OK, I've been calling El Duque El Desastre for a while now, but
after seeing his solid, scoreless inning tonight, I had a thought: Is El Duque not the long-man we need out of the bullpen during the playoffs?
9/17 Hernandez' last start. 3 solid innings against the twins (3H, 3K) and an absolute implosion in the 4th.
9/11 An admittedly all-around disaster against the Angels: 2IP, 5H, 4ER
9/6 vs. KC: 6 innings of 1-run ball and then he lost it in the 7th
8/31 vs.TX: 5 innings of 1-run ball before imploding in the 6th, giving up 4
8/26 vs. SEA: 8IP, 3ER scattered
8/20 vs. NYY: 3 innings of very solid work, implosion in the 4th
So, throwing out the best and worst (8/20 & 9/11), the general pattern over his last 6 starts is that he pitches well for at least 3 innings and then implodes.
Can we not conclude that, at his age (whatever that may be), El Duque simply gets worn out after a while and cannot keep up the good stuff?
Neither he nor McCarthy has experience relieving or warming up quickly but Hernandez does have experience winning playoff games. McCarthy does not. We all know what a head game the baseball playoffs are.
And consider his line today: 1IP, 2K, 0H, 0ER vs Broussard, Boone, and Blake. Apparently he warmed up quickly enough to to blow those 3 away.
Now I've been one of the biggest proponents of replacing Hernandez with McCarthy in the normal starting rotation, but this is a different question regarding a different role. Neither McCarthy nor Hernandez will be in the playoff rotation. One of the 2 will be carried to provide long help out of the bullpen. Considering his history and looking at his recent performance this season as described above, doesn't Hernandez make more sense than McCarthy?