Thursday, October 7, 2010

NLDS: Game 1

Not a great start for the Reds, but I think yesterday's no-hitter said a lot more about Roy Halladay than the Reds' offense. If you were watching on a wide screen you saw that TBS had the strike zone box on the entire time. I think I recall one pitch that Halladay through where the entire ball was in the box. Just about every pitch was a curve out of the zone low, or on one of the lines on the outside of the box, often sneaking in at that last second. Amazing.

Could it have been worse? Certainly. I think this loss will be much easier to take than say a blown save in the ninth by Cordero or Chapman. Picture a 4-2 Reds lead and Ryan Howard going yard on a three-run homer to walk off with game one. That would be about as bad as it could get. Or the Reds not hitting and the Phils scoring 6, 7, or more runs. The bullpen actually shut down the Phils.

This was just one loss.

The only debatable thing from the Reds stand point was whether Volquez should have started in the first place. Based on yesterday, you would have to conclude that perhaps Wood should have gotten the start, but that's Monday morning quarterbacking. I think Volquez is a bit of a head case, and Arroyo, who's a solid pitcher, might have done better in a game one scenario. But here is another way to look at it: when Volquez is on he's really tough to hit. Maybe Dusty figured with Halladay out of the gate the Reds' only chance was a superior performance and Volquez seemed the most likely to provide one. I don't think you can fault Dusty for starting Volquez.

I loved the quick hook on Volquez. I said yesterday Dusty has to manage every game as a must-win and he didn't hesitate to pull Volquez. No way he does that in the regular season. (By the way, how tough was Wood? He really looked good.) And then Dusty didn't hesitate to pinch hit for Wood in the sixth. There was some grumbling where we were watching about removing Wood there, but Dusty had to pinch hit down four in the sixth. Although an interesting irony is that Wood came the closest to actually getting a hit off Halladay with his liner to right in his only at bat.

This was an historic effort by Halladay and a game that will never be forgotten. But if the Reds can beat Little Roy Friday, they take the advantage in the series. The defining characteristic of this team had been its ability to bounce back. We've gone over this before, but the team has consistently battled back from adversity and come out on top. Don't count out Dusty and the boys just yet.

1 comment:

Scott Blume said...

I agree Z. Honestly, the Reds could have rolled out Tom Browning yesterday, in his prime, and without any offensive help, the Reds still get the L. Oswalt is good but he is not great. Nix is already been named to play LF, which may take some pressure off of Gomes, who looked a little overwhelmed in his first big playoff game. I like the Reds chances tomorrow and I really like you and the rest of the Reds faithful bringing home the series in Cincy!