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Dusty Baker has decided to flip-flop the pitching rotation for today's twinbill. Although Prior was slated to pitch yesterday, he will be pitching in the second game this afternoon... and I'm not sure that I understand the rationale.
Originally, I thought it would be beneficial to have Prior start first. That way, if he got into trouble early, Dusty could make better informed pitching decisions in both games. However, with Wood going first, Dusty has no choice but to try and get an extra inning or two out of him. Chances are, Prior isn't going to be able to go all that long. But, with Prior slated to go second, what do we do if Wood runs into problems early? Can Dusty pull him without forcing his hand on Prior? What if Prior struggles? You certainly can't leave Prior out there for long if he has trouble getting through innings.
Looking at the matchups, I see that Wood is slated to go against Peavy. It must be that Dusty feels Wood gives the Cubs a better chance than Prior. However, since we all know that Neifi Perez, Henry Blanco, and Jose Macias will be getting at least one start today... we'll surely lose one game. If I were managing, I'd take my chances by running out the scrubs for the first game against Peavy, and then hoping to beat Lawrence in the afternoon. This would also give the Cubs the benefit of throwing Prior first.
Another thought I had was that it might be to line up the pitching rotation for the next time through the rotation, but a quick look at the calendar tells me that the Cubs have an off-day tomorrow. Therefore, neither Wood nor Prior will have to throw on short rest for their next start.
I guess that is one positive note in an otherwise chicken little post.
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