Fans itchy about Volquez, not Reds

Wednesday’s 12-4 Reds win over the Astros was one nutty game and an example of why Twitter sometimes isn’t the best mix for baseball.

As Edinson Volquez labored through a 44-pitch, four-run, 10 batter first inning, a few followers were in a full froth.

Some example questions I received tonight:

“Any chance of Volquez going to Louisville for some remedial work if he has one more bad outing?

“Is it time to send Volquez to AAA?? I like him, but he doesn’t seem to add up to all the hype..”

“Does Volquez even have options left?” (He does by the way)

“if…IF… he has another terrible outing, what are the chances he goes to AAA instead of Leake/LeCure when Bailey/Cueto return?”

Yeah, Volquez was pitching badly but it was certainly extremely early to be firing up a GPS unit for him to head to Louisville. Like after his poor first inning on Opening Day, Volquez reached down and put together a decent outing in the final four innings of his night. He retired seven in a row after a leadoff walk in the second. He had a 10-pitch third inning. And most importantly, he kept the Reds in the game to mount the comeback. Reds manager Dusty Baker had no intention of taking him out in the first or second inning if he could help it.

“I couldn’t go to my pen that quick,” Baker said. “We were trying to stick with him as long as we can. This is our first stretch of consecutive days without an off day, nine days in a row. If you get upside down on day No. 2, then you’re treading on dangerous ground with guys being able to pitch this early in the year. That’s not what you want.”

Volquez’s inconsistent moments bring to mind his Spring Training visa issues and how much it was downplayed. He missed two starts because of that and couldn’t make them up. In my mind, he’s doing it now in the regular season. It’s not an optimal situation. There are some rough edges. But he was dealing 96-97 mph fastballs and Houston hitters had some trouble keeping up. None of their hits on him were really pounded. So it’s not a physical issue.

Notes:

*Paul Janish is 8-for-18 (.444) and has hits in all four of his games played. He was 3-for-5 tonight.

*Brandon Phillips had three hits and is 9-for-20 (.450) for the young season.

*For only the second time in GABP history, there were no home runs hit in the last two games. The only other time that happened was Aug. 6-7, 2005 vs. the Marlins. There have been only 51 homer-less games in the 654 games played here.

*The Reds have scored 43 runs, their second-highest total in modern history through five games.
The 1976 team scored 44 runs in its first five games.

Quotes:

“Edinson, maybe he just needs to go out there and calm down a little bit. I know there’s a lot of pressure on him being the No. 1 starter and everybody is expecting big things from him. But he’s a great pitcher and we have his back. Hopefully, he’ll learn from the mistakes he made today, take advantage of it and go out there and pitch a good game.” — Brandon Phillips

“I thought they were going to take me out before I got to the fifth. Dusty came over and told me forget about strikeouts and get a groundball, fly ball and clean innings.” — Edinson Volquez

“The first two innings he had six strikeouts. It was like he was more dependent on the strikeouts than he was on our defense back there. He was throwing all his pitches when it wasn’t necessary to throws all his pitches. They were late on his fastball and then he’d throw something else.” — Dusty Baker

Follow me on Twitter at

http://twitter.com/m_sheldon

4 Comments

Thank God Dusty said that. It was blatantly obvious that the Astros hitters could not touch his heater, but then he would lob up a hanging changeup and get ripped. Volquez has the stuff to be dominate, he just needs to trust his heater, bottom line.

And Mark, I love the twitter nation, it’s hilarious. Some fans just aren’t cut out for baseball, they just can’t handle the slowness and marathon type of sport. Oh well, they keep me laughing and make us look smart.

Why have some fans been so quick to jump Brandon Phillips’ case in the past? He is a great baseball player! It’s not the batting – it’s the passionate head-in-the-game way he plays all the time. Cases from game 5: slides between the legs of the catcher and avoids the tag to score; climbs the ladder to take away a line drive hit. Now, to get Jay Bruce going (hitting-wise).

maxblue, watch a slow-motion replay of that home plate slide if you can. I saw it this morning on MLB Network and it was so awesome! Such a heads-up play!

Mark heard you on 700 during game, thank you for saying that about E.V. and his spring training.
stop looking at Twitter.
Did you see that Harang got a win against the Giants the other night?! Crazy world.

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