The Brewers will send Zack Greinke to the mound this afternoon, on only 3 days rest, in an attempt to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the NLDS vs the Diamondbacks. Greinke has made only one start with 3 days rest in his career, per Baseball-Reference, and he gave up 2 runs in 6 innings, giving up 5 hits, 2 doubles, a walk and striking out just 4 batters. The Brewers are taking the chance by starting him today so he can also pitch game 5, if needed.
Why would they start Greinke today when Shaun Marcum could start on regular rest?
Because Greinke is 11-0 at home this season, with a 3.13 ERA and 1.126 WHIP in 15 starts, with a 119-22 K/BB rate in 95 innings of work. Greinke has not performed so well on the road this season, which makes the Brewers decision a calculated one, yet risky. Greinke is just 5-6 with a 4.70 ERA and 1.291 WHIP in 13 starts on the road this season.
But, in his Sunday blog post, ESPN's Jayson Stark says it is not a good idea to start on short rest in the postseason:
Since 2005, 21 pitchers have headed for the mound on short rest in the postseason. Here's how that's gone:
• Their combined ERA in those starts is 5.83.
• Their won-loss record is 5-8.
• Their teams have won only eight of those games.
Should a game 5 be required, Greinke would be going on regular rest, pitching at home on Friday night. So, how will Greinke fare today, pitching on just 3 days rest for only the second time in his career?