Looking Ahead To Our Pitching Matchups In The Playoffs

I’m getting this down on paper Internet now, because who knows when the 17-game losing streak will hit and derail our entire season?

There are people questioning the rationale of “going all in” on this season by trading for the likes of David Price and Ben Zobrist, as at best it would probably still mean we have to play that bullshit 1-game play-in game against the other Wild Card team (either the A’s or Angels, and right now, either one of those teams is a scary proposition).

There’s also the very real possibility that we might not have Felix available for that play-in game, as he might be needed to simply secure our spot in that game in the first place!

Here’s what we know right now:  coming out of the All Star Break, we have Iwakuma going tonight and Felix going tomorrow.  If the rotation holds, and Felix starts every fifth game, he will be scheduled to play on the very last day of the season, against Anaheim.

Now, obviously, if we’ve secured one of the Wild Card spots in advance of that final series, and there’s no hope for us winning the division, you’ll see the team push Felix back, out of that start, and into the play-in game.  That means we’ll also push Iwakuma back, so we can save him for Game 1 of the ALDS.  Or, we can keep Kuma on rotation, and probably see him start Game 2 of the ALDS.

To put it another way, the best case scenario is this:

  • Felix starts the play-in game
  • Iwakuma starts Game 1 of the ALDS
  • Felix either starts Game 3 on short rest, or Game 4 on regular rest
  • Kuma starts Game 5

So, if we DON’T need Felix in that final regular season game, and he’s able to win us that play-in game, we’ll still see him once in the ALDS and we’ll see Kuma twice.  That’s not too bad!

(of course, it would look a million times better with David Price lumped in there somewhere, but that’s neither here nor there)

The worst case scenario looks like this:

  • Kuma and Felix continue to pitch in their regular spots (so, Kuma on 9/27 and Felix on 9/28)
  • We need Chris Young to start and win us the play-in game
  • Kuma either starts Game 1 on short rest, or whoever our fourth starter is goes on Game 1
  • We get Kuma back for Game 2 and Felix back for game 3, but neither are likely to pitch again in the ALDS, outside of an emergency bullpen role

That’s got shitshow written all over it.

This just further illustrates my point that we NEED to get David Price, at pretty much any cost.  We can half-ass this thing, trade for an obvious upgrade in left field and maybe an upgrade at DH and probably have enough bullets to make it to the play-in game.  But, if our rotation is shot to shit, and we’re relying on Chris Young to get us through to the next round, we’re going to be in trouble.

Yes, the team needs hitting if it’s going to do ANYTHING this year.  But, if you want a semi-realistic shot at the World Series, this team needs another top-shelf starter.  I don’t want to have to count on Chris Young in the playoffs unless one of these 7-game series goes the distance and he’s needed to start the 4th game.

Does that mean we have to give up Taijuan Walker AND D.J. Peterson AND maybe some other lower-level prospects?  Is both Walker & Peterson too much?  Don’t ask me that right now; I’ve got playoff fever and I’m practically willing to give up everything including my left big toe to make this happen.  If giving the both of them up means we get 1.5 years of David Price and Ben Zobrist, I’m not gonna lie to you, I think I could talk myself into it.

But, if giving them both up means we get some middling crap back from some other loser team, I’ll probably flip out.  To get the best, sometimes you need to give up the best.  But, that doesn’t mean we should over-pay just to get some bullshit in return.

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