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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pitching backwards

When you throw unexpected pitches in the count, it's called pitching backwards. You know, a breaking ball in a fastball count, that sort of thing.

When Paul Mainieri announced his pitching plans for this weekend's regionals, you could say he's pitching backwards as well.

He plans to use his usual Sunday starter, Austin Ross, in Friday's opener. Then he plans to follow with his usual Friday starter, Anthony Ranaudo on Saturday. And then his usual Saturday starter, Louis Coleman, in Sunday's game. The hope from Mainieri and Tigers fans is that a Monday game will not be necessary.

On paper, the strategy looks pretty solid. You figure Ross can beat Southern and then you have your top two pitchers available for Saturday and Sunday.

The only risk is that if Ross and Ranaudo were to lose -- OK, I understand it's a long shot -- then you could have not even used your ace in the tournament.

But that risk is so small who can criticize Mainieri for these pitching plans.


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