Gibson: Three days' rest is plenty

St. Louis Post-DisptachNovember 4, 2009 

One of the biggest issues raised during the World Series this year has been the philosophy of employing starting pitchers on three days' rest, which, in today's game, basically has gone the way of the dinosaur.

While the Yankees have had the baseball world abuzz by using CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett on three days' rest. Andy Pettitte will do the same tonight in Game 6 and there is the potential for Sabathia to do it again if the Series goes to Game 7.

The Philadelphia Phillies and manager Charlie Manuel have taken the more cautious approach. Manuel wouldn't let Cliff Lee, who started Monday night's Game 5 for the Phillies, talk him into pitching Sunday on three days' rest. The Phillies lost to fall into a 3-1 hole.

The greatest starting pitcher in World Series history, Cardinals Hall of Famer Bob Gibson, wondered from his home in Omaha, Neb., what all the fuss was about.

"What's the big deal?" Gibson said Monday night. "I don't get it. I don't think it's going to kill somebody.

"A pitcher can't pitch with three days' rest? Some of those guys make $8 million a week."

Gibson made nine starts in three World Series, winning seven of them and pitching 81 innings -- 10 innings in one game, eight in another and twirling complete games in the other seven.

Burnett didn't fare as well for the Yankees on Monday night. He was pulled in the third inning after the first four batters reached base and was charged with six earned runs in his start.

In the Cardinals' 1967 World Series victory over the Boston Red Sox, Gibson won three games, starting Games 4 and 7 on three days' rest after opening the Series.

In 1968, Gibson again pitched Games, 1, 4 and 7 with the latter two on three days' rest as the Cardinals lost to the Detroit Tigers.

Earlier, in 1964, Gibson stretched his arm to the limit as the Cardinals strained to win the National League pennant. On the last Friday of the season, he worked eight innings in a 1-0 loss to Al Jackson and the New York Mets. He then pitched four innings of relief on the last Sunday, gaining the win as the Cardinals finally nailed down the flag, and three days later started Game 2 of the World Series and worked eight innings in a win against the Yankees.

On three days' rest, Gibson pitched a 10-inning win in Game 5 and then, on two days' rest, pitched a complete-game victory in Game 7.

Rays, Pirates make a deal: The Tampa Bay Rays have traded second baseman Akinori Iwamura to the Pittsburgh Pirates for right-handed reliever Jesse Chavez.

Iwamura hit .290 with one homer and 22 RBIs in 69 games during the final season of a $7.7 million, three-year contract he signed after playing in the Japanese Central League for eight years.

Iwamura, 30, missed 81 games this season after sustaining partial tears of the anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus in his left knee. The Rays held a $4.85 million option on the infielder for 2010.

Chavez led Pittsburgh and all major league rookies with 73 appearances in 2009, going 1-4 with a 4.01 ERA in 671/3 innings.

Joba's mother faces up to 20 years in prison: The mother of New York Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain faces up to 20 years in prison when she's sentenced next month on a felony drug charge.

Jackie Standley pleaded no contest Monday to an amended charge of delivery of a controlled substance, according to court records.

Standley, 44, was arrested in May after selling a gram of methamphetamine to an undercover officer at her Lincoln residence. She will be sentenced Dec. 16.

Surgery for Wells: Toronto outfielder Vernon Wells will have surgery next week to repair damaged cartilage in his left wrist. The team said Wells is expected to be ready for spring training.

Wells, who is entering the third season of a seven-year, $126-million contract extension, hit .260 with 15 home runs and 66 RBIs in 2009.

The Associated Press

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