Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Posted by el duque at 7:27 AM
What if we slide into that one-game abyss, where the year hinges on one base runner, one batter... maybe one chance to move the man from second to third, which is not our forte this year.
Think about it. The one-game season roster. We need one starter, plus a crapload of situational pieces. Because if we're on the wrong side of the ninth, we need our fastest runners and a platoon advantage for our best hitters.
So... ponder this.
Starter: Let's say CC, although a solid case can be made for Andy. But only one. The other doesn't dress.
Long men: Would we use Kuroda? Doubt it. He'd pitch game two in the next series, if it exists. Phil Hughes has bullpen experience. He's in. Nova, at this point, why bother? Phelps, definitely. Freddy, nope. Lowe... hmmm.... write in the margin. But only if the game goes into extra innings.
Short men: Sori, Robertson, Epply, Rapada, Logan, Joba, and maybe Cory Wade or David Aardsema, if they throw well. (Wade didn't last night.) This is where Pedro Feliciano blew it by recently turning an ankle. (What a bum. After two years of rehab, he actually might have been a piece of the puzzle, and he gets hurt. That, my friends, is bad juju.)
Catchers: Martin/Stewart. (Ha, Martha-Stewart! Why haven't we called our catching crew this!) As bizarre as it sounds, don't rule out Cervelli. If we fall behind, we would pitch run for Martin and pinch hit for Stewart, and we don't want Eduardo Nunez behind the plate in the 13th inning, right?
Infielders: Tex, Robbie, Jeet, Arod, Nix, Chavez and Nuni (for base-running only). Not sure about Pearce or Casey. There's a chance Tex's leg blows, and we don't want a Buckner situation in the 10th. Pearce made great plays against Oakland, but how would he get into a game?
Outfielders: Grandy, Ichiro, Swish, Raul and Andruw. That's 23. (Yes, I'm holding my nose with Andruw, but with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, one run down and a lefty up... him or Pearce or Nuni? )
Here's where it gets dicey:
Two more spots. Chris Dickerson or Brett Gardner (assuming Gards looks fully functional.) Pearce? Derek Lowe or a short-man? Without Lowe, Hughes would have to pitch the extra-inning marathon. My take (which, of course, doesn't matter): You cannot leave Brett Gardner out of a one-game playoff. Even without a bat, he's our best fielder, our best base-runner. If he's functional, he's on the team.
So who is the 25th man? I say, mix and match. It goes down to who's pitching against us? A lefty? Maybe Pearce. A righty? Give serious consideration to Cervelli, because we might need to pinch hit for Martin and Stewart. Or Dickerson instead of Nuni, who I cannot imagine playing in the field.
The one game season roster, folks. What a trip. It's a concept we've never seen.
And hopefully, we won't soon.