In what at first seems like a surprising twist, team USA’s manager Davey Johnson has decided to start Roy Oswalt over Jake Peavy in Sunday's semi-final elimination game.
“It’s because of pitch count and where they’re at this point in Spring Training,” said Johnson, who added that it wouldn’t hurt to give Peavy an extra day. Johnson plans to use Peavy should the US advance to the finals against the victor or the Korea vs Venezuela game on Saturday.
Upon further review, Peavy is 0-2 in WBC action including the 11-1 rout at the hands of Puerto Rico with an ERA of 14.40 and Oswalt is 1-0 with an ERA of 3.52 after defeating the Netherlands who were the Cinderella story of the WBC.
Does this make the decision right? I say no, Japan is a stronger team than Korea or Venezuela and Peavy despite who the WBC numbers say is the better pitcher. If your going to lose, lose with your best on the hill.
In semi-final action starting the pitchers can throw up to 100 pitchers. Japan will counter with Daisuke Matsuzaka although Japan has not named who will start if they are the victors on Sunday.