LCS thoughts & theories 10/11

Bullpen battle taken by Texas

After Texas starter Derek Holland was pulled with two outs in the third inning of Monday’s ALCS game two, Rangers manager Ron Washington had to put his bullpen into action way earlier than he ever would have anticipated. Then the game went into extra innings, and the Rangers relief corps remained nearly perfect.

Texas’ bullpen threw 8.1 scoreless innings, and they were rewarded by Nelson Cruz‘s 11th-inning grand slam that gave the Rangers a 7-3 win over Detroit and a 2-0 series lead going back to the Motor City. The Tigers’ bullpen was perfect before Ryan Perry imploded in the 11th, but the battle of the bullpens has been a huge reason why Texas has taken the first two games at home in Arlington.

	         IP	Record   ERA	WHIP	 K/9	   
Texas Bullpen	12.2	  2-0   0.00	0.65	11.8	   
Detroit Bullpen	 8.0	  0-1   4.50	1.00	 4.5	 

With the next games shifting over to Comerica Park, the Rangers relievers have a lot to live up to if they want to remain as close to flawless as possible. For the Tigers, the margin of error is close to none, which was proven with one swing of the bat Monday night.

Brewers starters unstable sans Gallardo

Milwaukee survived the NLDS against Arizona by winning all three of its home games, but the Cardinals offense has proven not as kind to the Brewers at Miller Park as the Diamondback hitters were.

Shaun Marcum allowed five runs in four innings in the Brewers’ 12-3 loss to St. Louis in Game Two of the NLCS and continued the trend of Milwaukee starters not named Yovani Gallardo stumbling and faltering in the postseason. Zack Greinke struggled in the team’s Game One win, and Randy Wolf was abysmal in the Division Series in Phoenix. Let’s see how extreme the splits are between Gallardo and the rest of the Brewers rotation.

	                 IP	Record   ERA	WHIP	 K/9	   
Yovani Gallardo	        14.0	  1-0   1.29	0.92	9.00	   
MIL SP w/o Gallardo	18.2	  1-2   9.53	2.07	7.54	 

Gallardo can only pitch two more games in this League Championship Series, so Ron Roenicke will need at least one of his other starters to perform up to team standards and fulfill this team’s rightfully lofty expectations.

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Jim G.
Jim G.

I think Marcum is hurt. He’s a control pitcher who’s lost his control. He seems completely out of sorts on the mound. We probably won’t know about injuries until after the season. I think the Brewers need to replace him with Narveson for the remainder of the playoffs.
The only way the Tigers are going to win the series is to pound the Rangers starter. Washington knows this, which is why he pulled Holland so quickly. Of course, if he ends up doing that every game, it could come back to haunt him.