The Cincinnati Reds haven’t been playing their best lately, but
they’re still in position to advance to the postseason for the
first time in 15 years. Right-hander Edinson Volquez would like to
be in the playoff rotation should that happen.
Volquez looks for a third straight quality start Tuesday night
when the NL Central-leading Reds try to win their seventh in a row
against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Despite losing 11 of 19 in September, Cincinnati (85-66) owns a
seven-game divisional lead over St. Louis. The Reds’ magic number
dropped to six following Monday’s 5-2 victory at Miller Park.
“They want it badly, and some of the guys need a rest badly,
like Joey (Votto) in particular,” said Reds manager Dusty Baker.
“He’s operating on fumes, but perhaps we’ll win tomorrow and (the
Cardinals) lose and then maybe I can give him a day off on
Wednesday. He’s dragging.”
It’s hard to tell. Votto, who is tied for second in the NL with
35 homers after hitting a two-run shot Monday, is batting .359
while hitting safely in 10 straight.
He is hitting .444 (8 for 18) with two homers and five RBIs in
four games at Miller Park this season.
Looking for their first series win on the road since Aug. 20-22,
the Reds are hoping for another solid outing from Volquez (3-3,
With the first two playoff starts likely going to Bronson Arroyo
and Johnny Cueto, Volquez has been making a strong case for the
third spot. Since being called up from Class-A Dayton, he is 0-1
with a 1.98 ERA in two starts.
“They haven’t made (out) the (playoff) roster yet. We’ll see
what Dusty’s got,” Volquez told the Reds’ official website after
yielding three runs in 6 2-3 innings of Thursday’s 3-1 loss to
Volquez, who returned in July after missing nearly a year
following Tommy John surgery, is 2-1 with a 6.84 ERA in five career
starts against Milwaukee. Making his first road start in nearly 14
months, he walked four and lasted just 3 2-3 innings in a 12-4
victory at Miller Park on July 27.
Milwaukee (69-80) continues its final homestand of the season
with Dave Bush (7-12, 4.75) on the mound.
The veteran right-hander will look to finish stronger than he
did in Wednesday’s 8-6, 10-inning victory in Houston. Bush was
perfect through four innings but was tagged for six runs in the
“It was kind of strange really,” manager Ken Macha said. “Bush
had four perfect innings and then he just couldn’t stop what was
going on there.”
Bush, who faces Cincinnati for the first time this season, is
2-4 with a 7.07 ERA in 12 starts versus the Reds.
He should be careful pitching to Drew Stubbs, who hit his 20th
homer Monday and is batting .360 with five home runs and 13 RBIs in
the last 14 games.
Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun, who is batting .373 with four
homers and 13 RBIs in his last 14 games, has five hits in 13
at-bats against Volquez.
Cincinnati has won eight of nine versus Milwaukee this