OMAHA—Word has it that Mike Leake will get the start for Arizona State tonight. If true (and I’m told the ESPN broadcasters have reported it), this move makes no sense to me. The Sun Devils must win today and tomorrow in order to reach the CWS Finals; winning just one game does them no good. Why bring back Leake on two days’ rest—when he threw 77 pitches Tuesday and coach Pat Murphy speculated he might be dealing with some tendinitis—when Seth Blair and Jason Franzblau and Matt Newman are fresh? Unless Murphy plans on using Josh Spence again tomorrow on one day’s rest, he’s going to have to start one of those other guys at some point. Why not do it today to give Leake an extra day of rest?
Considering Murphy talked a lot about Leake’s workload taking its toll after the Texas game, it’s surprising that he would bring back the righthander on short rest unnecessarily. I have a feeling it’s the wrong move for Arizona State, and I think it’s also the wrong move for Leake’s well being.
Of course, who knows what to believe out of the Arizona State camp? I can’t think of a coach in college baseball who uses misdirection and gamesmanship the way Pat Murphy does.
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