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Game 156 Open Thread -- Sep 27, 2009

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It's Lohse against De La Rosa today. This may be Lohse's last opportunity to make a statement to Tony that he deserves any game 4 starts in the postseason. I hope he does well b/c I really would like to see Smoltz in the pen. If Lohse performs poorly, Smoltz pitches any game 4 and our already weak pen loses the possibility of adding Smoltz.

I'm inclined to think that Tony sends out our B lineup today but I think it'll be more our A minus lineup. I doubt we'll see Tony and I think that Albert will probably sit as well but the Rockies are still in a playoff chase w/ the Braves and Tony has too much respect for the game to load up w/ Pagnozzi, Freese, Thurston, etc.

BTW, for those who think we don't need a game 4 starter -- that we can use Carp and Wainer on short rest -- I'm going to politely disagree. Our pen is weak and Tony likes to ride his horses late into the game -- witness Wainwright's 130 pitch outing last night. There's no way he can ride these guys for 120+ pitches AND bring them back on short rest. If the pen was deeper and stronger, we could go w/ 3 starters and have Carp and Wainer throw 90 pitches or so. But he's going to stick w/ them as long as he can, which means that we're going to have to use either Lohse or Smoltz in any game 4.

Dodgers clinched a playoff spot last night and they'll clinch the West any day now. Might they be our first round opponent? Like the Phillies, their top 2 starters (Wolf and Kershaw) are lefties.