At first glance, I do NOT like this idea, namely, the idea of Mike Matheny starting Lance Lynn in game two of the divisional playoffs against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Even though it would mean three rookies in a row in the rotation after Adam Wainwright, I preferred, as I told a friend last week, the rotation of Waino, Shelby Miller, Joe Kelly and Michael Wacha (or flip 3 and 4). Yes, I know Miller's innings count is getting up there. So, you pull him after six; it's the playoffs and you're just running a four-man rotation, so you've got a deeper bullpen.
If this were Lynn's first year to have struggled so much in the second half of the season, it would be one thing, but he's done it two years in a row now. And, for the year as a whole, he actually regressed a bit from last year.
Yes, ESPN notes he had a strong close, but the Cards as a team had an easy closing schedule. And, the period before those last four starts of his left me unsettled.
And, interestingly, Matheny apparently hasn't set his rotation beyond Game 2, per the ESPN story. Wacha and Miller have heard nothing, they said. Also interesting is that Kelly is not mentioned as having heard nothing. So, is he the one headed to the pen? Or even being left off the first-round roster?
Matheny also hinted that closer-so-far Edward Mujica could be left off the roster. Well, that explains why Trevor Rosenthal got those end-of-year save opportunities. (And, looking ahead, it also indicates what sort of salary offer the free-agent-to-be Mujica should expect from the Cards in the offseason.)
I agree with making Rosenthal the closer; don't think I'd leave Mujica off the roster, though. I want a bit of insurance.
Update, Oct. 4: Hey, I'm a genius, right? Sadly so. Lynn gets hammered. Three doubles and one HR. And ... WTF is Miller doing coming out of the pen in the eighth inning when you're already down 6-1?
Best guess I have is that he's on an innings count for the year, but the Cards haven't announced that. Wunderbar. Assuming that's the case, and assuming they beat the Pirates, we'll know for sure when Matheny announces his NLCS rotation. Let's hope that we have the opportunity to wonder if we need to second-guess him again.
That said, if you are a Cards fan, and you've read through my rant, take a minute to vote on my postseason odds poll, too!