Why big league managers side with pitching experience vs. pitching talent come the post season is beyond me.
Look what David Price, a September call up with a mere five innings of MLB experience, did against Boston in game seven.
The super-talented lefty begins by striking out the hot-hitting J.D. Drew on four pitches before closing the deal in the bottom of the ninth helping send the Rays to the World Series.
Price’s outing reminds me of Joe Torre’s decision in 2005 to add 39-year-old Al Leiter to his playoff roster because the crafty left-hander had “experience,” never mind his regular season record of (7-12) with a 6.13 ERA.
Leiter pitched in four playoff games during 2005 posting an “experienced’ 7.34 ERA – now, that’s some kind of experience.
But, not even the great Torre is alone in his thinking; take Sweet Lou for example this October.
Piniella added the washed-up Bob Howry to his staff noting the right-hander’s decade worth of MLB experience.
And why not add Howry, he only finished his worst season in the bigs in 2008 (5.35 ERA).
Unfortunately, the Cubs played so poorly Howry never had the chance to further prove my point.
Meanwhile, during the same year of Torre’s blunder, 24-year-old rookie Bobby Jenks anchored the White Sox’s pen bringing the trophy to Chicago’s south side.
Three years earlier the Angels’ Francisco Rodriguez, a September call up like Price, dominated in the playoffs as well, winning five games in relief for the eventual World Champion Halos.
The following season ‘Trader Jack’ McKeon rode 21-year-old rookie Dontrelle Willis’ (3-0) post season all the way to the promise land.
So, when it’s a decision between experience and talent, I’ll take the later.