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The Wall (not the good, green one)

Dice-K definitely HAS hit a wall. The only solution is rest. He's not going to fight through it.

Last year, the dominant rookie pitcher in baseball was Justin Verlander. As the Tigers progressed towards the playoffs, his manager skipped his start just prior to the playoffs. He had been struggling and was admittedly tired by that point. He'd pitched way more innings then he ever had previously in his life. He proceeded to struggle in each of his playoff starts. He is a great pitcher, but he was tired and the Tigers advanced in October in spite of him. The Red Sox cannot afford to count on the same luck.

The Red Sox should skip Dice-K's next start completely. Not push it back. Not limit his innings. Rest him for an extra cycle through the rotation. Then, bring him back and let him pitch on a small pitch count (80 perhaps?). If we're still in good shape for winning the AL East by that point, keep him on a very limited pitch count and hope he'll regain his energy going into the playoffs. We NEED him.

The idea here is that you rest him now then let him find his groove back before the playoffs, rather then give him his final start off as Leyland did for Verlander, then watch him be both still tired and rusty in the divisional series - where, with a best of 5, there is no room for error.

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