Tyler Cloyd’s days of being that guy no one knew about until he went 15-1 and then instantly had to replace every bad pitcher on the roster and then was the International League Most Valuable Pitcher are over.
Now, he is a pitcher in the Philadelphia Phillies starting rotation, alongside guys like Roy Hallady, Cole Hamels, and Cliff Lee. And, being closer to those guys geographically, he is expected to pitch more like them than ever. It is a bit odd that Cloyd, in three starts, has yet to reach fairly traditional Major League pitching benchmarks like a perfect game, being World Series MVP, or throwing ten shut-out innings in one game. But the Phillies are having him run a different kind of gambit in his next start: pitching on merely three days rest.
I can’t even take out the garbage without two or three weeks of notice. So this is a huge deal.
Of course, he will be pitching against the Astros, which is like pitching against a squad of small, sad Little Leaguers who can’t even afford the latest video game consoles so they have nothing to look forward to on the way home after losing.
But, thanks to his abbreviated start in the Rockies day-night double header, Cloyd is going to be handed the ball a mere 72 hours since he last touched it. Now, you’re probably wondering, “Is that even allowed? Should we talking about this?” And the answer no, we’re playing this one pretty close to the chest.
Cloyd threw 76 pitches, which is very low, so the Phillies and Cloyd himself and most people with arms are confident that he won’t damage himself terribly by coming through. Rich Dubee has yet to be reached for comment on this issue, but you can probably bet that he’s angry about Cloyd being overconfident or for him not throwing at least 110 pitches in his last start I mean whose rotation do you think this is.
Meanwhile, the Astros have yet to deliver their annual September four-game sweep of the Phillies in 2012, so there’s that notion to fear endlessly, and putting a rookie out there on limited rest is probably tempting fate a great deal more than necessary.
However, these sweeps have come during years when the disparity between the Phillies and Astros records was astronomical. Perhaps this year, with the Phillies far from the unanimous favorite for the NL pennant, the Astros will for some reason be less dominant in a four game series?
Look, I’m sure the Astros have players on their team and everything, but being one of the flimsy squads the Phillies hope to pave over on their way to an unlikely playoff birth, perhaps this will be a season of offsetting norms.
Hell, Kyle Kendrick is an ace.