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Helping Garner
2004-10-11 22:32
by Will Carroll
Notes:
Scott Long is now blogging at NSFWsports.com.
Will Carroll can still be found at Baseball Prospectus.

Here's an "outside the box" suggestion for Phil Garner -

Facing one of the best offenses in recent memory with your two best pitchers, Roger Clemens and Roy Oswalt used on short rest, there's one possibility for using them in Game Two.

Start Clemens and throw him for two innings, max.

Bring in Oswalt in the third. He also goes two innings, max.

Peter Munro, the likely Game Two starter, comes in and throws two innings.

Follow with a normal bullpen - Chad Qualls, Mike Gallo, Chad Harville - and, if necessary, bring in Brad Lidge.

Some might question if Clemens can do this, but it's essentially what Jack McKeon did last year with Josh Beckett. If Beckett can handle throwing his "side session" in a game rather than the pen, so can Clemens. The normal work cycle for Clemens goes: start, off, off, throw, off, start. That's equal to Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday (Game One), Thursday (Game Two), Friday, Saturday (Game Three). Actually, it's a bit MORE rest.

Yes, you read right. I still think Clemens should start Game Three in Houston. The strategy's weak point might be "what do you do in Game Six?" I think the Astros would just like to make it TO Game Six.

It's better than the alternatives, but I doubt even Phil Garner will have the guts to try something this different.

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