Not a lot of positives from the ol’ ballyard today…unless you’re a Nationals fans.
Edinson Volquez couldn’t locate his fastball. He couldn’t really find the plate. In going only 2.1 innings, Volquez threw 75 pitches with only 38 being strikes. He allowed 6 runs on 5 hits. Volquez also walked 4 batters. His control was a bit of a concern by the Reds brass before joining the club just after the All-Star break. In his next to last start for Triple-A Louisville, Volquez had to be pulled due to a bout of wildness. With the unlikelihood of the Reds dealing for a starter, this will be closely monitored by Dusty Baker and pitching coach Bryan Price.
Some parts of the offense struggled once again. They managed 7 hits but were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. Ramon Hernandez was activated from the DL and played first to afford a chance for Joey Votto to take a day off. Votto’s been in a bit of a slump, too. Hernandez was 5th in the lineup and plated the only run by way of a fielder’s choice.
But there is good news…really. The recently recalled Carlos Fisher pitched a spectacular 3.2 innings in relief of Volquez. His total line: 3.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 4 K, 0 BB, 44 pitches with 32 for strikes. That might be the best bullpen performance of the season to date.
One last stat of note here and it’s not good. For the Nats series, Drew Stubbs had 16 at-bats. He struck out 6 times. That includes not striking out in the first game of the series.
The Reds will catch an early flight to Houston to take on the Astros for a three-game weekend series at Minute Maid Park. The probable starters for that series are:
Friday: Travis Freakin’ Wood (0-1) v. Bud Norris (2-7); 8:05 PM ET
Saturday: Johnny Cueto (9-2) v. Roy Oswalt (6-11); 7:05 PM ET
Sunday: Mike Leake (7-1) v. Wandy Rodriguez (7-11); 2:05 PM ET
I’m almost thinking the Astros will slide someone else into the Saturday game unless they’re using that game for one last audition for all the teams interested in Oswalt. That’s provided Oswalt is still a member of the Astros. At last check, Oswalt is still an Astro, but the Cardinals were the new frontrunner for his services.