It’s been apparent for a while now that playoff baseball is in many ways a different sport from regular season baseball. Strategies and roster selection, especially with regards to the use of pitching, are just not comparable; during the regular season, teams might have weeks between off-days, while they’re built in to every postseason series.

That’s not to mention the relative importance of any single game. Which is how we got today’s decision from Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell to start lefty Wade Miley, which Counsell knew would prompt the Dodgers to start a lineup of hitter’s more successful against lefties than right-handers. And then, after Miley walked Cody Bellinger, Counsell removed him in favor of reliever Brandon Woodruff.

Miley is also apparently going to start Friday’s Game 5:

This is a ploy that has been considered for a while, because it’s so obvious, and it’s a way to exploit the modern tendency to rely on platoon splits for both overall roster and daily lineup construction. But, as when it came up as an idea in places like the Effectively Wild mailbag, the downside was the immediate vitriol that would be dumped on whoever decided to do it, and that’s indeed what’s happened.

Smoltz went silent, for long enough that he felt the need to let viewers know his mic was indeed working:

Smoltz then demonstrated why he’s been such a polarizing figure this Postseason on Fox, as instead of looking to explain why the Brewers may have tried this strategy, he spent a lengthy period of the broadcast talking about why it was dumb, with the thrust of his commentary being that it’s bad for the starter’s mindset, whatever that means:

The Dodgers are winning at the moment anyway, but it’s still an interesting (and viable) strategy under the rules of the game. It’d just be nice to have analysts be as forward-thinking as the teams involved.

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a writer and editor for The Comeback, and a contributor at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer.