WASHINGTON -- With Brandon Beachy set to pitch in place of the injured Jair Jurrjens again Sunday, Braves manager Bobby Cox no longer has the option of starting him in place of the seemingly fatigued Mike Minor during the upcoming three-game series against the Marlins.
In fact, as of Saturday morning, Cox wasn't sure how he will align his rotation for this three-game set that begins Monday. Atlanta's game notes list "Undetermined" as the probable starter for each of these three games against Florida.
"We'll just wait," said Cox, who saw his club fall a half-game behind the Padres in the Wild Card race following the conclusion of Friday night's games.
No longer possessing the comfort that existed Sunday, when his club owned a 2 1/2-game lead in the Wild Card race, Cox confirmed that he is at least contemplating the possibility of sending some of his veteran pitchers to the mound on short rest during the regular season's final week.
"You've got to start thinking that way," Cox said.
The Braves could send Tommy Hanson to the mound with regular rest during Monday's series opener against the Marlins. Tim Hudson and Derek Lowe could then be asked to pitch the final two games on short rest.
Lowe has gone 2-1 with a 5.09 ERA in the four regular season starts he has made with three days of rest. He pitched effectively in three of his four outings. But while making his most recent attempt on May 18, 2008, he allowed the Angels 10 hits and seven earned runs in five innings.
Hudson has proven more successful, going 2-0 with a 2.61 ERA in the three regular-season starts he has made with one fewer than the normal four days of rest. He tossed eight scoreless innings while making his May 24, 2005, start against the Mets on short rest, and found similar success while limiting the Marlins to one run in seven innings on Sept. 17, 2006.
Hudson's only other start on short rest occurred July 18, 2006, when he limited the Cardinals to one run through the first five innings and then allowed them to tally four runs in the sixth.
"Nothing has been said, but it's that time of year," Lowe said. "So you just kind of take more medication maybe and go back out there."