Avoid Paul Skenes
Will LSU really throw Paul Skenes three times in ten days? Will they really trot him out there on just three days rest in a winner-take-all 2023 CWS Finals Game 3 on Monday? Florida is probably best off not to find out.
Skenes has a 1.69 ERA on the year, a 13-2 record, and a sizzling 209:20 K:BB across 122 2/3 IP on the year. In the postseason, Skenes has thrown 32 1/3 IP with a 1.11 ERA and 42 K’s to just 3 walks and 18 hits allowed. In his two starts in Omaha so far, he has thrown 15 2/3 IP with a 1.15 ERA, 21 K’s, 7 hits allowed, and just 1 walk. There’s a reason he is a Golden Spikes Award Finalist.
We know Skenes won’t start Games 1 and Games 2. And even with Skenes unlikely to start in a potential Game 3 after throwing 8 innings on Thursday, one of the last things Florida wants to see is it be a tight game late Monday with the Championship on the line in a winner-take-all game and then here comes the best pitcher in the nation coming out of the bullpen.
While there will be a lot of debates leading up to the Finals about if Skenes will throw (and if so, what it would look like), and plenty of debates afterwards if it happens, Florida could very well just avoid the situation all together and win the first two games to sweep. Either that, or in a Game 3 get ahead and not have to worry about it. Either way, there are ways for Florida to avoid any sniffs of Skenes.
It’s entirely possible that LSU simply won’t throw Skenes in the Championship series with so much risk on short rest and such a promising MLB career ahead of him. No one will know until it happens whether Skenes would pitch on Monday, but I think Florida would just rather be heading back to Gainesville as National Champs on Monday than worrying about whether they will have to face Paul Skenes.