That seems to the be the lesson of the division series. The A’s, understandably, went with a three-man rotation and it cost them. The Braves also started game-one pitcher Tom Glavine on three days’ rest and he got rocked again by the Giants. How will Milwood do on three days’ rest? It’s one thing if you’re like the D-Backs and have only Schilling and Johnson, and you know those guys are so great that they’ll win no matter how little rest they have.
But otherwise, why risk it? Especially when you could play as many as 19 games in the post-season? Going with a three-man rotation seems like a waste. Instead, it would be wiser to go with the four-man rotation and keep the No. 5 starter in the bullpen for long relief if the No. 4 starter really struggles. That’s the way to tighten up for these playoff series, not by running exhausted pitchers out to the mount to throw on three days’ rest.