Thoughts from Game 1 in San Diego and a look to Game 2

The Reds rebounded nicely from some hectic games in Arizona and put together nine good innings on Monday night in San Diego.

Hit, hit, walk, hit batter, scorched line drive is how Edinson Volquez started the game before settling down. Before I could get mlb.tv loaded on my computer, Volquez had given up two runs.

If Edinson Volquez can straighten out his first inning problems, he will be untouchable. The dominance that he has shown after inning one in each of his first three starts has been impressive. Innings 2-6 Volquez has looked a lot like 2009 Volquez, and he settled in last night to pitch 6 innings of 2 run ball with a WHIP (walks and hits per inning pitched) of 1.00. A whip at or below one is excellent and indicative of just how dominant Volquez was from innings 2-6. He may have even stayed in the game for the 7th inning had be not injured his toe while stepping in a hole on the pitchers mound.

Volquez has been victimized more by walks in the first inning than hits. When Volquez throws his changeup in the first inning, he throws it for a strike 35% less than he does innings after the first.

Hitters do not bite on the change in the first inning and can sit on fastball after Volquez gift wraps a few base-runners via walk.

Other game 1 notes:
Brandon Phillips continued his hot hitting and is now hitting .410.

Jordan Smith has looked good at the beginning of this year.

Bill Bray looks like he is set to have a good season, barring injury as he has continued to dominate lefties.

Jay Bruce needs to start taking more pitches. When he is selective at the plate, he is more productive. Look for the adjustment to be made by Bruce and hitting coach Brook Jacoby.

Thoughts on Game 2:
LeCure vs. Richard is the pitching matchup. On paper, the Padres have the advantage here. Rolen will play tonight and have the day off on Wednesday.

If the Reds win tonight, they are ensured at least a .500 road trip through Arizona and San Diego. If the Reds lost tonight, they need to win tomorrow. A win tonight and a winning record on the road trip would be possible.

Topics: Arizona Diamondbacks, Bill Bray, Brook Jacoby, Cincinnati Reds, Cincinnati Vs. San Diego, Clayton Richard, Edinson Volquez, Jay Bruce, Jordan Smith, Padres Vs. Reds, Reds Score, Sam LeCure, San Diego Padres

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