In the interest of remaining upbeat, let’s talk about the inevitable Game Four. I didn’t disagree with the choice of Edinson Volquez to start Game One, and nothing has changed my mind on that. I see some people saying that “Travis Wood came in and pitched great and he’s a lefty and he almost pitched a perfect game against these guys and he should have started instead of Volquez anyway”. Ummm…okay. Travis Wood wasn’t going to start last night’s game in any scenario you could cook up.

All that’s moot at this point, but there is a very real conundrum about who to start in Game Four. Over at, I see the following headline: “Wood could spell Volquez in possible Game 4”. I clicked over, expecting to see a quote from Dusty giving some indication that he might think about going with Wood. Of course, there was nothing of the sort, just a writer making suppositions.

Heck, we can do that too! I have an idea what Dusty is going to do, but it’s an interesting decision, and I look forward to hearing what you guys think.

On the one hand, Travis Wood has now pitched 12.1 scoreless innings against Philadelphia, and he just looked like a man last night. Cool Hand Luke. There is a pretty good argument that he has been the best Reds pitcher in the second half, and I probably would have had him in the rotation as the Game Three starter anyway (as I said a couple of weeks ago.)

On the other hand, Edinson Volquez is still Edinson Volquez. He still has the best stuff on the staff, and Dusty thinks highly of him (or he wouldn’t have been starting the opener). Dusty also has that penchant for sticking with his guys, for better or worse.

My prediction: Volquez starts Game Four. What’s your prediction?

24 Responses

  1. RampantRedsFan21

    I agree with your prediction… I also don’t really want to watch game four if Volquez starts… I think it should be Wood.

  2. bho52

    I agree with Volquez for Game 4, for a few reasons. 1.) I’ll be in attendance for Game 4, and the rotation oddly works out that I see Volquez pitch more than anyone else. 2.) He’s got good stuff, this time he’ll be at home, and it won’t be raining (30% chance last I checked).

    I also think Hernandez should be required to visit the mound with two outs

  3. Russell Wight

    What I think will happen and what I want to happen are two different things. I think Dusty Baker will start Volquez. I wish he would start Wood, unless Wood is needed Sunday. It is easy to manage from your couch, but I was not surprised at what happened to Volquez. He appeared to get rattled and couldn’t throw strikes. I have the same worries regarding Cueto.

  4. elyk

    let’s just hope we’re lucky enough to worry about this. a win tomorrow will make all the difference. if we do get a choice, i’d go with wood. but dusty’s dusty and that means volquez will be out there monday…

  5. andy

    No way. His stuff may be good, but if he can’t throw strikes, it doesn’t matter. I’m not going to second guess the decision to start him, they took a risk and it didn’t work out, but at least learn from it. Travis Wood proved himself to be the better man for the job yesterday. I don’t know how you choose Volquez over a guy who has pitched 12+ consecutive scoreless innings over your opponent.

  6. cincymatt16

    I think we should keep the rotation the way it is with voltron starting game 4. Mainly because I like Wood in his current spot with the team. My question would be if Wood is available in the ‘pen for game 2 on Friday. He pitched 3.1 innings (if I’m not mistaken) last night. Seems to me that he could go for a couple in Game two if say Bronson can only go 5 innings or less.

  7. cincymatt16

    I am not nearly as negative about voltron’s outing last night as most people. It was clear to me that he was overthrowing on the first pitch of each ab, but (for the most part) it seemed that he would settle down after that in an ab. Let’s breakdown the start.

    1st inning: luck double by victorino sticking his bat out there. Stolen base by victorino (voltron should of held him on better but that can clearly be fixed for game 4). Then a sack fly.
    2nd inning: volron made pitches to record 4 outs in the inning. Unfortunately OC and Gomes did him no favors. I did not think the walk to ruiz was a negative. I thought it was clear that we were pitching around him to get Valdez. Voltron pitched well enough to get Valdez out and end the inning without giving up a run. The hit by Halladay was a fluke.

    His pitch count was high, but if he wasn’t overthrowing on the first pitch I think the pitch count could be reduced drastically. That can also be changed for game 4. Let’s not overreact to one unfortunate outing.

  8. MikeB

    @cincymatt16: I agree, and I said this yesterday in the game thread. Volquez wasn’t a disaster. His stuff was great, but his command was spotty. There wasn’t a really well-hit ball off of him all day; he was the victim of some bad defense.

    Now, this isn’t to say he was great, or should have been left in, or whatever. But this was not a disastrous outing, like Cueto a few weeks ago vs Milwaukee. If things had gone a little differently, he’d have pitched 5-6 innings giving up one or 2 runs.

    All that said, I am certain that Wood will pitch game 4, assuming he isn’t needed in relief for game 3.

  9. Red Leg Bill

    I can’t believe what I am hearing! How do you not go with a guy who has been that dominate against the Phillies (which by the way means little cow-girl)? Travis Wood might be the best pitcher we have on this staff. Marty will even tell you that he is a throwback…pitching inside to hitters, not worried about making any of them cry. He reminds me of Greg Maddux. His career may be too young to tell anything yet, but his poise, accuracy, and knowledge of how to pitch is strikingly similar. I go with Wood in game 4 and I think Dusty will too!

  10. bho52

    @Steve: and left field

    Is there any realistic chance that Heisey starts Sunday/Monday?

  11. bho52

    @MikeB: We get Nix tonight for sure. Against Hamels Sunday I suppose it’s a toss-up given Heisey’s numbers against lefties. I agree with Nix on Monday. Getting my lefts and rights confused

  12. Red Leg Bill

    Whatever, but for the love of God leave Francisco on the bench!

  13. World

    Game Four?

    I thought this was best of five.

  14. Big Ed

    Assuming there is a Game 4?

    Dusty sticks with his guys, but he ain’t going to throw Volquez over Wood after that episode. Volquez has the same command issues that almost every pitcher has coming off TJ surgery. The speed and power comes back before the command, and he won’t be fully back until about next June. As somebody observed, Volquez is a bad matchup with Philly.

    I think Nix is hopeless against guys who change speeds well, so I’m not sure he is an improvement over the equally hapless Gomes against Halladay. Against Oswalt, yes. Heisey will start against Hamels, you’d hope.

  15. Red Leg Bill

    Look…I am a huge Reds fan, but I am also a realist. 21 out of 24 of the last post season series have gone to the winner of the first game. And no team has ever come back from a no hitter. That said, there has only been one other no hitter. And if history can be made once in this series than it can happen twice. We take game 2 and 4…game 5 is the key.

  16. World

    Sorry about the last one. Just had to toss that one in. I was wearing my Reds jacket yesterday in Delaware with a Phillies hat. Taking no chances. A lot of people were ragging on me for the Reds jacket. No worries there for me.

    This is very much a fun series for me. I have many friends in both organizations and I’m happy for a lot of people. This will benefit a lot of clubhouse guys and such who are wonderful people who are not in the public eye. I do feel bad that my pal Mark Mann quit at an inopportune time but I’m happy that Steve Bauman will probably receive a check that is three or four times his salary for just making the post season. Stuff like that.

    I don’t want to tick off The Natural or anyone else with my insider stories so I’ll just leave it as this: I am wishing the Reds well but my heart is always with the boys from the City of Brotherly Love. Yet, one of my best friends in the world was Joe Nuxhall and I know the Ol’ Lefthander is having a Bud and smoking a cig and smiling from above the clouds. He wouldn’t want to hear me spout any Phillies BS right about now. He’d kick the crap out of me for that kind of heresy.

    So that’s the last you’ll hear from me until this is over. Actually, I think the Reds have a chance unlike many of the so called pundits around Philly this morning. The Friday game is crucial.

    So go Reds! That’s for Joe. And for a lot of other folks I know. And for you guys too.

  17. cincymatt16

    @Dave Lowenthal: We are going to have to agree to disagree on this one. I agree he wasn’t as good as Halladay, which seems to be what you are expecting out of our starting rotation. But I would take our chances with voltron facing Oswalt, for instance, considering our depth in the ‘pen knowing that voltron can give 5-6 good innings.

  18. AndrewSaltz21

    If you guys think this is going to four games your dreaming

  19. Red Leg Bill

    Wasn’t it also a dream to think that we would be where we are at the end of this season? I thought 82-80 and in third place. It’s ok to dream.

  20. MikeB

    1)Unfortunately I don’t think they’ll have to worry about game four after the way they looked last night.

    There is no such thing as momentum in baseball. Different day, different pitcher, different results. Doesn’t mean they’ll win, necessarily, but yesterday’s game has no bearing on the outcomes of the rest of the games.

  21. Red Leg Bill

    No but Arroyo’s record against them does. I just hope we can spank Oswalt as bad as the last 2 outings to keep pace.

  22. Furniture City Red

    per J. Fay – “Dusty Baker said Laynce Nix and Ryan Hanigan will start Game 2 on Friday.

    Nix is 9-for-17 with three doubles and two home runs off Philadelphia starter Roy Oswalt. Hanigan always catches Arroyo.

    Baker also said left-hander Travis Wood will be considered for a start Game 4 if the series goes to that.

    Wood pitched 3 1/3 innings of scoreless, one-hit ball in relief of Edinson Volquez.”

  23. Ethan D

    Does Travis Wood remind anyone else of Cliff Lee?