FG on Fox: The Game Seven Pitching Plans

For the Royals, Game Six could not have gone any better. Not only did they claim the necessary win to setup a winner-take-all contest tonight, but by blowing the Giants out early, they were able to acquire an extra day of rest for their vaunted bullpen trio of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, and Greg Holland. Meanwhile, while the Giants can’t be too thrilled with their performance, the lopsided loss did allow them to avoid using Madison Bumgarner, and you can be sure that Bruce Bochy will use his ace tonight.

So, with one game to decide the World Series, let’s see if we can plot out usage patterns for both team’s pitching staffs in order to give each side the best chance of winning the championship.

The Royals side of things is somewhat straight forward; Jeremy Guthrie is the de facto starter, but there really is no such thing as a traditional starting pitcher for the Royals, and Guthrie will almost certainly be on a very short leash tonight, because the Royals just don’t need a significant number of innings from their starter.

Since recording the final out of the ALCS on October 15th, Greg Holland has thrown just 24 pitches. 24 pitches in two weeks. He hasn’t taken the mound since last Friday, and even that came in an outing that only took him eight pitches to complete. During the regular season, Holland threw 25 or more pitches in a single game on six different occasions; there’s no reason why he couldn’t be asked to stretch that to 30 or 35 pitches in the final game of the season, especially given his recent workload.

Read the rest on Just a Bit Outside.

Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.

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Marsupial Jones
9 years ago

One inning from Guthrie, one from Finnegan, one from Frasor then two a piece from Herrera, Davis and Holland.

I’m only half joking. 😉

9 years ago

Agreed. Game 4’s loss can largely be attributed by Yost’s failure to bring in Davis during an early inning, high leverage situation. There is no reason that the big 3 shouldn’t pitch 2 innings apiece, which means that in 9 innings, you only have to get the other 3 innings with a combination of Guthrie, Finnegan, and Frasor.

9 years ago

And I’m only half-agreeing!

The trick lies in knowing which half is activated at a given moment.