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View Full Version : The playoff dilemma, simply put



IslandRed
09-22-2010, 01:10 PM
First, let's get the jinx disclaimer out of the way: This is only hypothetical at this point, can't count your chickens before they're hatched, that's why they play the games, etc.

But, hypothetically speaking, with an eight-game lead and the magic number at four, odds are in favor of clinching the division sometime this weekend. That leaves the Reds with somewhere around 6-7 games left to play.

Let's also grant that Philadelphia is going to win home-field advantage in the NL. The Braves are leading the wild-card race, let's say that is still the case first of next week. If the Braves win the wild card, then the Central or West winner with the worse record gets the Phillies in the Division Series.

The Reds have several guys who could use some days off to recharge before the playoffs. But if the Reds don't keep putting their best lineups out there in an attempt to outpace the NL West leader, they're on the hook to (probably) face the Phillies in the first round.

So how do you manage the last week looking ahead to the playoffs? The choices are rather clear, and I'll put them in a poll. Is your top priority having a rested team for the playoffs, even if it means facing the Phillies, or are you more concerned with winning and avoiding Philly, even if it means the guys who need rest won't get it?

Griffey012
09-22-2010, 01:14 PM
Winning, avoiding Philly, and getting home-field. If this happens I think we have a good chance of getting past the 1st round, and who knows maybe someone from the West will knock off the Phils. This is our best path for getting to the WS.

And yes I am happy with making it to the playoffs, but if we are going to get that far, we might as well try and win the whole thing. And resting guys and facing Philly in the 1st round makes that very, very difficult.

REDREAD
09-22-2010, 01:15 PM
I'd rest the guys up, and not worry about home field advantage.

Obviously, I'd much rather face the Braves than the Phils, but I don't want to wear out the players (esp the bullpen) to try to get home field advantage.

NJReds
09-22-2010, 01:17 PM
Avoid Philly. If the Braves continue their collapse, problem solved. Otherwise, as Herm Edwards said ... "you play to win the game."

reds1869
09-22-2010, 01:21 PM
I'd like to rest the starters and avoid Philly as our young guys play hungry and keep winning. I think it is entirely possible to do so. I would rest the veterans up regardless once we clinch and let things fall where they will.

OesterPoster
09-22-2010, 01:21 PM
They'll have plenty of rest anyway. Dusty should know going into the last game whether or not a win will affect the home field advantage. He can rest guys that day, and the playoffs won't start until Wednesday or Thursday. That's 3 or 4 days for Rolen, etc. Also, an off day tomorrow and another on Monday.

hebroncougar
09-22-2010, 01:27 PM
Avoid Philly. If the Braves continue their collapse, problem solved. Otherwise, as Herm Edwards said ... "you play to win the game."

No, I believe the Reds would have to stay ahead of who wins the West. So it's not just on the Braves.

CesarGeronimo
09-22-2010, 01:35 PM
They mentioned on the Reds' TV broadcast last night that they'd asked bench coach Chris Speier what he thought would be most important for the team in winning in the playoffs. Speier said that having Scott Rolen healthy and physically able to carry the team like he is capable of doing is the most important factor.

I thought that was an interesting take that's relevant to this discussion.

RedsManRick
09-22-2010, 01:43 PM
Give me everybody healthy and rested. I don't think our chances against any of the playoff teams are that drastically different.

TRF
09-22-2010, 01:50 PM
Clinch, then they can rest. Votto and BP need it. Bruce is still dinged a bit. Rolen can always use a day or two off. Cabrera despite sitting for a month can always use a breather.

And it gets Valaika, Francisco, Heisey and Alonso in some games and showcases them a bit.

win-win-win.

camisadelgolf
09-22-2010, 01:52 PM
As a fan, I hope for the playoffs year-in and year-out. However, I never expect a championship and always consider it icing on the cake.

But once the Reds are actually in the playoffs, I go in all-or-nothing mode with my hopes. It makes almost no difference to me whether they get eliminated in the first round or World Series because any season ending in a playoff loss is pretty much the same to me. Therefore, I'm all about resting the key players and getting them primed for the playoffs.

dougdirt
09-22-2010, 01:53 PM
It is pretty simple for me. If our pitchers step up, we can beat anyone in the NL. If our pitchers don't, I don't like our chances. Philly doesn't scare me more than anyone else because of that.

Roy Tucker
09-22-2010, 01:54 PM
I don't see the Reds catching the Phils for best record since they are 5 games back with 10 to play.

But I think they do need to stay ahead of the Giants/Padres/Rockies in case they play them.

If I read the tea leaves correctly:
1. if wild card comes from the West, the Phils get them with home field.
2. If the wild card comes from the east, the Reds get them with home field.

In scenario #1, let's make the west coast team travel more. The Reds and the west coast don't mix well historically.

But I don't want the best record chase to be a Bataan death march. Get some rest.

cumberlandreds
09-22-2010, 01:55 PM
Rest. They need it. Being this is first time that most of these guys have been in the hunt it can be doubly taxing. This year the main thing is to get there. Anything else is icing on the cake.

edabbs44
09-22-2010, 01:58 PM
As we all know, the Reds have performed fairly well when they have lineups in place that the masses don't care much for.

Cincy should look to go for 1st round home field while resting their guys at the same time, but not drastically lean either way. Don't play the starters each and every game and don't start the 2nd string the majority of the games. Sit Rolen and Phillips one game, OCab and Bruce the next, Votto and Stubbs the third, then repeat. Or something like that.

NJReds
09-22-2010, 02:02 PM
No, I believe the Reds would have to stay ahead of who wins the West. So it's not just on the Braves.

If the wildcard comes from the West, then the Reds and Phils cannot meet in the first round. That was my point.

dsmith421
09-22-2010, 02:07 PM
No, I believe the Reds would have to stay ahead of who wins the West. So it's not just on the Braves.

I don't believe this is correct. If Atlanta chokes, the WC comes out of the West. The West teams would be split up in the first round, so we would play one of them and Philly plays the other.

Edit: Someone got it.

Roy Tucker
09-22-2010, 02:17 PM
I don't believe this is correct. If Atlanta chokes, the WC comes out of the West. The West teams would be split up in the first round, so we would play one of them and Philly plays the other.

Edit: Someone got it.

And if the Phils keep best record, then they get the west WC team and the Reds get the west winner.

And I don't want to play 3 games on the west coast.

The Voice of IH
09-22-2010, 04:30 PM
Wait, what happens if the Reds and Giants are tied, does the giants get the nod because of their record against us?

Cyclone792
09-22-2010, 04:52 PM
Spot rest one regular position player each game so that everyone would get an additional 1-2 games off between now and the end of the season, similar to how Votto sat out last night (though I do know he's been ill and that likely contributed as well). As for the rotation, perhaps pull them an inning or so earlier and keep the pitch counts in the 80-90 range rather than the 100+ range.

Other than that, I'm not running a lineup of bench players out there until the #2 seed is clinched.

We have an off day tomorrow, an off day on Monday and then at minimum two off days between the end of the regular season and the start of the playoffs. And if the Reds can clinch the #2 seed before Sunday next week, that's an additional day to rest guys without risking losing the NLDS homefield.

Cyclone792
09-22-2010, 04:53 PM
Wait, what happens if the Reds and Giants are tied, does the giants get the nod because of their record against us?

Yes, that's correct. The only contending team we can potentially win a tiebreaker with is San Diego, and that's only if we beat them two outta three this weekend.

Degenerate39
09-22-2010, 05:02 PM
Honestly it's not like the team can't win with Alonso, Valaika, Fransisco and Heisey for a few games.

bucksfan2
09-22-2010, 05:08 PM
I may be the only one but I would rather see the Phillies than the Giants or Rockies. The Reds played well against the Phillies this season. Even though they got swept on the road didn't they go to extra's in 3 of those games? To me it seemed like the Giants and Rockies beat the Reds more soundly.

hebroncougar
09-22-2010, 06:36 PM
If the wildcard comes from the West, then the Reds and Phils cannot meet in the first round. That was my point.

I gotcha, I was presuming the Braves will get the WC, but that is far from a given.

Will M
09-22-2010, 06:51 PM
Spot rest one regular position player each game so that everyone would get an additional 1-2 games off between now and the end of the season, similar to how Votto sat out last night (though I do know he's been ill and that likely contributed as well). As for the rotation, perhaps pull them an inning or so earlier and keep the pitch counts in the 80-90 range rather than the 100+ range.

Other than that, I'm not running a lineup of bench players out there until the #2 seed is clinched.

We have an off day tomorrow, an off day on Monday and then at minimum two off days between the end of the regular season and the start of the playoffs. And if the Reds can clinch the #2 seed before Sunday next week, that's an additional day to rest guys without risking losing the NLDS homefield.

solid plan

Griffey012
09-22-2010, 07:12 PM
I may be the only one but I would rather see the Phillies than the Giants or Rockies. The Reds played well against the Phillies this season. Even though they got swept on the road didn't they go to extra's in 3 of those games? To me it seemed like the Giants and Rockies beat the Reds more soundly.

Those Phillies are much much better now than when they swept us and when we played them the first time. When they swept us they were without Utley and Polanco and had yet to acquire Oswalt. They have also hit their stride lately and have just been on an absolute tear. I feel much more comfortable against SFG and COL, regardless of what happened in the regular season.

RFS62
09-22-2010, 10:02 PM
Healthy and rested.

No question.

Heath
09-22-2010, 10:24 PM
Healthy and rested.

No question.

Take it from someone who knows rested. Usually the nurse puts RFS down about 2:00pm each day for his rest.

;)

westofyou
09-22-2010, 10:26 PM
I want a west coast team... so I can go see them

Griffey012
09-23-2010, 12:01 AM
Healthy and rested.

No question.

Healthy is a definite answer, anyone with any nagging or minor injuries should have them as fully healed as possible before the playoffs. I do believe the OP just said rested though. As for the older vets...
Rolen: he already gets a lot of rest, but a few extra days can only help, plus Miggy is da man.

OCab: giving him the current Rolen treatment should be good

Ramon: he already gets about every other day off, keep it that way.

The rest of the guys are young enough they don't need much rest, a few extra days here and there should get it done. I just don't want to see a lineup of Valaika, Janish, Cairo, Alonso, Bloomquist, etc going out there many many times.