- Doug Mittler, ESPN Insider
When October (playoff) baseball rolls around, a fifth starter can become a third wheel.
Five-man rotations are employed during the regular season, but the rotation gets a little shorter in the playoffs. For example, all four 2012 Division Series went the full five games, and in all but one instance, the Game 1 starter returned for the winner-take-all contest. The lone exception was the Reds, and that was because ace Johnny Cueto went down with an injury.