Results tagged ‘ Edinson Volquez ’

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.”

Notes:

*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.

Quotes:

“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.

Maloney down, Fisher up

 Tough break for LHP Matt Maloney. He pitched long relief and was needed in long relief to help save the bullpen three times in a week. But he is the one that got optioned to Triple-A Louisville because he has options left and the Reds needed an extra arm. Carlos Fisher was recalled from Louisville and is on site.

Maloney made the spot start last night afte the rain delay and pitched two-plus innings with three runs and eight hits allowed. He also threw 73 pitches. Jordan Smith (three innings) and Nick Masset (two innings) were all used pretty heavily. Dusty Baker said Masset could be available for a short situation.

Fisher had a 7.71 ERA in six games for Louisville, but had four saves in four chances. He last pitched Tuesday at Columbus and saved the 4-2 Louisville victory (1.1ip, 0h, 0r, 1bb, 1k, 20 pitches). He was in Toledo last night and flew this morning to Chicago and then to Evansville before making the two hour drive to St. Louis since Lambert Airport is closed because of tornado damage.

*For those wondering, Dontrelle Willis (2-0, 0.53 ERA) last pitched five innings on Wednesday. He would not have been available this quickly. It came down to Fisher was on the 40-man roster and available to give the Reds a little length if they needed it.

*Dusty Baker is not revealing, yet, is plan for Edinson Volquez and if he might start Sunday. He only said he’d announce a decision “tomorrow.” As for current Sunday starter Sam LeCure’s availability for today, Baker said “we’ll see.”

Volquez, Heisey, Hernandez all big

Uncle Jonathan’s corn cob pipe, does Edinson Volquez like to flirt with disaster.

Like his last two outings, Volquez put the Reds in hole — this time by a 2-0 score. But the Reds had his back as he righted himself and took a 3-2 win.

In the first inning through three starts, Volquez has a 27.00 ERA (nine earned runs). It’s a 1.29 ERA (two earned runs, 14 innings) after the first. He allowed two runs and three hits over six innings tonight with three walks and five strikeouts.

Volquez cruised through innings two-through five. He retired a stretch of 11-in a row.

Although at 88 pitches thru six, he was lifted. It wasn’t by design but Volquez twisted his big right toe in a hole on the mound. (Knights of Columbus, that hurt.)

“I’ll be fine,” Volquez said.

Notes:

*An unsung hero for the night was Ramon Hernandez. The Reds catcher caught two guys stealing and threw a runner out on a sacrifice attempt in the eighth. It was some curious managing by Padres skipper Bud Black to have pinch-hitter Chris Denorfia bunt with a runner on second and no outs. Hernandez fielded Denorfia’s bunt and fired a strike to third base to get the out. Replays showed he might have been safe.

Hernandez also nailed Denorfia trying to steal second on a strike-em-out, throw-em out double play to end the eighth.

“The main thing is not only did he throw the ball but our pitchers gave him a chance to throw the guys out,” manager Dusty Baker said of Hernandez. “Everybody thinks they steal off the catcher. Most of the time, they steal off the pitcher. If a pitcher gives him a chance to throw him out, our guys will throw them out.”

*Before that double play in the eighth, Bill Bray engaged Jorge Cantu in a tense 11-pitch at-bat. Cantu fouled off five-straight 2-2 pitches and got ball three. Bray then got the big strikeout.

*Chris Heisey made a spectacular diving catch to help Volquez in the first inning, resulting in Hawpe’s sac fly. Heisey of course also had the game-winning homer.

*Dusty Baker notched win No. 250 for the Reds tonight. He’s only the 11th MLB manager to reach 250 wins for three different teams. Look for a feature on that later. Some of his current and former players had some things to say in support of him.

*Brandon Phillips was 2-for-3 and has hit safely in 8 of 10 games. He’s batting .410 (16-for-39) on the season.

*Joey Votto was 1-for-3 and has hit safely in 10 of 11 games. He’s batting .444 (16-for-35). He’s a .387 hitter at Petco Park.

Quotes:

“He did start off rough. At least he didn’t say, here we go again. But he settled down and started throwing the ball great. He especially started getting strike one and was throwing 96-97 mph. He started dealing.” — Baker on Volquez

“His velocity was dropping in the fifth and sixth inning. The first couple of innings, he was 96 and it had some really good life on it. I don’t know if he got tired or what exactly. His velocity was down and I got a fastball up and in and was able to get the barrel of the bat on it.” — Chris Heisey on his homer off Padres pitcher Mat Latos, who made his 2011 debut.

“I was talking with Bryan [Price] about making good pitches and getting a lot of groundballs. In situation like that, I need to make a good pitch and get a double play. That happened tonight.” — Edinson Volquez

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

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Stunning win on Opening Day

That Reds penchant for the drama didn’t disappear after an off-season. Ramon Hernandez brought it all back, and then, some with a stunning three-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. It gave the Reds a 7-6 win.

Cincinnati came into the ninth down 6-3 against Brewers closer John Axford. A fun conclusion for the Reds and their 42,398 fans at GABP…but not a well-played game overall.

Highlights:

*The Reds were 1-for-10 RISP with 10 LOB. They were 0-for-9 before Hernandez came through.

*Edinson Volquez was rocked for three homers, including two in a row to start the game. Carlos Gomez hit the second one and it sailed 429 feet into the upper deck of right field. Not a cheapie by any stretch.

*Jonny Gomes made an error fielding Ryan Braun’s two-out single. It put Braun on 2B and a Jordan Smith balk later put runners on second and third. A possibly tough insurance run scored on Casey McGehee single.

*The Reds were resilent, give them credit. They did not pack it in on a freezing cold day.

*Brandon Phillips’ nifty slide step to avoid McGehee’s tag saved a rally. McGehee should have just thrown to first base and that game likely doesn’t end like it did. Scott Rolen hustled hard to beat the throw to first base, as well. Asked to describe his speed, Rolen dryly replied “Electric.”

*Credit the Reds bullpen, especially Sam LeCure and winning pitcher Logan Ondrusek for keeping Milwaukee in check.

*Gomes nearly won the game himself with a long screamer of a fly to center field. It went for a sac fly but put Hernandez in position to win the game.

*Check out this photo gallery from the game.

Notes:

*The last Reds walk-off home run on Opening Day came from the bat of Joe Randa on 4/7/2005 vs. the Mets in a 7-6 win.

*Hernandez is the fifth Reds player to collect four hits on Opening Day.

*The Reds are now 4-9-1 in their last 14 openers. The tie, incidentally came vs. MIL in 2000, after an official game was called because of rain.

*The last time a team hit two home runs to begin a season was the Reds on April 7, 1969 vs. the Dodgers. Pete Rose and Bobby Tolan each went deep against Don Drysdale at Riverfront Stadium. Crosley Field.

*Cincinnati hadn’t won an Opening Day game since 2007, so it was the first in the tenure of Dusty Baker and Walt Jocketty.

Quotes:

“We don’t want to win it like that. We got lucky enough we got the win today. To me, it’s amazing. This is one of the best opening days I’ve ever had in my career. I’m so happy that I helped my team and my team won a ballgame.” — Ramon Hernandez

“They were getting some hits with runners in scoring position and we weren’t. If you keep putting them out there, sooner or later something good is going to happen. The key is opporutunies. If you don’t have opportunities, you don’t have much of a chance.” — Dusty Baker

“We ended the season on a walk-off last year to clinch the division and start it that way this year. We kind of struggled to put together productive innings today. We got some base runners and weren’t able to capitalize and get them across. I think it’s a huge shot in the arm for us to start the year. It’s always great to win the first one and in that fashion, it’s even more special.” — Drew Stubbs, who hit a homer in the fourth inning.

“I think I was a little bit excited in the first inning. After that, I calmed down and threw my pitches.” — Edinson Volquez

“Obviously, my opinion doesn’t really matter. But if my first inclination was that he was not out of the baseline, I would have made sure I kept going towards him a little bit more than I did instead of also trying to make a throw. In hindsight, I wish I had just come through and made a thtow to first and not even worried about him.” — Brewers 3B Casey McGehee on the non-tag of Phillips in the ninth.

“I got away with one in the at-bat before with Gomes. This time I paid for it.” — John Axford, who gave up the game-ending homer to Hernandez.

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Heisey looking good

It was another wild offensive day in the Cactus League for the Reds. This was a 9-8 victory, which has moved the spring record to 14-9-1.

The good:

The Reds collected 17 hits in the game.

*Chris Heisey went 3-for-6 with two RBIs, including a solo homer to left field in the top of the eighth. He was a double shy of hitting for the cycle. Heisey is batting .325 (13-for-40) this spring and has hit safely in 9 of his last 12 games. He seems to have all but claimed a reserve outfielder’s spot. Heisey started in center field again and despite a throwing error today, has shown that he can play all three spots.

*Todd Frazier cranked a three-run homer to left field in the  fourth inning off of Brewers starter Chris Narveson. It was his second long ball since Thursday. Frazier got off to a slow start and seems to be coming on.

*The Dave Sappelt hitting show had another strong day. Sappelt was 2-for-4, which actually lowered his average from .536 to .531.

*Dontrelle Willis pitched well in the game, despite giving up a three-run homer to George Kottaras in the bottom of the fifth. A one-out walk to Casey McGhee two batters before Kottaras hurt.

“Willis made one bad pitch on a breaking ball to George Kottaras and what got him in trouble was the walk also,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

*Aroldis Chapman pitched two scoreless innings with two walks. Chapman also batted for himself in the eighth and slapped a single the opposite way through the left side.

“I turned to him and said ‘are you ready to hit?’ He said ‘oh no.’ And he got a hit. I’m glad for him,” Baker said.

Not-so-good:

*Reds pitchers combined to allowed 11 walks. Five came via Edinson Volquez, including four in the bottom of the third. Volquez walked two runs in and was removed after 2 1/3 innings. He was charged with five earned runs.

“I had a little bit of problem with control. It’s nothing big,” Volquez said. “It’s nothing but mechanical. I was jumping from of the rubber to home plate. … My arm is good, my body, everything is fine.”

Volquez believes he’ll be ready for the Brewers again on March 31.

“I have a good idea now of what they’re looking for,” he said. “It will be a good game.”

*Playing first base in the eighth inning, Yonder Alonso had his foot stepped on accidentally by former Red Chris Dickerson as he ran out a groundball. Alonso needed a couple of moments and was looked over by trainer Paul Lessard and Baker. But he was able to continue.

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Back to work…

I’m back on the job after taking about four days of R&R back in Cincinnati. I think I returned to the warmest day of the spring thus far with a high of 91 (not complaining, it’s nice). I will try to get caught up and add some more stuff in a little while.

Obviously the Reds are also back to work after their lone day off of camp.

Lineup vs. KC

Stubbs 8
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Gomes 7
Bruce 9
Renteria 6
Hanigan 2
Lewis DH

Arroyo 1

Among those also scheduled to pitch are Arredondo, Cordero and Ondrusek.

*Edinson Volquez threw 74 pitches in yesterday’s Class A minor league game. His line wasn’t stellar vs. the Diamondbacks (5 ip, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 3 HBP, 2 WP). He was also pitching while feeling under the weather.

“Twice, I hit the same guy. One was a fastball and the other was a changeup,” Volquez said.

Overall, Volquez got the work in he needed and wasn’t worried.

“Everything was good,” said Volquez, who will start a big league vs. the Brewers on Sunday. “I’m on schedule right now.”

*Johnny Cueto, who had stiffness in his right biceps and forearm, long tossed in the outfield during the off-day. Cueto is scheduled to start on Saturday vs. the Rockies.

*Bronson Arroyo and Matt Klinker are also sick. Dusty Baker still expected Arroyo to make his start tonight.

 

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Arroyo on his start

It was one the hottest days we’ve had in Goodyear so far during camp came as temperatures reached the upper 80s on Thursday. No complaints at all, especially given all of the rain I’m hearing about in Cincinnati. Hopefully the Ohio River subsides soon before any really serious problems happen.

A bunch of Giants homers in the third inning — three to be exact — helped send the Reds to a 7-0 loss.

The highlights:

*San Francisco crushed three homers against Bronson Arroyo in the third, including back-to-back one-out shots by Andres Torres (2-run HR) and Freddy Sanchez. Cody Ross added a solo homer with two outs. Overall, Arroyo allowed four earned runs and five hits over four innings with one walk and two strikeouts.

“I felt the same as the first two times out,” Arroyo said. “I got a little tired after three innings but it’s probably expected this time of year. I haven’t felt great all spring but I haven’t felt bad at all. Command is good. They hit three off-speed pitches out of the park.”

*Arroyo said he threw all fastballs in the fourth inning to build his endurance.

*The much anticipated spring debut of Edinson Volquez finally came. Volquez, a bit jet-lagged from his long Wednesday flight from the Dominican lasted 2 1/3 innings with two runs (one unearned), two hits two walks, a hit batter and two strikeouts. There will be much more from him on MLB.com soon.

*Aroldis Chapman gave up one run and two hits in his two innings and struck out three. But he had better command than in his previous three outings.

“He looked pretty good,” manager Dusty Baker said. “He threw a real good changeup. He’s been working on that. That would give him a third pitch to keep them off his fastball. He threw strikes with it. He threw a couple of good breaking balls. He looked a lot better this time than last time and that’s the objective.”

*And it’s the not always “just spring” category, Giants starter Madison Baumgarner had a little extra motivation for the Reds. Baumgarner last faced the Cincinnati Aug. 25 when he allowed eight runs (seven earned) in 2 2/3 innings. The Giants ended up making a big comeback before the Reds won 12-11 in 12 innings.

“I definitely didn’t forget about it. It’s hard to forget about something like that,” Baumgarner said.

Today, Baumgarner worked a crisp four scoreless innings with six strikeouts. His only hit was a one-out soft single to right field by Brandon Phillips, who was caught stealing. The Reds had only five hits overall on the day.

*In part two of “it’s not just spring”, Jonny Gomes threw out Pat Burrell at second base trying for a double on a drive off the left field wall in the fourth inning. Gomes pumped his fist when Burrell was called out. Granted, Burrell isn’t fleet of foot, but it was a good throw.

*It was a busier than usual day with media and guests. Besides a slew of national writers that were over, a crew from “Rome Is Burning?” was shooting with Brandon Phillips, Chris “Mad Dog” Russo — formerly of WFAN in New York, was here with Sirius/XM radio. And James Denton of “Desperate Housewives” fame was watching the pre-game workout. Denton is friends with Sean Casey, who is here as a guest instructor.

*Finally, former Reds intern and current Triple-A Louisville employee Danny “Blue” Steele has started a new team blog called, “The Bats Signal.” It’s still getting started but it should provide ample updates once the regular season begins.

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Volquez back at camp

Reds lineup vs. Giants

Stubbs 8
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Gomes 7
Bruce 9
Hernandez 2
Janish 6
Francisco DH

Arroyo 1

Edinson Volquez is here and will pitch two or three innings out of the bullpen. Volquez got his work visa on Tuesday after it was held up on Monday morning.

“I was worried about it. I couldn’t wait anymore to get back to Arizona,” Volquez said.

“When they told Monday morning the visa wasn’t ready yet, I went to the complex and threw a little bit with the pitching coach down there,” Volquez said.

The Reds have a baseball academy in the Dominican.

Volquez expects no issues to prevent him from pitching on Opening Day March 31.

“I’ve had too many bullpen sessions, simulated games and live BP,” he said. “I’m going to be ready. Today, I will get to go 2-3 innings.”

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Volquez delayed

Wednesday could have the makings of an intriguing matchup when the Reds meet the Padres.

Key words — could have.

Edinson Volquez is listed as the probable starter to face former Reds ace Aaron Harang in Peoria.

However, Volquez is still in the Dominican Republic trying to get his work visa situation straightened out.

“He’ll probably have it today,” Reds GM Walt Jocketty said.

Volquez, who left camp on Sunday, was originally slated to get his approved work visa at the American consulate on Monday, fly back to Arizona and be back in camp today and pitch tomorrow. Him pitching vs. San Diego isn’t “written is cement” as Jerry Narron used to say.

“Probably not, unless he can get a flight today,” Jocketty said.

Volquez could easily slot in and pitch on Thursday, if needed. Jocketty believed that Volquez would still have no issue with pitching on Opening Day vs. the Brewers March 31.

“I would think so,” Jocketty said.

UPDATE – Volquez is definitely not starting Wednesday.

“He’s not going to make it back by tomorrow,” Jocketty said.

Reds pitching coach Bryan Price has a plan in place for Volquez

“He can pitch on the 10th (Thursday) along with Arroyo and we’ll work it out somehow,” Price said. “We’ll keep everyone on their turn so Volky will have to come back on pitch on the off day on the 15th.”

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