am
Edited on: September 30, 2011 9:17 am
For more postseason coverage.
Tags: 2011 playoffs, AL Central, AL East, AL West, ALCS, ALDS, Brewers, Brewers-Diamondbacks, Cardinals, Danny Knobler, Diamondbacks, Evan Brunell, Gregg Doyel, Matt Snyder, NL Central, NL East, NL West, NLCS, NLDS, Phillies, Phillies-Cardinals, predictions, Rangers, Rangers-Rays, Rays, Scott Miller, Tigers, Trent Rosecrans, World Series, Yankees, Yankees-Tigers