Maybe there's a concern about overworking Bailey. Here are his innings pitched per season:
As you can see, he's already at a career high. The last time he pitched nearly this much, he battled a slew of arm problems the following season. On top of that, he has pitched significantly more than he did the two years prior. Also, he's pitching better than he ever has over an extended period of time, so wouldn't that imply he could be due for a regression pretty soon? I just don't think he's as much of a slam-dunk choice over the alternatives as people are claiming.
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So, despite Home's obvious bad attitude about pitching at home, the Reds should use a precious playoff game to attempt to teach him that what he has actually experienced in his much poorer home game performances is actually random variability.
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I would have gone...
Latos - Game 1
Bailey - Game 2
Cueto - Game 3
Latos - Game 4
Arroyo/Bailey - Game 5 if necessary
If you are going to pitch Bailey 2nd on the raod, then you have to go with Arroyo in the 4th game, and your first game starter in game #5.
With your rotation, assuming Arroyo goes #5, you have used the same pitchers as Baker, only gotten Latos pitching with 3 days rest. Or if Bailey starts #5, you've managed to get an extra Bailey start at home on 3 days rest.
I can't see how that is an improvement.
There is only two viable scenarios, depending on whether you want/mind Bailey pitching on the road.
It's clear all year that Baker wants Arroyo pitching between Cueto and Latos.
If it goes to 4 games, the Giants will probably throw their #4 guy out there.
That's either the lefty Zito or the struggling Linecum against Homer. (Am I missing another option?)
I like those odds very much, even if the game is at the GAB.
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Nov. 13, 2007: One of the greatest days in Reds history: John Allen gets the boot!
From Lance McAllister on twitter
Jon Miller, voice Giants, just told Eddie and Tracy that he thinks the Giants get Latos in Game 2 if #Reds lose Game 1.
But the idea here is to hope by throwing out the best guys first that you'll end the series quicker and not have to go to game 5.
If what Jon Miller set forth is true, that the Reds would put out Latos in game 2 if they lose game 1, I could be okay with that rotation as well.
I think mixing in a different style of starter, had an impact. While pitching Bailey in GAB may not be ideal, I think game 2 was the best spot for Arroyo.
Basing your playoff rotation around your #4 starters inability to pitch at home is not sound strategy. Homer is a good pitcher. I think coming home with a two game lead is a good spot for him. About as little pressure as you can have in a playoff start and a home crowd to back him up.
Kind of funny that prior to the series the biggest concerns were opening with two on the road, Bailey at home, and whether the offense would awaken. Well home field certainly was no advantage and Bailey was great. Oh well.