Monday, October 4, 2010

Eddie v. Doctor Halladay

As the very informed reader base is well aware, the Game 1 matchup presents a very interesting pair of arms - Edinson Volquez v. Roy Boy Halladay. As the readership is also likely aware, Halladay's real name is Harry Leroy which is probably the name that just about everyone had in mind for your first born son, or daughter. Well, now you can avoid it so as to not have your child labeled as a turncoat or charlatan. I would certainly call them a charlatan, regardless of the age difference between me and your presently unborn child.

Edinson's season has been a little up and down (which is shorthard for I don't really feel like breaking down the entire season) much like the rest of the Reds' rotation, but the ups have been coming with more frequency of late. And, this certainly isn't something unexpected for a guy who is a little over a year off of major arm surgery. Pretty soon no one is even going to remember Tommy John other than for the surgery. I only hope to someday have the cure for irritable bowel syndrome named after my bowels. 'Sir, I have some good news and some bad news - beginning with the bad, you will require major surgery to correct your chronically inflamed digestive track. The good news being that the procedure is named after the delightfully clever Tim Timmons, contributor to the exceptionally well-written Reds Rocket baseball blog.'

Wednesday's start will be Volquez's 13th of the season. His season numbers look a little, or a lot, like this: 4-3 with 62 innings pitched, 59 hits allowed, 6 bombs allowed, 35 walks and 67 k's. The strike out number is particularly impressive. However, he also leads the team in starts that I had to go find something else to do when he was loading the bases while trying to remember where the strike zone was located. Since his brief vacation in A ball (which followed a 2/3rds of an inning outing where he walked 3, gave up 5 hits and allowed 5 runs) he has been especially filthy. The starts, in chart format, are thus:

SEP 11 PIT 0 0 5.14 1 1 0 0 0 0 7.0 1 0 0 0 1 10 98-64 5-6
SEP 16 ARI 0 1 4.99 1 1 0 0 0 0 6.2 6 3 3 0 2 7 85-52 5-8
SEP 21 @MIL 1 0 4.45 1 1 0 0 0 0 8.0 3 1 1 0 4 6 108-67 16-0
SEP 28 HOU 0 0 4.31 1 1 0 0 0 0 6.0 7 2 2 0 1 8 104-73 5-3

Granted, he was facing a lot of garbage in those starts, particularly the Pirates and D-bags. But the Brewers and Astros were both playing reasonably well at the time and Volquez made the lineup look like they were filled with damn fools, which, of course they were.

Troubling is my recollection of Volquez's debut on a big stage, the 2008 All Star Game. He pitched an inning and his stuff looked great, he was touching 98, but also gave up the go-ahead runs. The playoffs are, obviously, a much bigger deal and he does have his magic weave and weave cap. So, the Reds Rocket is predicting few walks and an overall dominating performance making us all forget how awesome Josh Hamilton has been this year. Yeah, I agreed with you at the time too Krivsky. I thought the debilitating effects of crack would break down his joints just like it has done to his soul. Facing Eddie, will be the Cy Young favorite, Halladay. One thing is for sure, Harry is a total asshole. Though, underneath the asshole exterior is a pitcher who can be touched, under the right circumstances. I will direct everyone to Exhibit A, his June 30 start against the Cincinnatians. The Reds hung around and finally took the lead in the 8th on a Bruce bomb, resulting in a Reds victory. Sure Harry pitched the full game and was real good but he still took home the loss. So, he can think about that for a while. On July 10, Travis Wood had the misfortune of facing him after the loss and Halladay was a little better. Actually quite a bit better. Instead of the 4 runs he gave the Reds, he opted to allow 0, striking out 9 and throwing a 9 inning, non-complete game. Wood matched him, as he was perfect through 8 and allowed only 1 hit through 9. So, beaten again Halladay, even though the Phills eventually won in extras.

So, we have two pitchers, with equivalent stuff making their first playoff appearance. Harry Halladay with all of the Phillies heavy petting going on sure seems to have all the pressure placed upon his dominant ass. The Reds Rocket is confident that he will buckle under that pressure and hand over Game 1 to the Dustifarians. Consider yourself waned Philladelphian. Why can't us, indeed.

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