Joe Kelly and Trevor Rosenthal made their postseason debuts on Monday, each successfully preventing the Nationals from scoring a run in their respective innings pitched.
With the addition of Kelly and Rosenthal to the roll, the Cardinals have employed sixteen rookie pitchers in the postseason since 2000. With one glaring exception (Mike Matthews in 2001), the relievers have been overwhelmingly successful in their debuts. Among the three starts, success was the exception (Bud Smith, 2001) – and one of the bad starts, as if you need a reminder (sorry Will), eventually drove Rick Ankiel away from pitching.
See the whole lot of them after the jump.
Please be forewarned, the list includes two innings of Britt Reames. And Mike Crudale. Next to each of their names, there is a zero in the earned runs column. I just don’t want you to be alarmed.
|Joe Kelly||2012-10-08||NLDS||2||WSN||W 12-4||1.0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.00|
|Trevor Rosenthal||2012-10-08||NLDS||2||WSN||W 12-4||1.0||1||0||0||0||3||0||0.00|
|Lance Lynn||2011-10-09||NLCS||1||MIL||L 6-9||1.0||1||0||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|Blake Hawksworth||2009-10-07||NLDS||1||LAD||L 3-5||1.0||1||0||0||1||1||0||0.00|
|Kyle McClellan||2009-10-07||NLDS||1||LAD||L 3-5||0.2||1||0||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|Mitchell Boggs||2009-10-07||NLDS||1||LAD||L 3-5||1.0||0||0||0||2||1||0||0.00|
|Anthony Reyes||2006-10-15||NLCS||4||NYM||L 5-12||4.0||3||2||2||4||4||0||4.50|
|Josh Kinney||2006-10-05||NLDS||2||SDP||W 2-0||1.1||0||0||0||1||1||0||0.00|
|Tyler Johnson||2006-10-03||NLDS||1||SDP||W 5-1||1.1||1||0||0||0||2||0||0.00|
|Adam Wainwright||2006-10-03||NLDS||1||SDP||W 5-1||1.1||0||0||0||0||2||0||0.00|
|Brad Thompson||2005-10-04||NLDS||1||SDP||W 8-5||0.2||2||1||1||0||0||0||13.50|
|Mike Crudale||2002-10-01||NLDS||1||ARI||W 12-2||1.0||0||0||0||1||2||0||0.00|
|Bud Smith||2001-10-13||NLDS||4||ARI||W 4-1||5.0||4||1||1||4||2||0||1.80|
|Mike Matthews||2001-10-12||NLDS||3||ARI||L 3-5||0.2||4||3||3||0||0||0||40.50|
|Britt Reames||2000-10-03||NLDS||1||ATL||W 7-5||2.0||0||0||0||1||1||0||0.00|
|Rick Ankiel||2000-10-03||NLDS||1||ATL||W 7-5||2.2||4||4||4||6||3||5||13.50|
Of note to me:
- I’m not sure why I felt compelled to include the wild pitches column other than it’s a part of the story for that one, dreadful evening, no?
- Who had money on Bud Smith with the one good rookie start? Way to sell high, Uncle Walt.
- Recurring theme in the three rookie starts, even Smith’s: too many walks.
- Rosenthal’s three strikeout inning was pretty dominant, even if low leverage.
Logic would infer that a scoreless inning in relief would be more achievable than stringing together several in a start, but the numbers don’t lie in showing far more success for the bullpen than the starters. Which is a long way to get around to saying – remember how Adam Wainwright came up through the bullpen out of necessity, gained valuable experience with the big league club, and then went on to be a dominant starting pitcher with that experience as part of his base?
There’s one rookie yet to make his postseason debut, seemingly (hopefully?) in relief. The addition of Shelby Miller to the Cardinals’ postseason roster after Jaime Garcia’s “thing” may be much ado about nothing depending on how much further the Cards go into the tournament and/or Mike Matheny’s faith in the much-hyped pitcher. But it may also be a keystone in Miller’s development, one that allows him to bring his best stuff into a short-inning situation, without the weight of preparing for a start, and ideally be successful as his teammates and predecessors have been.
What if, what if, what if and a load of variables. Rosenthal’s big arm might have him permanently destined for the bullpen to preserve that burst, but the end-game for Shelby Miller is to start. Ideally, with the last few in the 2013 postseason.