May 18, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher John Lackey (41) delivers a pitch against the New York Mets during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
1. John Lackey
2. Jaime Garcia
4. Lance Lynn
After Carlos Martinez was shut down for the remainder of the season with a shoulder strain less than two weeks ago, the postseason rotation instantly solidified itself. Even though the starting rotation finished the season with 72 victories and a 2.99 ERA collectively, a few recent issues have overshadowed the run strung together by pitching staff occasionally hyped as one of the best in baseball’s modern era.
Most notably, Michael Wacha faced command issues in September, sporting a subpar 2-3 record with a 7.88 ERA over the final month. Lance Lynn faced similar adversity with a 6.29 ERA against the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs, but only surrendered one run in his last 14 innings.
John Lackey and Jaime Garcia tossed quality starts in over 70% of their outings this season, helping both veterans make a strong case to start St. Louis’s first postseason game on Friday. Considering that this quartet of pitchers has over 225 innings worth of postseason experience, a few adjustments could go a long way in setting up the rotation for similar success in the postseason.