Dark Bilious Vapors

But how could I deny that I possess these hands and this body, and withal escape being classed with persons in a state of insanity, whose brains are so disordered and clouded by dark bilious vapors....
--Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy: Meditation I

Home » Archives » September 2004 » 5 into 4 won't go?

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09/14/2004: 5 into 4 won't go?

The Post-Dispatch finally catches up with the question that's been bothering the Cardinals blogosphere for a few weeks now: One of five won't start in playoffs. But for now, they (or rather, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa and pitching coach Dave Duncan) are playing coy:

How to divide five accomplished starting pitchers into four slots in the postseason rotation?

The question long ago began to irritate manager Tony La Russa, who now straddles the issue. It has challenged pitching coach Dave Duncan, who describes the issue as "pretty much decided" but prefers not to go further.
Like I'm qualified to answer the question.... Right now my inclination is to drop Matt Morris from the starting rotation, since he's easily the most inconsistent pitcher on the staff.
If the Good Morris shows up tomorrow, then the Cardinals just need an inning or
two from Tavarez. If the Bad Morris shows up, then One Lucky Fan gets to pitch
the 9th.
--Rob of STLOutsider.blogspot.com
Some of the commentators have noticed some interesting situational skews in Morris's stats; the short form: start him during a night game at Busch, bench him during a day game on the road (see, e.g., "Morris: The Final Word" over at The Cardinals Birdhouse; unfortunately the Birdhouse doesn't have internal links to their articles, so you'll have to go to the homepage and search for the referenced article).
So, breaking it down:

When Morris starts a night game at home, the Cards are 8-1.
When Morris starts a day game at home, the Cards are 3-2.
When Morris starts a night game on the road, the Cards are 5-3.
When Morris starts a day game on the road, the Cards are 2-5.
This works for me.

The one thing I find myself feeling strongly about: let's save Rick Ankiel for next season. Especially once we've clinched the NL Central, let's loosen up and give him some more playing time, including a few starts, but the important thing is to get him ready to take his place in the starting rotation next season.

UPDATE: Then again (re: Rick Ankiel), Brian Gunn of Redbird Nation passes along this tidbit:
But there's one argument for keeping him on the roster if we play the Giants (and this was pointed out to me by Rich Lederer) -- he's faced Barry Bonds three times in his career and whiffed him each time. Cool.

Len on 09.14.04 @ 07:19 AM CST

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