I'm sitting in the newsroom at Comcast SportsNet waiting to appear on their World Series preview show that is scheduled to air at 10:30 p.m. tonight.
The Rays and Red Sox are in the top of the sixth with Tampa Bay leading 2-1.
I've spent the past few minutes figuring out the likely pitching match-ups for the World Series. Here is what I have come up with:
Game 1 - LHP Cole Hamels vs either RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka or LHP Scott Kazmir
Game 2 - RHP Brett Myers vs. either RHP Josh Beckett or RHP James Shields
Game 3 - LHP Jamie Moyer vs. either LHP Jon Lester or RHP Matt Garza
Game 4 - RHP Joe Blanton vs. either RHP Tim Wakefield or RHP Andy Sonnastine
Game 5 - Hamels vs. either Matsuzaka or Kazmir
Game 6 - Myers vs. either Beckett or Shields
Game 7 - Moyer vs. either Lester or Garza
For at least the first two games, I can't really see it going any other way. Neither Shilds nor Kazmir has ever pitched on short rest, so take that out of the equation (Shields will be on his normal four days for Game 2). Likewise, Matsuzaka has never pitched on short rest. Lester has once, but he didn't fare very well, allowing four runs in five innings this April in a loss to the Angels. So a four-man rotation would seem to be out of the question.
Despite the ALCS going to seven games, it doesn't look like it will have much of a benefit for the Phillies from a pitching rotation standpoint. Shields started Game 1 and Kazmir started Game 2 of the ALCS, but that is the only difference.