Jim: Fine. Take out your starters after 71 pitches and one earned run. Why not yank them in the third inning -- that way you'll get to Gordon even sooner. And you know that relief ERAs don't mean anything compared to starters' ERAs.

David: Well, I guess Gordon and Rivera will be well rested for Game 3. But I'd rather have them tired and up two games to none than rested and the series tied.

And to back up my point: Mike Scioscia took out Lackey -- who was also pitching OK (if not as good as Wang) after just 5 2/3 innings ... and look how that paid off.

Jim: You're assuming they would have gotten the job done. You can't assume that, especially after Mo gave up a run the night before.

Lackey threw 98 pitches and walked five batters! That is not pitching well.

David: It was only 98 pitches! (Picture old-time sportswriter banging head on typewriter.) Lackey is a big, strong kid. Anyway, Scioscia went to his strength as soon as he could. Torre waited and the strength of the Yankee staff never got in the game at all. Advantage, Scioscia.

Jim: It was 98 pitches in the sixth inning -- it wasn't concern about his arm, it was fear that if he left him in any longer, the game was going to get out of control quick.

David: Exactly. Go for the kill, or the hammer, or whatever you want to call it, while you have the opportunity. Scioscia could have hoped Lackey could survive one more out to get through six innings. He didn't wait. Torre waited and paid the price.

Previous Second Guesses

Oct. 4: Colon over Lackey ... say what?



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