Wow, the Cincinnati Reds are participating in the playoffs tonight. Feels good, doesn’t it?

If you’ve missed any of our NLDS Preview pieces, here they are:

Why the Cincinnati Reds will win the National League Division Series
Matchups: The Starting Eight
Matchups: The Starting Pitchers
The Playoff Preview PodcastA discussion with Crashburn Alley
The Upstarts vs. the Vets
Philly Cheesesteak vs. Cincinnati Chili
How will Dusty use the bench?

Now it’s time to get to business. Here’s your game preview. Edinson Volquez will take the mound tonight against everyone’s choice for the Cy Young Award, Roy Halladay. The Reds have their work cut out for them, but this team has defied everyone’s expectations all year long.

I only have one word to add: BELIEVE.

It begins now….

144 Responses

  1. jimkang

    ive had a really tough time focusing today at work. I’m so excited! I’m on central time so the game starts at 4:07. Can’t wait for this to start! Gotta steal one here.

  2. bho52

    Almost time, can’t wait to duck out of work early and get settled in for this one

  3. RC

    Gomes’ response, of course, would be “throw to WHAT???”

  4. jimkang

    Going Sunday. I have a SRO ticket. I just wanna be in the house when we make our way to the NLCS!

  5. bho52

    Going Sunday, and hopefully Monday. It’s going to be the happiest 7 hour drive of my life

  6. jimkang

    taking 4 hours personal time Monday morning to drive back to nashville. ha. Dipping out of here a little early to watch first pitch!

  7. duredhawk

    So I’m leaving in a little bit to go to a sports bar to watch the game, meaning I’ll be using my phone to check the game thread any time something controversial or awesome happens. I hate that this is the year I moved from Cincinnati to not-Cincinnati (In Denver for grad school). But whatever, I wear Reds stuff everyday and constantly remind everyone I meet that the Reds are a playoff team this year. What fun! :mrgreen: I guess the new magic number is 11, right?

  8. Aaron

    I have the pre-game nervous feeling like I’m in the game.

  9. Jimmy

    Boy, boy, I hope with blow out Roy, Roy.

  10. eastcoast redsfan

    Swinging first pitch of game- ugh

  11. redbucwildcats

    How in the world am I supposed to work right now?

  12. eastcoast redsfan

    At least he swung first pitch too

  13. eastcoast redsfan

    @Reds03: There is a double clack when someone hits. It sounds odd.

  14. eastcoast redsfan

    Bruce has a really good arm.

  15. BIGred053

    Come on Volquez… close out the first.

  16. MikeB

    Anyone else feel like the Phillies are going to really, really regret the Ryan Howard contract by about 2013?

  17. eastcoast redsfan

    I think the Reds can get to Halladay 2nd time through. It is key that Volquez not give up any more runs.

  18. bho52

    @Crutch23: 2nd time through the lineup should be better. Guys are making decent contact and seeing some pitches

  19. MikeB

    @Crutch23: He is. But, I can throw some optimism in there. 5/6 of the outs have been on balls in play. This year, Roy’s BABIP is .294. If the Reds can keep putting the bat on the ball, hits will start falling.

  20. cincymatt16

    It seems to me that voltron is overthrowing on his first pitch in each ab then settling down. Should of been strike 3 there.

  21. BIGred053

    Gameday shows ball 2 as a clear strike.

  22. bho52

    Do they sell those skull caps that Volkie wears under his hat in the team shop? That could be my new rally cap

  23. bho52

    1-2-3 inning would be big here, help EV get settled in, especially with 8-9-1 coming up

  24. BIGred053

    Looks like we may see Wood or Homer today if Volquez doesn’t find some control soon.

  25. cincymatt16

    I don’t think voltron wanted anything to do with ruiz. Might be smart in this situation. Ill take my chances with Valdez.

  26. BIGred053

    Ugh. Edinson looks terrible right now.

  27. eastcoast redsfan

    This is last batter for Volquez – its now or hit the showers.

  28. elyk

    Is Baker reluctant to take out Volquez because it calls into question his decision to start EV in game one?

    YES – and while i’d like to be contrarian, I still dont know why volquez started this one…

  29. elyk

    how bad is the rain @ the ballpark – I’m just listening to marty + co on the radio from my office, but understand it’s raining in philadelphia tonight… how bad?

  30. BIGred053

    See ya Eddie. Let’s see what Wood can do!

  31. BIGred053

    Wasn’t Wood the one who went toe-to-toe against Halladay in that lst Phillies seires?

  32. Brent Miller

    Concerning the HD….I have HD going but it looks weird. I have Dish and thought the remote had been hit and set the screen to “Stretch”. The pitch track thing is halfway off the screen but it says it’s in “Normal” viweing mode. And I also have the double clack thing going. You know if the pitch was hit before you see a guy hit it. It’s aggravating as hell. TNT has this same problem during NBA season. You can hear shots clang off the rim before you see it.

    Why does MLB let TBS show playoff games when they don’t show but a handful of game all year?

  33. BIGred053

    I don’t blame Dusty for leaving Volquez in against one more batter. Definitely not an ideal situation right now, but 4-0 is not impossible to overcome. Gotta work Halladay and get him out of the game early, though.

  34. elyk

    The flip fail by OC may be as inexcusable as Dusty’s managing this game – where’s the Janisch???

  35. bho52

    @Jared: That’s some good optimism. I’m on board, this is far from over. A hit would be nice, for starters

  36. the shady j.d

    Here we go….the worst possible scenario has occured…I mean the worst.

    Volquez has no command
    The two relevant plays went to the two least effective fielders on the team (gomes and cabrera)
    Bottom of the order was up the next inning

    I mean, literally the WORST possible scenario has occured

  37. MikeB

    I don’t think Volquez pitched badly. Two bad defensive plays hurt him. If this was a regular season game, you wouldn’t have yanked him so quickly, but I credit Dusty for getting him when he did.

  38. BIGred053

    Oh hey, Travis Wood. You can throw strikes.

  39. bho52

    Scoreless inning. We’re rolling now

  40. Chad Dotson

    @Reds03: All that is true, but if he makes the play, the inning is over. Period. He’s directly responsible for three runs.

  41. DenL42

    @the shady j.d:

    This is not “literally” the worst-case scenario. “Literally” means there are actually no scenarios that are worse. I can think of tons of scenarios that are worse. For example, Phillies score 100 runs in the first inning. Or Joey Votto gets struck by lightning.

    Sorry, but misuse of the word “literally” is a pet peeve.

  42. The Mad Hatter

    Wood is gonna make Dusty’s choice look bad. And yes those three runs were all on OC. That being said the offense needs to get something going. Come on Reds!

  43. DenL42

    This is embarrassing. Halladay’s gonna pitch another perfect game at this point.

  44. bho52

    I think Dusty’s starting pitching choice was defensible, and a lot of people agreed with it, including me. It didn’t work out. That happens, move on.

    Obviously, terrible play by OC, but you can’t put all 3 runs on him (Gomes, Volquez, etc.). Lots of variables, lots of chances to get out of the inning.

  45. dthomas2003

    All I wanted was for the Reds to play well and it isn’t happening

  46. MikeB

    They’re not going to get no-hit. And if they do, the story will be how awesome Halladay is, and not how bad the Reds are.

    I’m hesitant to throw this out there, because I hate to second guess Walt, but it would be really nice if he had been able to get the trade for Cliff Lee done.

  47. the shady j.d

    @DenL42: self-righteous assholes are a pet peeve for me.” Literally” can validly be applied to situations where NO REASONABLE alternative can be envisioned. Within the limited context here, for most people it applies. What you reference are not reasonable. I was simply making a point…the point was made…and you could have easily let your little bugaboo go unmentioned. I dont understand people like you…at all.

  48. BIGred053

    No question, Cabrera should have made the smart play and close out the inning with no damage done.

  49. MikeB

    @Bill Lack: His command wasn’t great but they didn’t really hit the ball hard off of him. A couple of poor defensive plays hurt the bottom line. He wasn’t good, don’t get me wrong, but he was far from a disaster.

  50. bho52

    @Steve: I agree Wood and Leake both have that calm demeanor that they could have handled a playoff game on the road. Volquez has the better stuff clearly, Dusty went for it. The defense didn’t help him out much, but he was off anyways

  51. DenL42

    @the shady j.d:

    Dude, relax. My point was, it’s not the worst-case scenario. There are plenty of actually possible scenarios that would be worse. Remember Cueto giving up 8 or 10 runs in the first inning in Philly last year? That could’ve happened. Votto or Bruce could’ve gotten hurt. The Reds could have 8 or 9 strikeouts instead of 3. I can think of hundreds of situations that are worse than the current one.

  52. BIGred053

    @Dave Lowenthal: You can’t bench Volquez for the entire series based simply on one bad outing. He has good stuff. He didn’t impress today, but we can’t give up on him over 2 bad innings.

  53. Chad Dotson

    If they could just scratch out a couple of runs, things would look much better. But I watch ABs like Gomes just had, and I get sick. Just AWFUL.

  54. BIGred053

    Atta’ boy Bruce! Working the count, great at-bat.

  55. bho52

    HA! No perfect game for you Halladay!

    Progress?

  56. elyk

    see how rollins fielded that @ shortstop, that’s what professionals do mr. cabrera…

  57. Jason1972

    The three biggest problems this team has: Cabrera, Gomes, and Dusty Baker have all bitten us in the butt in game 1.

  58. elyk

    @Chad Dotson: i sure hope so. this is some bleak stuff. hope, dont get drunk on it, kid.

    that said, the good guys just need to calm themselves down. a few back to back hits and there in this thing.

    also, halladay’s only got four more innings, right?

  59. elyk

    even marty’s second guessing dusty on air re: the volquez call…

  60. John D.

    @Bill Lack: Bill, how much do you want to bet that if we get a game 4, Volquez starts?

    Your comment reminds me of this great cinematic moment:
    [David raises hand after Ian Faith quits as the band’s manager]
    Derek Smalls: Can I raise a practical question at this point? Are we gonna do “Stonehenge” tomorrow?
    David St. Hubbins: *NO*, we’re not gonna f****** do “Stonehenge”!

  61. MDM

    Ya know, its really too bad that Wood had such a bad outing last time he pitched against the Philis – Dusty may have considered starting him if he had proof Wood could pitch this well against them.

  62. elyk

    @Steve: unfortunately it looks like halladay’s more on the mark with this one…

  63. elyk

    francisco’s gotta make his makin’ the cut worth it here

  64. John D.

    I think the PH answers our questions about game 4. Wood is in the bullpen for this series.

  65. elyk

    @Reds03:

    Wood has looked very good, but let’s be realistic, there is a big difference in pitching in a 0-0 game and being down 4.

    completely agree – if wood pitched this well at a 0-0 start, the good guys would have a chance to pull this out with one hit…

  66. Jason1972

    Whatever happens in the rest of the post season, we’ll go into the off season with the same 2 giant question marks that we had this time last year at SS and LF.

  67. BIGred053

    Why take out Wood when he’s rolling?

    • elyk

      Why take out Wood when he’s rolling?

      really, still don’t get it…

      nice pitch to first though…

  68. jon

    Well lets give the devil his due with Halladay but I officially hate those dickhead fans in Philly yelling in the background hurling insults at Bruce, Stubbs, etc. Why be so classless, you have a great team but ruin it with your cocky, asshole like atttitudes, if we go down IM gonna be cheering for anyone but Yankees and Phils because of that shit.

  69. the shady j.d

    @Dave Lowenthal: I def dont understand why gomes is fifth…god bless him, but Bruce, i think, has deserved that position, given his recent track record…perhaps even clean-up….this is just a sad day….everyone of our weakness’s has been exposed…everyone…either kudos to the phillies or a thumbs down to the redlegs. I thought doc looked hittable earlier now it appears we cant even foul a ball off….crazy game

  70. MikeB

    I’m frustrated like everyone else, but let’s not forget, Roy Halladay is the best pitcher of the past 10 years, perhaps of the past 20 years, he’s a future HOFer, and he’s pitching the first postseason game of his career. No one was going to beat him today. That much is obvious.

    We face Oswalt tomorrow, and he’s beatable. It’s a five game series.

  71. Chad Dotson

    I don’t know what to say.

    Y’know, I thought they might lose this game. I never dreamed they’d get no-hit.

  72. MikeB

    Okay, so who’s gonna break up the no hitter? My money is on Bruce.

  73. elyk

    @Chad Dotson: demoralizing. but i really the think the wound can be cauterized. isolate volquez (who, as y’all have repeatedly pointed out, shouldn’t have been the starter to begin with). keep woods in for the stretch as needed. it’s a 5 game series! why we took him out is still beyond me. that said, halladay is having a great game and is getting the ump’s favor (as is natural) as a result. can move on from this, need to just put it behind us and win friday’s game.

  74. the shady j.d

    that was maddening by Cabrera….they say how “unselfish” he is all the time…but to me, he is very selfish…that wasnt even a misleading ball…it was a plain as day ball…his inability to get on base to set up Joey has cost us a lot this year….OBP is important with somebody like votto behind you…i dont care what Dusty says

  75. MikeB

    Wood came out b/c this game is a lost cause and they want to keep him available to pitch Sunday, if he’s needed.

  76. BIGred053

    Sad thing is, all of their runs are due to mistakes. We could still be locked at 0-0. It at should only be 1-0 at the worst. Disappointing from our standpoint, but man does Halladay look good. He is getting so much movement on his pitches..

    • elyk

      Sad thing is, all of their runs are due to mistakes. We could still be locked at 0-0. It at should only be 1-0 at the worst. Disappointing from our standpoint, but man does Halladay look good. He is getting so much movement on his pitches..

      you’ve got it. the left field error and (especially) the cabrera #$%) up, coupled w dusty’s reluctance to put in some wood has really let this get out of striking distance

      and we’ve gotta give credit to halladay for a hell of a game

  77. bho52

    I want Stubbs to lay down a bunt to try and break it up

  78. BIGred053

    @MikeB: The game is 4-0. Hardly a lost cause, even still. Sure, our chances aren’t good with Halladay pitching so well, but nothing is a lost cause. BELIEVE 2010!!!

  79. BIGred053

    @Dave Lowenthal: That’s true. Maybe we could have held them back for volquez to get a couple more and then bring in the bullpen, but that’s just speculation.

  80. MikeB

    @BIGred053: I believe we still have a chance to win the series after today. I believe that there is a minuscule chance we could still win the game. But I also believe that it’s foolish to use all our best bullpen guys to try and keep the game at a 4 run deficit on the tiny chance that Halladay will tear an elbow ligament or something and we score enough runs to tie.

  81. MikeB

    @Dave Lowenthal: Well, Ondrusek and Bray both did outstanding jobs. Chapman and Masset could not have possibly done better. But hindsight aside, why use your best guys in a 99.9999% chance loss? All the guys in the bullpen are perfectly capable pitchers.

  82. bho52

    @MikeB: I think thats why you saw Bray instead of Chapman/Rhodes. Plus, we have off-days to work with here

  83. Steve Simon

    I really have nothing to add other than I want to say something hoping to break up the Halladay no hitter.

  84. BIGred053

    @Dave Lowenthal: The way his pitch count was skyrocketing, he may have thrown 100 after 4 haha. 😛

    Halladay has looked great today, but these announcers are hyping him up so much…

  85. elyk

    Halladay’s lack of postseason experience is telling.

    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    i love the chance to look into dusty’s deepest thoughts…

    • elyk

      @Chad Dotson:

      This is a complete embarrassment on a national stage.

      bullsh*t. the good guys had a rough time under volquez and halladay is having a hall of fame game. we should be down 1-0, 2-0 at worst. don’t give up the hope. think we’ll win by 3 on friday.

  86. MikeB

    @Chad Dotson: I disagree. The story will completely be about how great Halladay is. Hall of Fame will be mentioned. I don’t think anyone would hit Halladay tonight.

  87. Maximus Decimus Meridius

    Are you not entertained?

  88. the shady j.d

    sigh…it would be great to win the series after getting no-hit….i expected to lose the first game but its soul-crushing to know what kind of hay Colin Cowherd is going to make of this….luckily i dont listen to the douche….i recall him calling Marty an “alleged” hall of famer…doucheville

  89. Justin Daugherty

    A good manager would have lead this team to 100+ wins, and pitched at least one lefty against the lefty heavy Philly lineup.

  90. Steve Simon

    I’m just praying for a hit at this point.

  91. Chad Dotson

    @elyk: Riiiiiiiight. This isn’t an embarrassment. Okay.

    Doesn’t mean the Reds are gonna lose the series. But tonight is just an embarrassment in Cincinnati’s first exposure to a national audience.

    • elyk

      @elyk: Riiiiiiiight. This isn’t an embarrassment. Okay.Doesn’t mean the Reds are gonna lose the series. But tonight is just an embarrassment in Cincinnati’s first exposure to a national audience.

      alright. i’ll agree with that.

  92. elyk

    seriously. why do the reds take every first strike?

  93. GeorgeFoster

    He’s at 100 pitches. Maybe they’ll pull him.

  94. Steve Simon

    Wow! One more out to go. I’m shocked.

  95. Maximus Decimus Meridius

    Many are called.
    Few are chosen.

    Were you not entertained?

  96. Swatch

    I would venture to say that he made only ONE mistake pitch all game… the Ball 4 to Bruce

  97. MikeB

    That will be the highlight for the Phillies in this series.

  98. bho52

    Well, let’s see how resilient these guys are come Friday. Congrats to Halladay…I guess

  99. the shady j.d

    i think its only fitting for us Cincinnatians…it shouldnt even surprise those who have lived here in southwest Ohio. From Palmer’s Knee to the missed PAT against Denver to a No-hit in our first playoff appearance in 15 years. I would cry if the tragedy wasnt comical….still can win the series….but this stings

  100. Truman48

    The “best” offense in the National League just got no-hit in the playoffs.

    If I would have come home and just read that I am not sure if I would respond with, “that figures” or disbelief.

  101. Steve Simon

    At least Oswalt and Hamel can’t pitch any better than what Halladay just pitched.

  102. Truman48

    Hey, again, I’m happy with this season no matter what.But the whole “we got 13 hits off of Halladay” or “we beat Oswalt twice”, guys, this is a different thing altogether.It’s fine to be talking some smack after looking like a little league team, I guess, but the Reds are going to have an awfully difficult time winning this series.It’s not over, by any means, but let’s face it, the Reds are big underdogs at this point.

    As far as the Oswalt thing, this is why you go get a guy like this on the trade market, so that your opponents don’t.

  103. MikeB

    @Dave Lowenthal: I was saying over on RR, at least they got no-hit by the best pitcher in the game, not some scrub.

    Exactly. I’m not happy, but this isn’t something to be ashamed about. He was on from the first pitch. I really think he’d have no hit the 75 Reds tonight.

  104. bho52

    Lost in the Gomes/Dusty/O-Cab hate was an 0-3 with 3 strikeouts by Rolen. At least he gave us great defense.

    On a side note, what the hell were those Double-Rainbow shirts with the Roy’s faces on them? I don’t get that at all

  105. Truman48

    I feel sick to my stomach. I’m not watching ESPN until Saturday.

    Yeah, me neither.

  106. Wil Payne

    I went outside to make sure the radio isn’t turned on to ESPN radio so I don’t have to worry about Colin Cockhea– I mean Cowherd — further digs his head into his own ***.

    I like the Cards more than the Phillies. That’s how much I hate the Phillies. I can’t think of anything endearing to say about a sole player on their team.

    Edinson didn’t have it tonight. He should’ve exited earlier. Doesn’t change the fact Halladay threw a clean strike on almost every first pitch of an at-bat. Not that Gomes and Brandon don’t like swinging at the wind anyway.

  107. Truman48

    They did beat Halladay in June. And Oswalt twice.

    I am not sure that Oswalt qualifies as “better” than above average pitching when the Reds played against him.

  108. Wil Payne

    @Reds03: If the away team gets out of the oppositions’ ballpark with one win, then plays two at their own field, that is a restoration of home field advantage. That’s why I think an 8 day series within the same time zone should have the stadium switch after every game.

    If Bronson can go out and get a win for us in CBP, we are in good shape. If I remeber correctly, didn’t we crush Oswalt the last time we played him in Houston? Like 9-0?

  109. MikeB

    @Steve: 1) Plausible, rain effects all pitchers differently.

    2) I see where he’s coming from, I really feel like Friday is a win now.

    3) Agreed.