Friday, September 26, 2008
3 teams, 3 games left, 2 spots remaining. So who gets in, who is out? Or will there be some extra baseball played on monday? Let's take a quick look at some key questions.
Fri Sep 26 Cubs 8:00 PM Suppan (10-10) Dempster (17-6)
Sat Sep 27 Cubs 3:55 PM Bush (9-10) Lilly (16-9)
Sun Sep 28 Cubs 2:05 PM Sabathia (16-10) Marquis (11-9)
Fri Sep 26 Florida 7:10 PM Pelfrey (13-10) Volstad (5-4)
Sat Sep 27 Florida 1:10 PM Niese (1-1) Nolasco (15-7)
Sun Sep 28 Florida 1:10 PM Santana (15-7) Olsen (8-11)
Fri Sep 26 Washington 7:05 PM Blanton (8-12) Balester (3-6)
Sat Sep 27 Washington 3:55 PM Moyer (15-7) Lannan (9-14)
Sun Sep 28 Washington 1:35 PM Hamels (14-10) Perez (7-11)
Will the Cubs Lay Down?
The Cubs didn't exactly put their best lineup out there last night against the Mets and I doubt they will over the course of the next few days. With Zambrano's recent struggles, either Lilly or Dempster will likely be their #2 starter which means both will likely be taken out around the 100 pitch mark leading to Sweet Lou doing some bullpen experimentation. I expect the Cubs to do exactly what they did against the Mets, rest some starters and anyone who is dinged up (ie DeRosa) and play with 75% of their A squad.
Sheets or Bush?
Ben Sheets is very questionable for Saturday but could potentially replace Bush on the mound if he's good to go. Personally I don't think that's going to happen, but Bush has been under the radar good this season so I don't think it's the worst possible situation.
Do the Nats Have Any Life?
The Phillies staff sucks but outside of Myers they have the three pitchers going this weekend they would like to go and they are playing a team they would like to play. As bad as the Nats are at least Odalis Perez and John Lannan can be tricky at times. But still at home against a 100 loss team the Phillies should be able to get it done this weekend. It will be interesting to see if the Phillies can win the first two and manage to save Hamels for game 1 of the NLDS.
First off living in CT I know that's it's been pouring and pouring and pouring all day long and chances are high that the Mets game will end up getting postponed which most likely will lead to a double header on Sunday. This would be optimal for the Mets. The Mets have the option of bringing Santana back on 3 days rest on saturday if need be, but the man threw a career high in pitches his last start so that seems like it might not be the best idea, but pitching Niese isn't a good idea either. If the game tonight is canceled then the Mets get a bail out. They can pitch Pelfrey tomorrow, throw Santana on full rest on Sunday and pitch Ollie P on short rest rather than Niese.
Can the Marlins Do It 2 Times?
The Marlins knocked the Mets out of the postseason last year and ironically they get the same opportunity this year. Outside of making the playoffs themselves the Marlins would like nothing better than to watch the Mets stare blankly onto the field on sunday after their playoff hopes have been eviscerated.
Do You Rest Your Ace If You're a Game Up?
If the Mets/Phillies/Brewers are a game up on sunday what do they do with their staff aces? Do they go for the throat and pitch their top guys to clinch the spot, or do they roll the dice pitch a lesser guy hoping for a win in order to save their ace for hopefully the ALDS or at worst the Play-In game.
Who's In / Who's Out
I expect all teams to go 2 and 3. I expect the Phillies to win their first two games and go into Sunday up 2 games on the Brewers and Mets with the ability to rest Cole. I expect the Mets and Brewers to be forced throw Santana and Sabathia in Sundays game and I expect both to win which sets up a monday showdown where the Mets have nobody to pitch and the Brewers pray for Sheets to be ready. I have a feeling that Sheets will giddy it up on monday afternoon against a Mets pitcher of your choice (Niese maybe, Petey on 3 days rest doubtful, Maine back from the dead doubtful) and in the process send the Brew Crew to October baseball.