But if Beachy had success against St Louis, why is tonight's game so important?
If the Braves clinch tonight, they could scratch Tim Hudson from tomorrow's start with the playoff berth locked up, and save him for Game One of the NLDS, with Beachy starting Game Two. If the Braves DON'T clinch tonight and have to go into Wednesday's game looking for a win, then Beachy will be starting Game One. And if they go to a playoff on Thursday...well then, I have no idea who is starting Game One. The closest starter on normal rest is....Randall Delgado. Randall Delgado of the seven career starts. I think Mike Minor, who started Sunday in Washington, would be a better option than Delgado at this point in time.
Delgado isn't necessarily a bad option at this point, but figure this. In his seven starts, he's gone five innings in all but two: in one, he went six, and in his major league debut, he went four. He's walked 14 and struck out 18 in 35 innings this season, and allowed five homers. Those are NOT great peripherals at all. That's a FIP above 5.00. Having Delgado start any playoff games would be a major down point for the Braves. Look past the 2.83 ERA, and you see a rookie pitcher who is getting pretty damn lucky. He's got an 86.5% strand rate and a .220 BABIP. I don't want to see him regressing in Game One of the playoffs.
Mike Minor, at this point in time, would be a better option for Game One, and hell, for the playoff rotation, than any other starter aside from Hudson and Beachy. He's got a good strikeout rate, a manageable walk rate, he's keeping the ball in the park much better than he has for a majority of his career...yeah, he'd be fine. That 4.14 ERA hides a lot of the good things he's done this year. In August and September, he's struck out 51 and walked 15 in 49 1/3 innings.
The best possible rotation would be Hudson-Beachy-Minor, in some order. If Delgado and/or Lowe is shoe horned in there due to the team not being able to clinch or other reasons, the Braves chances in October just took another hit.