10.6.10 BY:MEH CREAM CHEESE
REDS LOOK TO SPREAD PHILLY IN GAME ONE
After a fifteen year hiatus, the Cincinnati Reds are returning to the
playoffs. The Reds will face the reigning NL Champions for a five game
series beginning on Wednesday. Cincinnati and Philadelphia are the National
League's two top offenses for 2010 with the Reds leading the NL in
every major offensive category. Philadelphia is ranked fifth in NL
pitching (97-65, 3.67) with Cincinnati ranking seventh (91-71, 4.01) and
both teams bring superior defense. The Reds are tied for first in the NL in
fielding percentage (.988) and the Phillies are tied for fourth (.986).
Although the Phillies are projected to easily defeat the Reds and
potentially win their second World Championship in three years by many
experts, the Cincinnati Reds' potent offense, reliable defense, and durable
pitching staff should provide Philly with an excellent run for the money.
During the 1990 season, the Cincinnati Reds were major underdogs, but
managed to defeat the Pittsburgh Pirates in six games for the NL Pennant and
swept the mighty Oakland Athletics in four games during the World Series as
they captured their fifth World Championship.
“I don’t really enjoy the underdog role, but that’s the role that you’re
cast upon, and that is the role that you serve,”
Dusty Baker said.
“These guys are the incumbents, so, naturally, we should be the underdog.
Plus, we haven’t been here in a long time. It doesn’t matter what people
think. At this point we’re one of the elite that are still standing. As long
as you go to the dance, as they say, you’ve got a chance.”
The Philadelphia Phillies have finished in first place in the NL East for
the last four consecutive seasons ('07-'10). In 2008 and '09 the Phillies
won the NL Pennant and in '08, defeated the Tampa Bay Rays four games to one
in the World Series. It was the Phillies' first World Series Championship
since 1980, a year when Mike Schmidt, Pete Rose, and Steve Carlton led
Philadelphia notching victories in Veteran's Stadium. In fact, since the
their inception in 1883, the Phillies World Championships in 1980 and 2008
stand as the only two they have acquired during their entire distant
The 2010 Philadelphia
squad is quite impressive. Their current infield owns five Gold Glove
Awards, two NL MVP Awards (Howard in '06 and Rollins in '07), a Rookie of
the Year Award (Howard in '05), seven Silver Slugger Awards, and twelve
combined All-Star Game selections. The Phillies outfield owns two Gold
Gloves (Victorino in '08 and '09) and all three were selected to attend the
2009 MLB All-Star Game. The Phillies three-man rotation is considered the
best in baseball by many. Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, and Cole Hamels combined
own a 377-213 record during their respective careers. The trio has been
selected to eleven All-Star Games, hurled a perfect game (Halladay on
5.29.10), won a Cy Young Award (Halladay in 2003), and own three postseason
MVP Awards (Oswalt, 2005 NLCS and Hamels, 2008 NLCS and WS).
Roy Halladay will take the mound for game one of the NLDS for the Phillies
on Wednesday at 5:07pm marking his first career postseason appearance. In
four career starts against the Reds, Halladay is 1-1 with a 2.84 ERA. During
31.2 innings of work, Halladay struck out 33 Reds while walking only seven
and allowed 10 earned runs. Four of those runs were given up during a
complete game by Halladay against the Reds on June 30, 2010. Halladay struck
out ten Reds that day, but tendered two long balls and allowed a career-high
Although he has been untested in the postseason, Roy Halladay is one of the
elite pitchers in baseball today. His 169-86 career record, along with a
career 3.32 ERA insists that Halladay would be an ace on any ball club, in
any situation. In 33 starts for the Phillies in 2010, Halladay has lasted
less than six innings just once (5.2 on May 23) and owns the most wins in
the NL (21), has the third lowest ERA in the NL (2.44), is second in NL
strikeouts (219), and leads the National League in complete games (9) and
Edinson Volquez will also make his postseason debut on Wednesday against the
Phillies. The 2008 All-Star was
named the Reds' postseason ace by manager Dusty Baker on Sunday, October
3. Volquez made his 2010 debut on July 17 after serving a 50-game suspension
and rehabbing from 2009 Tommy John surgery. During Volquez's first seven
starts, the Reds lost only one game and they have lost only two games out of
the twelve in which the 26 year-old has been on the mound during 2010.
pitching as well as anybody,"
Dusty Baker said.
"He gets left-handers out better than anybody that we have. Plus, he’s a
very calm and cool and good-time-Charlie type guy that should be effective
by the pressure. Especially the fact that he had pitched some championship
games in winter ball in the Dominican. Anybody that’s been to Venezuela or
Dominican, Mexico or Puerto Rico, there is far more pressure there than
there is here.”
After his worst start of the season on August 23 (0.2IP, 5H, 5ER, 3BB),
Volquez was sent to the Dayton Dragons to work on his mechanics. After just
two starts in Dayton (13IP, 2ER, 19K), Volquez returned to the Reds'
rotation on September 11. After lasting six innings or more just three times
during his first eight starts, Volquez has gone six or more in all four of
his starts since returning to the Reds. In those four starts Volquez has
hurled 27.2 innings, allowed seventeen hits, struck out 31 batters while
walking just eight, and failed to surrender a long ball to an opponent all
while posting a 1.95 ERA. During two career starts against Philadelphia,
Volquez is undefeated (2-0, 0.73).