Reds and Phillies Rotations

Fifteen years. It only seems like it’s been longer.

Both the Reds and their NLDS challengers, the Philadelphia Phillies, have announced their starting rotations.

Game 1: Edinson Volquez v. Roy Halladay
This decision took a few by surprise. Most had thought that Dusty Baker and the rest of the Reds brass would select Bronson Arroyo. Plus, Volquez was thought to be one of the pitchers even vying for a postseason roster spot. If you think about it, Volquez does possess “ace stuff”. It’s only a matter of execution for Volquez. When he is on, there aren’t many that are better. In his brief NL career, Volquez is 2-0 with a 0.73 ERA against the Phillies. In the only appearance Volquez has made at Citizens Bank Park, he is 1-0 with 0.00 ERA in seven innings pitched.

Halladay could well be the recipient of the NL’s Cy Young with the season he had. He led the NL in wins and innings pitched. The only (and I do mean only) drawback is that this is Halladay’s first postseason. But Halladay’s success cannot be denied. For his career, Halladay is 1-1 with a 2.84 ERA, but that win was back in 2003.

Game 2: Bronson Arroyo v. Roy Oswalt
As I stated, most thought it would be Arroyo going in Game 1. Game 2 makes sense as well. If the Reds would drop the first game of the series, Arroyo has the type of mental makeup to go out and throw his heart out to get a win in Game 2. And if the bullpen was spent, Arroyo will take one for the team if necessary. But another deciding factor in not going with Arroyo may be his lack of success against Philly. He’s 1-5 with an ERA of 5.54 for his career.

Oswalt used to be one of the few pitchers the Reds never wanted to see on the mound. Oswalt’s career numbers show he’s 23-3 with a 2.81 ERA. For the last two seasons, the Reds have gotten to their former nemesis as Oswalt is 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA with Cincy going 0-2 and a 6.75 ERA just in 2010.

Game 3: Johnny Cueto v. Cole Hamels
Most had thought Cueto was a given as a starter. Cueto’s record does not give his 2010 regular season justice. Even though he finished at 12-7, the bullpen blew numerous games in which Cueto was in line for a win. Six blown saves in Cueto starts. If Cueto finishes 18-7, he could have been the dubbed “ace of the staff” for the season. Like Volquez, Cueto has only limited experience facing the Phillies going 1-2 while the owner of a 5.96 ERA.

Hamels has survived a couple of off seasons since his stellar 2008 campaign in which he was the ace for Philly in their World Series Championship run. Hamels owns the Reds with a 6-0 record and a 1.07 ERA.

The schedule for the games are as follows:

Game 1 – Wednesday, October 6, Citizens Bank Park, 5:07 PM ET
Game 2 – Friday, October 8, Citizens Bank Park, 6:07 PM ET
Game 3 – Sunday, October 10, GABP, TBD (after 4:00 PM ET due to Bengals game)
Game 4 – Monday, October 11, GABP, TBD*
Game 5 – Wednesday, October 13, Citizens Bank Park at TBD*
* – if necessary