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  1. Good points, and more reasons why I like the Giants in 6.

    Comment by this guy — October 26, 2010 @ 12:44 pm

  2. While I agree with your broader point about Holland v Hunter, it’s not as clear cut a choice as it might seem. Although Holland certainly looks better this year than last, we’re dealing with a very small sample.

    Tommy Hunter has thrown 135.3 innings this year (incl. playoffs) with the result being 22 HR, 80 K, and 33 BB for a ~4.80 FIP. Since last August, Derek Holland has thrown 129 innings, with 20 HR, 105 K, and 49 BB for a ~4.70 FIP. Maybe Ron Washington is looking that larger sample, and thinking that 1) the difference is all that big, and 2) Hunter isn’t used to relief pitching, so why rock the boat?

    Comment by Zach — October 26, 2010 @ 12:46 pm

  3. correction: the difference *isn’t* all that big.

    Comment by Zach — October 26, 2010 @ 12:47 pm

  4. The “why” is because Ron Washington likes “roles.” And Ceej’s role is the No. 2 starter.

    Not that I agree with it.

    Comment by philkid3 — October 26, 2010 @ 12:48 pm

  5. In regards to Lewis and Wilson, Washington may of taken into account home and road splits. It appears Wilson pitches better away from Arlington, while Lewis pitches slightly better at home.

    Comment by timmy! — October 26, 2010 @ 12:53 pm

  6. Thank you Ronny! This likely means a Sandoval start against Hunter!!

    Comment by TexasRanger — October 26, 2010 @ 12:57 pm

  7. Why can’t he just throw Cliff Lee in Games 1, 4 and 7?

    Comment by Stringer Bell — October 26, 2010 @ 12:58 pm

  8. Stringer Bell WOULD think this was a good idea. Then he’d go sleep with Cliff Lee’s girlfriend, while Lee was on the mound.

    Comment by Zach — October 26, 2010 @ 1:02 pm

  9. If the Rangers really do insist on starting Guerrero in right for both of the games in SF, they might be putting Wilson out there for game 2 because of his groundball tendencies. This way, Guerrero doesn’t have as much of an opportunity to hurt the Rangers with his defense.

    I’m still not sure it’s a good idea, but that could be a reason they’re putting Wilson before Lewis.

    Comment by Scott — October 26, 2010 @ 1:06 pm

  10. That’s a good idea, but I believe Lee has said that he doesn’t want to pitch on short rest. I don’t remember that he did that last year with the Phillies either.

    Comment by Al — October 26, 2010 @ 1:14 pm

  11. I made sure DeAngelo’s son was taken care of after I ordered him to be killed, I’m not sure what the problem is here.

    Comment by Stringer Bell — October 26, 2010 @ 1:29 pm

  12. I agree w/ you about Lewis-Wilson. But on Holland-Hunter, you’re missing a major point. Holland has been a huge weapon as lefty RP that go multiple innings in the playoffs. He might be more valuable in that capacity than as a game 4 starter

    Comment by Nivarsity — October 26, 2010 @ 1:33 pm

  13. I think Hunter is starting over Holland because you get more value from him coming out of the bullpen. Like you said on your Game 6 chat, Relievers > Starters in the playoffs. Holland is not an elite starters, so wouldn’t you be better served using him to get out of a jam in case Wilson/Lewis/Hunter don’t get deep into a game? By putting him into the bullpen, you can use Holland in more important situations throughout the series.

    I’d rather get a couple of quality relief apperiances out of Holland than roll the dice and hope he is lights out for one start in Game 4.

    Comment by Al — October 26, 2010 @ 1:42 pm

  14. I think this is probably the reason Washington’s doing what he’s doing. At least, it’s the only possible reason that makes sense to me. The game 2 starter also starts game 6 so he pitches twice in San Francisco. This, in all likelihood, (though he should be using Murphy instead) means that Vlad will start in the OF (probably RF, though it should be LF) in games 2 and 6. Going with the ground ball pitcher reduces the likelihood that Vlad’s horrendous defense hurts you too badly in those games.

    I don’t agree with any of these decisions really, but it’s the only possible explanation that I can come up with.

    Comment by chuckb — October 26, 2010 @ 2:09 pm

  15. Well that is certainly dumb. Only H/R split that would matter is how he pitches in SF vs. how he pitches in Arlington. And I’m guessing the sample of “zero games” in SF doesn’t provide much insight.

    Comment by Jack Weiland — October 26, 2010 @ 2:13 pm

  16. Is there a more important situation than a 0-0 game?

    I understand what you are saying, in that you have more flexibility to use him out of the pen, but if you’re already down 5-2, how good is that flexibility?

    Comment by Mark — October 26, 2010 @ 2:16 pm

  17. Clarification: I know that a 0-0 game in the 1st is a relatively low leverage situation. I just meant that it’s probably higher leverage than any situation where your starting pitcher gets bombed.

    Comment by Mark — October 26, 2010 @ 2:16 pm

  18. Texas has made it thus far in spite of Washington not because of him. He is under equipped for what he is being asked of him. A lot of his decisions resemble darts at a dartboard. But his luck has held, I will grant him that. His pitching rotation for the Series is one thing but his ridiculous bullpen decisions throughout the ALCS portend bad joojoo coming to the Rangers. Say it ain’t so, Joe: Giants in 5 or 6 and I hate the Giants!

    Comment by Mark Houston — October 26, 2010 @ 2:17 pm

  19. I think both Hunter and Holland are wild cards right now. Holland is definitely the better pitcher long term, but he’s had an up and down year with injuries and inconsistency. I’d start him over Hunter if it were up to me, but I wouldn’t be sure what I’d get even so. I like Holland being available in multiple games as a reliever.

    Comment by t ball — October 26, 2010 @ 2:29 pm

  20. This was my first reaction when I heard the Rangers’ rotation too. Surely you’d want Lewis as a RHP w/greater fly ball tendencies pitching at AT&T and the groundball lefty Wilson going in Arlington. But on second thought I think that’s probably over-thinking it. In terms of actual home/road splits Wilson has been better on the road and Lewis better at home. And more important, Wilson is clearly the Rangers best pitcher besides Lee. Don’t you usually want your best guys at the top of the rotation?

    Comment by ElJimador — October 26, 2010 @ 3:05 pm

  21. The head scratcher for me is on the other side, with Sanchez (or did I hear this wrong?) going in game 3. Didn’t seem to be at his best when hostile fans were giving him the business, so I’d be more inclined to give him a nurturing environment for a high-stakes game.

    Comment by bflaff — October 26, 2010 @ 3:17 pm

  22. I noticed no one on this site has mentioned it yet, but Tommy Hunter has turned in an ass backwards performance in the playoffs thus far. During the season, he was the poster boy for a “lucky pitcher”, getting very few strikeouts and somehow neutralizing the runs and hits he gives up. Now in his two playoff starts, he becomes a strikeout machine, 11 K’s and no walks in 7.1 innings, but he has nothing to show for it.

    If he can combine the controllable numbers that he’s put up so far with everything else he’s done during the season, he won’t be so bad. However, I’m very confident that everyone will dismiss his numbers as a fluke but I’m just pointing it out for fun.

    Comment by Pat — October 26, 2010 @ 3:56 pm

  23. I agree that Lewis is probably the better choice for game 2; however, I think CJ Wilson might have a stroke if he doesn’t get a chance to bat in the World Series. I guess the real question is if this rotation (in this order) worked against the Rays and Yankees, do you really need to mess with it against the Giants?

    Comment by dhbooty83 — October 26, 2010 @ 3:59 pm

  24. yep, hunter was lucky in the regular season. a little unluck in the postseason.

    Comment by Bill — October 26, 2010 @ 4:35 pm

  25. Derek Holland can NOT start a game in the World Series, he’d be peeing down his leg all day long. Hunter can handle it.

    You put Holland in the bullpen, where he doesn’t know when/if he’s going to pitch, then just give him the ball. If he does too much thinking, he’s toast.

    Comment by Bill — October 26, 2010 @ 4:37 pm

  26. I can’t believe even when it gets down to the World Series no manager has the cajones to start their ace in games 1, 4 and 7. If Lee only starts twice the Rangers will lose the same way the Phillies did last year and they will deserve it.

    This is so stupid I can’t get past it. Two starts on 3 days rest are not going to hurt anyone.

    This is why baseball keeps losing ground. Most players, managers and front offices are viewed as gutless, which is the correct view of the facts.

    I for one will now be watching the NBA instead of wasting my time with a World Series that the Rangers are not doing everything they can to win.

    Comment by mowill — October 26, 2010 @ 4:51 pm

  27. Then Lee is a gutless pussywillow.

    Comment by mowill — October 26, 2010 @ 4:54 pm

  28. I also can’t believe that Cameron doesn’t bring up Lee starting thrice in the article either. Another example of gutlessness.

    Whither Curt Schilling?

    Whither Jack Morris?

    Whither Bob Gibson?

    Whither Christy Mathewson?

    Modern pitchers, players and managers are freaking cowards.

    Comment by mowill — October 26, 2010 @ 4:57 pm

  29. Dumb?

    Dumb would be assuming only park dimensions influence how a pitcher pitches and who should start where. Weather, the mound, the defense behind him (Vlad in the OF in SF?), amount of rest, nagging injury?, pitcher batting, etc…. – there are many factors other than the SABR 3 outcome version of baseball (K, BB, HR) that go beyond simple park dimensions and flyball rate.

    While the park should obviously be given strong consideration, to use that as the ONLY consideration is an interesting thesis.

    Comment by Hank — October 26, 2010 @ 5:26 pm

  30. Oh, that’s why baseball keeps losing ground? Okay then.

    Have fun with the NBA, which certainly isn’t losing any ground, right?

    Comment by Anon — October 26, 2010 @ 5:42 pm

  31. Enjoy watching meaningless early season NBA games.

    Also, did you notice the Rangers beat the Yankees with Cliff Lee only starting one game? I don’t think the Giants are guaranteed to win if Lee can only start 2 games.

    Comment by wobatus — October 26, 2010 @ 5:42 pm

  32. Allright Kofi.

    At least the teams in the basketball games will be doing everything to win, which the Rangers are not.

    Comment by mowill — October 26, 2010 @ 6:03 pm

  33. Not guaranteed but chances greatly improved.

    Comment by mowill — October 26, 2010 @ 6:04 pm

  34. You really believe nothing bad could possibly happen by asking a pitcher to do something twice potentially in a series that HE has never done before? We can’t treat pitchers like complete robots here. The Rangers have talked to Lee about short rest. He isn’t comfortable with it.

    Comment by todmod — October 26, 2010 @ 6:44 pm

  35. the rangers shouldnt care about lee getting hurt in a possible 3rd start anyway, because it would be his last as a ranger regardless off the outcome

    Comment by cs3 — October 26, 2010 @ 7:15 pm

  36. “Derek Holland can NOT start a game in the World Series, he’d be peeing down his leg all day long. Hunter can handle it.”

    This is my impression too. Ive been hearing how great Holland is for a while now, but there is Hunter 13-4 and there is Holland in the pen. Last year it was Feldman

    Comment by rick p — October 26, 2010 @ 7:54 pm

  37. Disagree strongly. Sanchez pitched well on the road all year, was absolutely dominant in his first road start of the postseason, and very good in his second (his one rough patch in the first could’ve been mitigated either by Mike Fontenot not making an error or by the ump calling the 3-2 pitch to Rollins a strike instead of a ball, which would’ve been entirely defensible). In game 6, he was off before the game started == in his postgame comments he noted that he had no life on his fastball even in his bullpen.

    Also — even with a six-pack head start, Ranger fans can’t hope to be anywhere near as hostile as Phillie fans.

    All told, given Sanchez’s strikeout stuff and Cain’s righty-flyballer characteristics, this is absolutely the right decision.

    Comment by Graham — October 26, 2010 @ 8:06 pm

  38. Well — as a Giants fan, I’d personally rather see him combine his peripherals from the regular season and his luck from the postseason. But in any case, I do think it’s important to measure that “controllable” stats (K, BB, HR) aren’t really “controllable” in a small sample size. Or rather — it’s impossible to tell whether even these stats are reflective of a pitcher’s true talent or are just aberrations owing to any number of variables in a small sample.

    Comment by Graham — October 26, 2010 @ 8:09 pm

  39. Only thing that scares me about Sanchez pitching Game 3 is that it means he’ll be on the mound if there’s a Game 7. That’s a little too reminiscent of Atlee Hammaker in the 1987 NLCS for my taste.

    Comment by Bigmouth — October 26, 2010 @ 9:19 pm

  40. Wait what? Have you ever watched an NBA game? I think you may be confusing it with a college basketball game.

    Comment by Anon — October 26, 2010 @ 10:41 pm

  41. Way to go, you brought up win-loss and Feldman’s results last year in support of Hunter. Are you lost?

    Comment by ACWNS09 — October 27, 2010 @ 2:22 am

  42. I hear you — but on the flip side, he’s less likely to make two starts. Game 7 won’t exist unless a lot of circumstances conspire, so I’d rather be assured of having our best on the mound for the contingencies of games 5 and 6.

    Comment by Graham — October 27, 2010 @ 3:04 am

  43. After Cameron told us Sabathia shouldn’t be used in game six, because “the Yankees have to win both games anyway,’ I’m thinking big Dave should just refrain from the embarrassment of making any more recommendations to big league managers.

    Comment by NotDave — October 27, 2010 @ 8:47 am

  44. Which team made it to the playoffs because of their manager?

    Washington seemed to call some aggressive plays that would be considered “bad baseball” by advanced metrics, and those moves paid off in games that Texas won.

    I’m not saying that the manager’s decisions caused a win, I’m just combating this idea that managers have a big influence on the outcome based upon decisions. IMO, they don’t.

    There are a few times when a manager will designb a team to play a certain way based upon stadium, personnell, minor league talent, etc that will lead them to be mor successful than others … but those are rare.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — October 27, 2010 @ 11:07 am

  45. Buster Olney just tweeted that CJ Wilson is “mashing” and spraying line drives to all fields. Think there’s any chance Washington was taking Wilson’s hitting prowess into account? Or, perhaps more importantly, *should* Washington take something like that into account?

    Comment by Sprezzident — October 27, 2010 @ 11:16 am

  46. Interesting idea to get the whole large sample size in. I must admit, though, that while it may display Wash’s thinking, it doesn’t justify it as we all know that Holland has been WAY better than Hunter out of the ‘pen.

    Comment by Matt Defalco — October 27, 2010 @ 12:40 pm

  47. I can’t imagine this was the only reason-but apparently CJ Wilson can really hit according to Buster Olney and some scouts…maybe trying to maximize production from pitcher’s spot

    Comment by Rob — October 27, 2010 @ 1:02 pm

  48. I think Ron is making a (small) mistake going Wilson-Lewis but is making the right choice going with Hunter in Game 4.

    First, as philkid said Ron loves his roles and “using what got us here.” Also, Wilson didn’t get a hit in interleague play this year but he was a strong hitter in college and is generally considered to be a fairly good hitter for a pitcher. Of course, Lewis is also a decent hitter, posting solid numbers this year and the last two years in Japan.

    Hunter in Game 4 is the right call though, I think. Lee has never pitched on short rest and the reward doesn’t outweigh the risk of finding out how that would go for the first time during the World Series. The advanced stats are obviously down on Hunter as they should be, but the Giants are a team he should be able to have success against. Add to that the benefit of Holland coming out of the pen and I think the argument is made.

    Comment by seanathan — October 27, 2010 @ 2:21 pm

  49. Genius!

    Comment by Bill II — October 28, 2010 @ 10:49 pm

  50. i think ron washington is gonna choke as a coach, hes stubborn and is gonna coach like its regular season in the w.s. you have to be agressive….

    Comment by the electrician — October 31, 2010 @ 9:28 pm

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