Nice night for naught for Volquez
As good as Edinson Volquez pitched, he deserved a better outcome. But one fastball that missed location to Yadier Molina became a three-run home run in a 3-0 loss. Not helping was Cardinals starter Jake Westrbook with his 9.82 ERA shutting the Reds lineup down.
Volquez had a nice fastball working and a nice changeup. He was hitting 97 mph. He even got through the first inning for the first time this season without allowing a run.
“I think he took a pretty good swing on that ball,” Volquez said of Molina’s homer. “He’s real aggressive with runners on base, especially deep in the game. He’s always hitting the ball the other way and I think he was looking for that pitch inside. He took a very good swing.”
*Molina appeared to enjoy his homer an awful lot, with a raised fist in the air after it cleared the fence and a curtain call after returning to the dugout. Some wondered if it might bring retribution later on. Sure enough in the eighth, Aroldis Chapman came in very tight at the midsection with a fastball. Molina looked Chapman’s way and both benches were warned. I asked Dusty Baker later if there was some displeasure at Molina’s homer celebration, but he said no. Also Chapman threw inside at Molina with two runners on. If he hit Molina, it would’ve loaded the bases and likely could have helped blow a still close game open.
“Every time you hit a home run, what do you want? You want to be mad? Or sad?” Molina said. “No. you’ve got enjoy it, man, especially me. I don’t hit a bunch of home runs. Every time I get an opportunity to enjoy it, that’s the way you have to play this game — fun. [Volquez] is a great pitcher. He was throwing hard. The breaking ball was good. He was pretty good today.”
*Joey Votto continues to be a base-reaching machine despite the lack of quality of pitches he sees. Votto walked twice (once intentionally) and hit a ninth-inning double. He has reached in all 22 games played this season.
*Jonny Gomes has struggled hitting clean up behind Votto with Scott Rolen out. Gomes was 0-for-3 with a walk and all three outs came with runners in scoring position. The Reds were 0-for-5 overall RISP. Since moving into the fourth spot, Gomes is 1-for-12. Baker did not say if he was considering a lineup change.
*Nick Masset had another nice relief outing with a perfect 1 1/3 innings. He’s had four-straight scoreless appearances since the two bad games at San Diego.
*Chapman has not allowed an earned run in 10 appearances, 9 2/3 innings.
“He threw the ball better than he has in a couple of years – under control, throwing strikes, and excellent changeup, a good breaking ball. I thought we were going to get out of that one inning. He popped up a couple of guys.” — Dusty Baker on Volquez
“Good stuff, man. He was having his live fastball that he’s had in the past and keeping that changeup down really good man. He threw me a 3-2, really, really nasty changeup. He was mixing his pitches. I guess he made one mistake and Yadi took advantage. Besides that he was keeping everybody off-balance and was pitching in and out and mixed his pitches pretty well. he always had that stuff, and the main thing is if he can stay healthy, he’s going to be one of the good ones in the game.” Albert Pujols on Volquez
“I just made a mistake, wrong pitch to him. I know he’s really aggressive with runners on base. I just threw the wrong pitch. That was my call too. Ryan wanted a different pitch. I made a mistake. He wanted a changeup because we got him out the AB before with breaking ball, changeup and a fastball/two-seamer to strike out in his last at-bat. He was looking straight fastball.” — Edinson Volquez on the Molina at-bat.