Cubbies Need Rich Harden Early in Playoff Rotation

Sean BosContributor ISeptember 24, 2008

Over the last few days, there has been much speculation about whom the Cubs should have in their starting rotation for the playoffs.  The logical choice would seem to be Zambrano, Harden, Dempster, and Lilly—in that order. 

There has been panic over Carlos Zambrano's last two starts in St. Louis and in New York. Now, if that panic is justified, then the rotation could be Dempster, Zambrano, Harden, and Lilly.  To leave Rich Harden as the No. 4 pitcher behind Ted Lilly would be inexcusable.

Here's a guy with a 2.03 ERA, a combination of his stats in Oakland and with Chicago. Granted, Harden does not go nine innings, but it's almost guaranteed that he'll pitch five to six innings, allowing only one or two runs. With those kinds of numbers and the Cubs' offense, you like your chances if you are a Cubs' fan. 

How tragic would it be to go down 0-2 in the NLDS, only to have—gasp—Ted Lilly as the man to save your season? Over Rich Harden?  Whom did we trade to get Lilly?