FanPost

NOBODY Should "Start" a One-Game Playoff


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After reading several articles on who the Orioles should start in a one-game playoff (assuming the unlikely scenario that we don’t catch the Yankees), I couldn’t help but wonder: is this really the best we can do? Yes, Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen, Miguel Gonzalez, etc. have done an admirable job getting us to this position, but would you ever expect we’d be relying on one of these guys as the O’s representative in ONE game to decide whether we see our first full playoff series since 1997? If we had no other option, I’d be happy to roll the dice with one of the starters that got us here. However, this is the playoffs, and I don’t want to risk that Tillman’s fastball is straight, Gonzalez’s change-up isn’t changing up, or Chen’s command is dodgy. The point is, we DO have another option. What’s the one aspect of the game the Orioles have consistently dominated this year? Who are the players that have inspired confidence almost every night they’ve taken the field this magical season?

The Bullpen.

It’s long been discussed whether an unconventional pitching strategy would be more effective than utilizing the conventional five starters. Over the length of a 162 game season, or even a full playoff series, it seems that there is no better way to do it than sticking with convention. But in ONE game? In ONE game deciding whether I get to enjoy a full playoff series against the Yankees I’ve been forced to see dominate my beloved Orioles since I was seven years old? I want to see Ayala, O’Day, Patton, Strop, Johnson, and even Dylan Bundy! These pitchers may not be enough to cover a full nine innings, but if there is even a hint of shakiness in the first couple innings, I want to see them on the mound immediately.

Tillman, Chen, or Gonzalez should start, but they should have a leash shorter than the ones Beverly Hills moms use to take their toddlers for a walk. Even if no opposing run scores in the first two innings but the starter’s command looks shaky or he doesn’t have his best stuff, I want him out in a New York second. This season is too precious. If we’re forced to go to extra innings and have used almost all our best relievers, then and only then am I willing to roll the dice with Matusz, Arrieta, Hunter (and his 100mph fastball), etc. I propose using the All-Star Game strategy. Because there is a rest day before the first game of the ALDS, the bullpen can get enough rest to remain effective and we can go back to the normal rotation for our run to the World Series.

This is my first Fanpost after a couple years of lurking/sporadic commenting/CC Keeper league DOMINATION, so be gentle! --Dotan

FanPosts are user-created content and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors of Camden Chat or SB Nation. They might, though.

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