Pitchers in ALCS Game 4 illustrate differing managerial philosophies

Updated: October 19, 2009

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Scott Kazmir will be going on extra rest when he takes the mound for the Angels in Game 4.

In Game 4 of the American League Championship Series, with the Angels down 2-1 after Monday's dramatic, extra-innings win, we will start to see how managers Joe Girardi and Mike Scioscia have decided to use their starting staffs in different ways.

Scioscia is going with Scott Kazmir as his starter (the Angels' big acquisition from the Tampa Bay Rays), and the Yankees will start CC Sabathia. Kazmir will be operating on seven days' rest; Sabathia will be going on three.

The Angels are going with a four-man rotation, and the Yankees are going with a three-man rotation. There are concerns about Sabathia pitching in Game 4 for New York. Historically speaking, pitchers performing on short rest in the playoffs do not fare very well. Since 1995, there have been 85 games started in the playoffs by pitchers pitching on only three days' rest, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Those pitchers have a 20-34 record in those starts. Those same pitchers performed to a 29-19 record in their preceding start on full rest. If you crunch the numbers, that's a 24-game swing when coming back one day earlier.

Everyone points to Sabathia's performance with the Brewers at the end of the 2008 season, in which he pitched four consecutive games on short rest as a reason he should be able to do it again this year. The thing to remember is that he beat the Pirates and Reds in two of those starts last year. When he ran into the Philadelphia Phillies in the playoffs (a good hitting lineup), he got knocked around. The Angels' offense is far better than what the Pirates and Reds had to offer last season.

Since joining the Angels, Kazmir is 2-2 with a 1.73 ERA in six career starts. In the postseason, Kazmir is 1-1 with a 4.83 ERA in six career starts. However, he never has lasted longer than six innings pitched, so the Angels' bullpen most likely will come into play in Game 4. The good news for the Angels is that Kazmir has pitched very well against the Yankees in his career. With a 6-5 record and a 2.67 ERA against New York, Kazmir seems to have the ability to elevate his game against good teams and good opposing pitchers. He lives for the head-to-head matchups when he's on the mound.

To win, the Angels are going to have to wear Sabathia down, capitalize on his mistakes and get him out of the game early. The Yankees will have to focus on keeping the game close and turning it into a battle of the bullpens. This game is a must-win for the Angels, but if the Bronx Bombers take control, you can bet the ALCS will go in their favor.

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NUMBERS TO KNOW

Scott Kazmir has faced the Yankees 14 times in his career with Tampa Bay and the Angels. Although he is only 6-5 against New York, his career ERA is 2.67, his second-lowest ERA against any opponent against whom he has made more than 10 starts.

In three starts this season against the Yankees, Kazmir held New York's powerful lineup to just a .601 OPS, the lowest for any team he faced this season.

Kazmir has neutralized the Yankees' bats with his off-speed pitches:

Scott Kazmir (2009)
Opponent hitting vs. off-speed pitches
vs. Yankees vs. rest of majors
BA .125 .252
SLG .188 .419
Miss pct. 28.8 24.1
Strikeout pct. 27.3 22.3

-- ESPN Stats & Information

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Walk-off doubles vs. Yankees
Postseason history
Player Year/team Note
Jeff Mathis 2009 Angels Had one career regular-season walk-off RBI
Edgar Martinez 1995 Mariners Series-ending hit in LDS
Cookie Lavagetto 1947 Dodgers Won game, broke up no-hitter with two outs in ninth

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