Florida Marlins at San Francisco Giants, 1 PM ET (Game 4)
This is what I wrote earlier today:
Felipe Alou is taking the biggest gamble today - he's starting Jason Schmidt on 3 days' rest in Florida. The Giants have to win both of the next game, so the conventional thinking would have started Jerome Williams in game 4 today and saved Jason Schmidt for game 5. Two factors Alou might have considered.
1) Starting Schmidt today allows a little more flexibility in regard to the game 5 starter. It could be Williams or Ponson on 3-days rest. If whichever one he chooses struggles, he can quickly bring in the other guy.
2) He wants to maximize the edge in game 4 because he figures game 5 will be the easier one to win. The home crowd, and last at bat will help the Giants' chances in game 5. He may be worried that Jerome Williams, a rookie, will be bothered by the hostile crowd in Florida in his first post-season start.
Scratch that. The Giants will start Jerome Williams.
Jack McKeon wouldn't mind things either way. He would have had the edge against either Williams or Ponson with Josh Beckett pitching. Now, the Marlins have a better shot at winning it at home and the Florida ace will be well rested for game 1 of the NLCS.