I noticed in a thread recently someone said that the Cardinals have 9 off days in the next 9 weeks. This would lead to the Cardinals being able to use their 5th starter less than everyone else using theirs. I figured it would be a good time to check out which starters could/should start which games.
Obviously, you want your best to start as many as possible. Right after the All-Star Break with a completely fresh bullpen, i would choose to start Carpenter since he usually pitches shorter than Wainwright, thus allowing the bullpen to use their plenty rested arms. My rotation down the stretch (minus any trades that may or may not occur) would be:
Wellemeyer/Thompson/Boggs/Mortenson/etc. (whomever they decide to keep/put in the rotation)
Carpenter would pitch on the following dates vs. the following clubs:
7/17 v. ARIZ, 7/22 @ HOU, 7/27 v. LAD, 8/1 v. HOU, 8/7 @ PITT, 8/12 v. CIN, 8/17 @ LAD, 8/22 @ SD, 8/27 v. HOU, 9/1 v. MIL, 9/6 @ PIT, 9/11 v. ATL, 9/16 v. FLA, 9/21 @ HOU, 9/26 @ COL, and 10/1 @ CIN.
That's 16 more games for Carpenter.
4 against HOU, 2 against LAD, CIN and PITT, 1 each against ARIZ, COL, FLA, ATL, MIL, and SD.
9 of his final 16 games would be against the division. He would also then be set to pitch any time after 10/5, thus starting a playoff series should we make it.
Wainwright would pitch on the following dates vs. the following clubs:
7/18 v. ARIZ, 7/23 @ WASH, 7/28 v. LAD, 8/2 v. HOU, 8/8 @ PITT, 8/14 v. SD, 8/19 @LAD, 8/25 v. HOU, 8/30 v. WASH, 9/4 @ PITT, 9/9 @ MIL, 9/14, v. FLA, 9/19 v. CHC, 9/25 @ COL, 9/29 @ CIN, and 10/4 v. MIL.
That's 16 more games for Waino.
2 against HOU, LAD, MIL, WASH, PITT, and 1 each against CHC, COL, CIN, ARIZ, SD, and FLA.
8 of his final 16 games would be against the division. Hopefully, we would have the division wrapped up before his 10/4 start, so that he could get extra rest and be ready for game two of the playoffs. If not, then he'd be ready by the 9th at the latest, by game 3 or 4 of the first round.
Pineiro would pitch on the following dates vs. the following clubs:
7/19 v. ARIZ, 7/24 @ PHI, 7/29 v. LAD, 8/4 @ NYM, 8/9 @ PITT, 8/15 v. SD, 8/20 @ SD, 8/26 v. HOU, 9/2 v. MIL, 9/7 @ MIL, 9/12 v. ATL, 9/18 v. CHC, 9/23 @ HOU, and 9/30 @ CIN.
That's 14 more games for Pineiro.
2 against MIL, SD, and HOU. 1 each against ARIZ, PHI, LAD, NYM, PITT, ATL, CHC, and CIN.
7 of his final 14 games would be against the division. He would then be set to pitch any time on or after 10/5. If there is a one game playoff, he would probably be the guy to go on the 5th. If not, he's ready for game 2 of the first round.
Lohse would pitch on the following dates vs. the following clubs:
7/20 @ HOU, 7/25 @ PHI, 7/30 v. LAD, 8/5 @ NYM, 8/10 v. CIN, 8/16 v. SD, 8/21 @ SD, 8/28 v. WASH, 9/3 v. MIL, 9/8 @ MIL, 9/13 v. ATL, 9/20 v. CHC, 9/27 @ COL, and 10/2 v. MIL.
That's 14 more games for Lohse.
3 against MIL. 2 against SD. 1 each against WASH, HOU, PHI, LAD, NYM, CIN, ATL, CHC, and COL.
6 of his final 14 games would be against the division. He would be set to pitch any time after 10/7. If we need a 4th pitcher in the first round, he's our man and he'd be ready.
That leaves one man to go. 5th pitcher/combo would only have 11 chances to pitch down the stretch, on the following dates vs. the following clubs:
7/21 @ HOU, 7/26 @ PHI, 7/31 v. HOU, 8/11 v. CIN, 8/18 @ LAD, 8/23 @SD, 8/29 v. WASH, 9/5 @ PITT, 9/15 v. FLA, 9/22 @ HOU, and 10/3 v. MIL.
That's 3 against HOU and 1 each against PHI, CIN, LAD, SD, WASH, PITT, FLA, and MIL.
6 of those 11 games would be against the division. Those 11 games, in my opinion, should be started by whomever TLR believes has the best chance of winning the game that day. This should especially be the case because of the lack of consistency in days off between starts.
Endnote: Obviously, I was a little late in getting this up, as we have already won the series against the D'Backs to start the "second half" of the season. Those first three games sized up about how I thought they would go. I think getting 46 starts from the big 3 (Carp, Waino, and Pineiro) down the stretch would be absolutely HUGE for this ballclub and could definitely land them in the crapshoot known as the postseason.