CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

Futures Guide 2014 is Now Available in Paperback and Three E-book Formats.

Premium and Super Premium Subscribers Get a 20% Discount at MLB.tv!

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (10/28)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: Wo... (10/28)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: Wo... (10/28)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Sif... (10/29)

October 28, 2013

Playoff Prospectus

World Series Game Four Recap (Cardinals Edition)

by Ben Lindbergh


Throughout the World Series, we'll be providing two recaps of each game, one with a focus on the winner and the other devoting a longer look to the loser. This is the Cardinals entry for Game Four. The Red Sox edition is here.


I’m starting to sound like a broken record. “If [Mike] Matheny has an obvious flaw, it’s his slow hook with his postseason starters,” I wrote on Saturday night. “And in Game Three, it came back to bite him again.”

Maybe I should make a macro; with this series still far from over, it might save me (and other internet analysts) some time. Matheny made the same mistake in Game Four, and this time the Cardinals couldn’t recover.

Look: Lance Lynn is a pretty good pitcher. As a starter, he’s struck out a batter per inning, with roughly a league-average park-adjusted ERA. He throws fairly hard and has a big, durable build, with no recent history of arm injuries. As back-of-the-rotation guys go, that’s about the best-case scenario. There’s been some talk that the Cardinals could try to trade Lynn this winter, perhaps for a shortstop, and to make room in the rotation for some younger, higher-ceiling starters who are further away from arbitration. If they do, they’ll have no trouble finding a taker.

But Lynn has limitations, some of which are specific to him, and some of which apply to all starters. Be mindful of those flaws, and you'll minimize their effects. Pretend they don't exist, and you'll make them more costly.

Lynn threw 79 pitches through the first five innings of Game Four, striking out five Boston batters and allowing two hits, two walks, and one run. In the regular reason, when teams go a week (or more) between off days, every manager in the majors would let the 26-year-old start the sixth in a similar scenario, hoping to coax an extra inning or two out of him and save someone else’s arm.

But last night was the World Series, and the rules weren’t the same. The Cardinals had four days off between NLCS Game Six and World Series Game One, another off on Friday, and one more scheduled for Tuesday, with Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha slated to start the next two games. Joe Kelly had given them 5 1/3 innings in Game Three, and although their five most reliable relievers had appeared after him, only Trevor Rosenthal had faced more than four batters. With the winter no more than four days away, there was no need to eke out another few outs from Lynn to keep the bullpen fresh. This was the sort of situation a manager spends the first six months of the season keeping the bullpen fresh for.

The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.

Not a subscriber?

Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.


Cancel anytime.


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

19 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (10/28)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: Wo... (10/28)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: Wo... (10/28)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Sif... (10/29)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Premium Article Minor League Update: Games of Wednesday, Jul...
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Sustained Success and the...
Eyewitness Accounts: July 24, 2014
Premium Article Painting the Black: The Selling-the-Closer M...
Premium Article Going Yard: J.D. Martinez Gets A Degree In H...
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Tigers Bullpen Gets Le...
The Lineup Card: Seven Unsigned Top Draft Pi...

MORE FROM OCTOBER 28, 2013
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Welcome Matt
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: World Series Game Five P...
Premium Article Baseball Therapy: Is Cardinal Magic Real?
Premium Article Minor League Update: AFL Recap for Games of ...
The Week in Quotes: October 21-27
Playoff Prospectus: World Series Game Three ...
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: World Series Game Three ...

MORE BY BEN LINDBERGH
2013-10-30 - BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 3...
2013-10-29 - Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: World Series Game Five R...
2013-10-29 - BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 3...
2013-10-28 - Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: World Series Game Four R...
2013-10-28 - Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: World Series Game Three ...
2013-10-28 - BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 3...
2013-10-25 - Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: World Series Game Two Re...
More...

MORE PLAYOFF PROSPECTUS
2013-10-29 - Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: World Series Game Five R...
2013-10-29 - Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: World Series Game Five R...
2013-10-28 - Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: World Series Game Four R...
2013-10-28 - Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: World Series Game Four R...
2013-10-28 - Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: World Series Game Five P...
2013-10-28 - Playoff Prospectus: World Series Game Three ...
2013-10-28 - Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: World Series Game Three ...
More...

INCOMING ARTICLE LINKS
2013-10-31 - Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: World Series Game Six Re...
2013-10-29 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Sifting Through Second-Ha...
2013-10-28 - Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: World Series Game Four R...