Oct 1, 2010, 10:48 AM EDT
Earlier this week Ron Washington said that Cliff Lee “could go” on short rest in the ALDS “if we think we need him” to allow the Rangers to use a three-man rotation, but yesterday the manager squashed those plans.
Rather than start Lee in Game 1 and then in Game 4 on three days’ rest, the Rangers will use Tommy Hunter as their fourth starter and have Lee lined up for a potential Game 5 assignment.
“The numbers didn’t look good,” Washington told T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. “We’re going to use our whole pitching staff. We just decided not to push Cliff out there on three days.”
In nine seasons as a major leaguer Lee has never pitched on three days’ rest and his lack of short-rest starts was an issue last postseason as well, when the Phillies decided against using him three times in a seven-game series.
Sullivan also notes that pitchers starting on short rest in the playoffs during the past eight seasons are a combined 13-20 with a 5.01 ERA, compared to a 4.18 ERA on normal rest and a 3.80 ERA on extra rest. Last year’s playoffs included six short-rest starts that produced a combined 6.30 ERA.
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