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  1. Good article. Cincy’s going to have to slug their way to a first round vic and needs to hope that they getting a good matchup in round one. Who do you think Cincy matches up best with in a short series?

    Comment by Souldrummer — September 14, 2010 @ 12:15 pm

  2. I don’t want to be greedy since we haven’t even had 82 wins in a season since 2000, but I really want to go far in the playoffs. I just don’t think we have the pitching to do it. We have several good pitchers, but we don’t have a go to guy at this point (at least not one who fits that bill consistently). Bailey, Cueto and Volquez all have the stuff to dominate on a given night, but they just can’t do it every night like other teams top guy can. If things go right, the Reds pitching can match up or be better than just about anyones, especially in a 5-7 game series, but I don’t expect it to.

    Comment by Doug Gray — September 14, 2010 @ 12:23 pm

  3. I think Wood would get the edge over Bailey if they face off against the Phillies. If Volquez shows any sort of consistency over these last few starts, my guess would be the rotation is Arroyo/Cueto/Volquez with Bailey or Wood being decided on matchups. On a related note, it really stinks that Harang is not in a position to provide much in the playoffs considering he and Arroyo were the only quality starters mid-decade.

    Comment by gator32301 — September 14, 2010 @ 12:28 pm

  4. What about a rested Leake? I don’t follow the Reds too closely, but I had either read (or assumed) that part of their plan was to start limiting his innings in August-September so that he would be able to start in the playoffs. It seemed apparent that his workload was limiting his effectiveness (and he’s been a borderline disaster out of the pen), but if he’s healthy and rested, maybe they give him a spot start the last week of the season, and if it goes well, give him a spot in the playoff rotation.

    Also of note, the Reds have games left against the Padres, so those games could end up being an audition for those 3rd/4th spots in the event they end up facing off in the playoffs.

    Comment by James — September 14, 2010 @ 12:29 pm

  5. I think Volquez needs to come out of the pen. The Reds just can’t afford a disaster start and while his upside is considerable, when he’s off, he’s OFF. But as a guy who could come in and give you 2+ innings in relief of a short outing (Cueto and Bailey are both rather inefficient), he could be huge. And he’d be dominant in relief in a way you couldn’t say about Bailey or Wood.

    I don’t think any Reds fan wants to rely on Jordan Smith or Logan Ondrusek (or Bill Bray for that matter) to get us through the heart of the order in the 6th or 7th inning.

    Comment by RMR — September 14, 2010 @ 12:37 pm

  6. Isn’t this about the same lead the Mets blew in 2007 to the Phillies? Something like 7 up with 17 to go?

    I’m not sure we should all hang onto that 97% play off probability just yet. They wouldn’t be the front runner for the wild card, and as we’ve seen in the past 3 years, weird stuff can happen in baseball.

    Or at least weird stuff can happen to the Mets…

    Comment by JK — September 14, 2010 @ 12:48 pm

  7. It’s pretty likely the Reds will play either the Phillies and Braves since they have the best records in the NL and are the hottest teams aside from the Rockies, who have a lot of ground to make up despite their hot streak.

    With only 1 lefty starter the Reds better hope they don’t get the Phillies.

    Comment by mcb — September 14, 2010 @ 12:55 pm

  8. Actually, RMR, I have a lot of faith in Ondrusek, and reasonable faith in Smith. Ondrusek has become a complete reliever with a set-up ceiling and Smith pitches with astonishing confidence. And don’t forget, heart of the order in the 6th/7th is more than likely a Chapman situation. The mystique begins here. lol

    Good article and excellent comment responses. I hate to say that Doug’s right, and it says a lot that he’s being this pragmatic, but this is a truly questionable rotation to enter the playoffs with. Arroyo has been stalwart but he’s not a true stopper, and every other guy in the rotation is young and laden with question marks. OTOH, the worst case scenario if we make the playoffs is that our young pitchers get a good dose of experience. Even if we lose, we win imo.

    Comment by blackout — September 14, 2010 @ 12:59 pm

  9. JK, don’t even!

    Comment by blackout — September 14, 2010 @ 1:00 pm

  10. If it is the Phillies they end up facing, they should use the least experienced, no name LHPs they can find…the Phillies are terrible against pitchers they’ve never seen.

    Comment by NEPP — September 14, 2010 @ 1:28 pm

  11. “If things go right, the Reds pitching can match up or be better than just about anyones, especially in a 5-7 game series”

    Doc Halladay, Roy Oswalt, and Cole Hamels called me to express their vehement opposition to the above.

    Comment by Jason B — September 14, 2010 @ 2:34 pm

  12. I’m not sure what teams you think the Reds pitching can match up or be better than.

    Phillies ? nope
    Padres ? maybe
    Braves ? nope
    Giants ? nope

    If anything, the Reds hitters match up better than all the other NL teams, but their pitching…not so much

    Comment by Bobo — September 14, 2010 @ 2:37 pm

  13. I’m interested to see if the remaining schedule can allow the Reds to take over as holders of the top record in the N.L. Home field advantage would be crucial against any of their likely playoff opponents, and (more importantly) I was only able to secure NLDS tix for the 2nd home game, which is only ensured if we have home field advantage. I wouldn’t bet on the Reds to avoid a sweep if they’re playing PHI and have the inferior record.

    Comment by blackout — September 14, 2010 @ 2:39 pm

  14. I think what Doug was saying is that Volquez, Cueto, and Bailey all have premier stuff and when they are “on” they can hang with anyone. The problem is they are not always on. But, in a short series, if the stars align, they are capable of dominating.

    Comment by jason461 — September 14, 2010 @ 3:42 pm

  15. I’m not the most knowledgeable about the Reds pitching by why is Arroyo given a spot? He’s thrown a ton of innings, which is great, but they haven’t exactly been great innings. I’d rather take my chances with Bailey/Wood before Arroyo, going strictly off ratios (K/9, BB/9, FIP etc). There’s more risk since they don’t have that “Veteran experience”, but I’d have to think the guys with the better K rates and solid BB rates would play better in a playoff game.

    Comment by Mark — September 14, 2010 @ 5:29 pm

  16. Maybe it’s because Leake, in a word, sucks.

    Comment by GrouchoM — September 15, 2010 @ 12:56 pm

  17. Bronson doesn’t look great if you look at that, but his WHIP is 1.18, which is best among starters (other than Wood), and his OPBAA is .237, which is also lowest among starters (other than Wood). Bronson can control his pitches, and even if he gives up 3 runs in 6 or 7 innings, that’s better than Volquez not having his stuff in one game and walking 8 in 2 2/3 innings.

    Volquez has 28 walks in 42 innings, which by moneyball standards would have him in AAA.

    Cueto has a low ERA mostly because when he’s missed this year, he’s missed low in the zone. His WHIP is 1.24 and his OPBAA is .249, which are both great.

    Let’s be honest here, if we look at the stats, it’s between Bailey, Wood and Volquez. If Wood can show that he’s anywhere near his first six starts of the year, he’s in. If he looks average (5 IP, 8 H, 3 or 4 ER), and Bailey and Volquez pitch to their recent averages, I’d say that Dusty takes those two over Wood.

    Comment by Ben — September 16, 2010 @ 1:12 am

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