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Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Braves turn to short rest down stretch


I've never been able to figure out how days can possess rest. But that's not my call. Neither is the Braves' rotation. That's Bobby Cox's call. And he's going with short rest:

The Atlanta Braves plan to start Tim Hudson and Derek Lowe on three days' rest during this last week of their playoff push.

The Braves needed to adjust their rotation because Jair Jurrjens is still slowed by a sore right knee.

--snip--

Manager Bobby Cox says he plans to start Hudson on Tuesday against the Marlins, followed by Lowe on Wednesday.

And if the Braves need to win (as they probably will), Hudson again on Sunday. And as Gleeman points out, that start (if it comes) will come against the Phillies' less-than-best lineup, as they'll obviously be a lot more worried about preparing for their Division Series rather than beating the Atlanta Braves.

But it's not just that game. When we figure playoff odds, we figure in strength of schedule. What we don't do -- can't do systematically, not without some sort of major study, anyway -- is somehow account for what happens when you're playing a team that isn't particularly trying to win.

The Braves have two more games against the Marlins, who aren't playing for anything and won't be using Hanley Ramirez. Then they've got three against the Phillies, who really can't do anything else except get somebody hurt.

Meanwhile, the Giants and the Padres have to try to kill each other this weekend.

As much as anything, this is why the Braves are a great bet for the wild card.