Instead of doing a preview for the whole series, I believe doing it a game at a time maybe a little better. That way, you have less info plugging away at your brain and we don’t have a 2,000 word post. Both are actually pretty productive.
Here we go…
Cincinnati Reds (6-3) v. San Diego Padres (4-4)
Cincinnati: Edinson Volquez (2011: 1-0, 7.35 ERA; v. Padres:0-1, 2.03 ERA)
Tonight will be the first time Volquez faces the Padres since 2008. The only player on the Padres roster that has hit a HR off Volquez in Nick Hundley.
No question that Volquez has earned the extreme wrath of Reds fans. Two starts, two miserable first innings. It’s after that first inning that Volquez has really shown what Reds fans have wanted for the guy that may be forever labeled as “the guy we traded for Josh Hamilton“. It’s an unfair assessment.
It’s after that first inning that should earn Volquez marks from the Reds fans. Sure, it would be nice if he could clean up that first, but he has been limiting the damage. He’s shown a bit more mental toughness than fans have been giving him credit for having. His mental makeup is sharper. It’s the productive aspect in which Reds fans want Volquez to improve. Tonight’s outing could go a long way in that battle.
San Diego: Mat Latos (2011: no record; v. Reds: 1-0, 1.29 ERA)
This evening’s game will mark the 2011 debut for the Padres ace. Latos did not face the Reds in 2010, but he have his only outing against Cincy in 2009. Only four current Reds (Edage Renteria, Brandon Phillips, Jonny Gomes and Joey Votto) have faced Latos. All are 0-3 and Gomes has 2 SO in his three AB.
Latos began the 2011 season on the DL due to bursitis in his throwing shoulder. He emerged last season as the ace of the staff in going 14-10 with a fantastic 2.92 ERA. He also finished 8th in the Cy Young NL voting. Once again, the Reds face a top of the rotation guy.
About what you expect in comparing the Reds with the Padres. The Reds are built to score while the Padres are built to shut down the opposing offense. With the series at Petco, you would expect low scoring affairs. That being the case, the Padres appear to have a slight advantage. But you also have to score. The Reds will surrender a run or two as we saw during the Arizona series with two if the three games giving up double digit runs.
You get the feeling that whoever scores first in any given game will have a major advantage in winning that game.
This ‘n’ Taht:
– Neither pitcher has faced an opposing hitter 10 or more times. No real way to determine how Dusty will go with his lineup except that Ramon Hernandez will start behind the plate due to the Volquez start. You can probably pencil in #19 to start at first base, too. That Votto guy is 2nd in the NL in hitting (.455).
– Padres catcher Nick Hundley is right behind Votto in BA (.440).
– The Padres hit 3 HR in their last game…and it was at Petco Park. Those 3 HR doubled their team total for the season.