Here is one vote against the three-man rotation. It comes from Keith Olbermann, an unabashed Yankee fan. He looks at recent playoff history, and makes a pretty compelling case for why it's a bad idea.
Like all men, Bobby Cox, who by rights should be elected to the Hall of Fame next winter if he goes through with his plan to retire after next season, has had one Achilles Heel that he's never overcome. Coxy has always been convinced that when all the chips were on the table his starters could do the job on three days' rest, even as the statistics accumulated, proving they could not.
During Atlanta's unprecedented, probably unmatchable playoff run of 1991 through 2005, Cox tried the short-rest thing nineteen times. The Braves lost thirteen of those games.
Every defeat has a thousand parents, but at minimum, starting a pitcher prematurely is a very heavy straw meeting a very weak camel. More over, all Cox's successes came before 1995, when Steve Avery and Tom Glavine and John Smoltz were all young and elastic. Cox would go on to try it six more times between 1996 and 2005, and the Braves didn't win even one of the games. Tim Hudson couldn't do it, nor Kevin Millwood, nor Greg Maddux, nor Smoltz, nor Glavine - and Glavine tried, twice.
If those stats aren't a bright enough white line, there's one more. Cox did it nine times in the World Series, and the Braves won only three of those games. You might get away with it - Beckett did once - but eventually the odds start mounting, and sooner or later it will cost you the playoff series, or the whole ball of wax.
Me? I am on the fence on this one. History says it is a bad idea, but Sabathia has shown he can pitch well on short rest. The temptation to set up Sabathia for three starts, including Game 7, is strong and I understand it. Then again, I think I would feel just as good about a Game 7 with Andy Pettitte pitching as I would with Sabathia getting the ball.
In the end, I guess I can't kill Manager Joe Girardi no matter which way he decides to go on this one.