SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW
Baseball America|November 2020
Observations from the unprecedented 2020 postseason
KYLE GLASER

The 2020 postseason, like just about everything else this year, was unlike any other.

The addition of the best-of-three Wild Card Series, no off days within series and games played at neutral sites made for a unique postseason that scrambled long-held practices and assumptions about October baseball.

Here are three observations from covering the 2020 postseason, and what lessons may apply moving forward.

1. TEAMS TRUSTED YOUNG PITCHERS MORE THAN EVER

Young pitchers have played key roles in the postseason ever since the Pirates started rookie Babe Adams in Game 7 of the 1909 World Series. Still, the volume of young pitchers playing featured roles in 2020 was notable. Consider:

No pitcher had ever made his MLB debut in the postseason. This year, two did. Rays lefthander Shane McClanahan, 23, became the first when he debuted against the Yankees in the ALDS. One day later, Padres lefthander Ryan Weathers, 20, became the second when he debuted against the Dodgers in the NLDS.

There were three matchups where both starting pitchers were under the age of 25 through the Championship Series, the most of any postseason in the divisional era (1969-present). That included Game 7 of the NLCS, the first winner-takeall game in postseason history where both starting pitchers were rookies.

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