To put someone, who is usually inexperienced, into a very difficult and extremely high-pressure situation where there is a high chance of failure.
Throw to the wolves: An example would be making an 18-year-old kid who has never pitched in the Major Leagues, take the mound against the New York Yankees in Yankee Stadium in game 7 of the World Series, with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th with the Yankees down by one. Oh yeah, and Alex Rodriguez is at the plate. Have fun, kiddo, you've been thrown to the wolves.
When the wolf is at your door, such as: the IRS, the cops, or your bookie's leg-breaker, you will want to suggest an alternate target, such as: your partner, your dealer or another patsy who can take your punishment instead of you. Sometimes whole groups will find a fall guy to cover their crimes.
Throw to the wolves:
Once the triangulation of fire cut down the president, the FBI threw Oswald to the wolves.