If you look at the final score from last night’s Reds/Astros game, you would be hard pressed to think there was a comeback. The Reds defeated the Astros, 12-4. A funny thing about that was the Astros got all of their runs in the first inning off starter Edinson Volquez. No more after that as the Volquez and the bullpen denied Houston from touching the plate ever again.
Volquez once again got off to a rocky start. Not only did it possibly induce Alex’s post last night, it incited a Twitter riot amongst Reds fans. Some tweets demanded he be traded. Others wanted him removed from the rotation. Few asked John Fay if he had options remaining so that the Reds could send him down. Many actually blamed Dusty Baker for even starting him after the Opening Day struggles.
The obvious was also brought up about the Josh Hamilton trade. Even Thom Brennaman brought that up. Even on tweet suggested that this deal was the worst trade in Reds history. Milt Pappas is all I should have to say to that.
Then I saw one tweet that shocked me. And it was, naturally, retweeted.
The tweet stated that he/she could not wait for Homer Bailey to return from the DL. Why did this shock me? Two reasons.
First, there was no mention of Johnny Cueto in this particular tweet. Second, because some Reds fans have been just as rough on Bailey as they have Volquez. Maybe even rougher. Why would you want to bring Bailey back to face the same potential consequences if he struggles? So you have another punching bag?
I think fans sometimes forget that even though the Reds are off to a fantastic start, there will be downfalls along the way. Granted, the two downfalls the Reds have encountered deal strictly with Volquez and his first inning woes. Two innings.
But remember this. You have to get to good pitchers early in a game. While almost all Reds fans do not consider Volquez as an ace or even a good pitcher (the last point I will dispute), you cannot deny what he has done after the first inning. Nine innings with only two runs surrendered. Both of those runs were Opening Day.
That should also tell you something about Volquez. He’s starting to develop a mental toughness. He may not be as far along as you’d like in that regard, but he is developing a harder shell there. The mental approach could be a cause as well as Baker addressed that after the game. (From Fay’s blog.)
“They didn’t really get to him,” Baker said. “He was throwing the ball great. The first two innings he had six strikeouts. He was more dependent on the strikeout than our defense. He was throwing all his pitches when it wasn’t necessary to throw all his pitches. They were late on his fastball.
“He was just trying to pitch. That’s what happens sometimes when a young guy is between a thrower and pitcher. He settled down.”
And to give credit where credit is due, Justin tweeted this during the game…
One thing that Brennaman and Sean Casey discussed last night was that maybe there needs to be a change in the manner in which Volquez prepares for a game. It is puzzling that he looks so dreadful in the first inning, struggles just a bit in the second and puts it all together in the third. Changing the mental approach could be among those changes.
I realize some this is a re-wording (of sorts) from what Alex posted last night, but it must be said. I find it entertaining that if something goes wrong on the field, fans will scream for him “to go”. That’s not how it goes. A baseball season is a marathon, not a sprint. Two extremely poor innings just does not warrant what is being called for.
And I will add this. The Reds front office and ownership is not the same as the Bengals. Ever since Bob Castellini has brought in Walt Jocketty, I think a vast of majority of Reds fans have built up trust in the brass. Sure, they have their detractors as well, but I believe you get the thrust of what I’m saying here. The Reds as a whole will make the necessary moves if the situations warrant moves need to be made. If Volquez doesn’t come around, a decision will be made. Then your wishes may come true.
One last thing. I find it a bit incredulous that even with a 5-0 start by the Reds that people are, in my opinion, going a bit off the deep end here. Enjoy what the winning (and I’m not channeling my inner Charlie Sheen) is bringing to the city. One player should never change that.
It’s called a baseball team for a reason.