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To maintain current reliever loads, you need at least three "openers", each presumably among your top 4 relievers.
How does the "win" stat prevent this from happening? Your regular starting pitcher who is going to pitch 6 or so innings would not be prevented from getting the win should an opener start the game.
Same thing could be said about a team's closer getting injured.
I've wondered about having 3 guys share the eighth and ninth innings on a scheduled basis: 108 innings each.
If the score is 3 or more in either direction, you save your ace.
That said it seems unworkable. To maintain current reliever loads, you need at least three "openers", each presumably among your top 4 relievers.
This strategy was used at least twice that season. In Game 3 of the Giants/Dodgers season opening series, Merkin Valdez pitched the first two innings, followed by Jack Taschner with one, then eventual Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum for innings 4-7. Similarly, rain was forecast for this game, but never materialized.
I think we're all missing the obvious new strategy...bribing the weather service to predict rain so that your opponent throws out inferior pitchers for the first couple innings.
Of course then every team will hire their own weather guy in order to make sure they don't get deked by the home team.
But pointing out consequences is not necessarily pissing on an idea. I like it and it's worth exploring.
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