Postgame: Wood a playoff starter?

Rookie Travis Wood did nothing tonight to make me believe he shouldn’t start in the best-of-five NLDS, especially if the Reds end up facing the lefty-hitting heavy Phillies.

Wood’s line: 6.1 ip, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 HR
Two of his runs were given up with Logan Ondrusek on the mound.

Philadelphia will feature  Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Raul Ibanez — all left-handed. Rollins and Victorino are switch-hitters.With a short series, it would seem more conventional that the Reds go with three starters. Or do they take four?

If only three starters go for the Reds? Who gets exiled to the bullpen?

Edinson Volquez seems to have a hot hand. Bronson Arroyo isn’t going anywhere. Wood has two walks allowed with 24 strikeouts over his last four starts (24 1/3 innings).

What about Johnny Cueto? He has a 1.20 ERA vs. the Phillies in two starts this season. But he is 0-3 with a 4.32 ERA over his last six starts of the regular season. After his mostly solid year, could he actually not start in the first round of the postseason? What becomes of Homer Bailey?

It’s a tough call and I don’t envy Dusty Baker and Bryan Price. What would you do?

Quick notes —

*Friday’s 4-3 Reds loss in 11 innings does not guarantee a NLDS with the Phillies but it did assure them of starting the playoffs on the road — either at Philly or the NL West winner.
If the NL West leading Giants or Padres get the Wild Card away from the Braves, that team would get the Phillies.

*The Brandon Phillips E4 on Casey McGehee’s grounder in the 11th was changed to a RBI single. Phillips was screened some by the umpire, which was why the change was made by the official scorer postgame.

*A string of 22-straight retired for the bullpen was snapped on Craig Counsell’s single of Logan Ondrusek in the seventh inning that went as a blown save.

*Scott Rolen’s exit in the fifth was pre-planned before the game to preserve him for the playoffs. Rolen will not start Saturday, Dusty Baker said.

 

Postgame quotes –

“He pitched good. He threw the ball pretty good and was down in the strike zone and ahead of the hitters. I think he threw a very good ballgame. It’s one of those games you get bad luck. There’s nothing you can do. It won’t be the first or last time it happens.” — Ramon Hernandez on Travis Wood

“That seventh inning, things kind of happened. He had 103 pitches and he usually doesn’t go quite the long. He was still looking good that inning. We just kind of let that one get away from us tonight.” — Dusty Baker on Wood.

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2 Comments

Yeah, you are right about Cueto’s ERA over that span, but if you take away his one bad game, the numbers are much better. Remember that game he pitched 1.1 innings and gave up 8 ER’s? That was very unusual for him, but it happens to even the best at times.

It’s a tough call for Baker, but the problem is that they haven’t had a dominant pitcher–just a lot of good ones that are capable of having a dominant performance every so often.

I would go 4 starters just to see who has the stuff to step up in the playoffs. It would be good experience for these young guys.

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