Insert Wood pun here

20 06 2011

Who’s the most frustrating pitcher in the Reds rotation right now?  Most people would say Edinson Volquez, I suppose, with his electrifying stuff but his seeming inability to keep his head in the game.  I’d accept that as an answer without too much argument.

My pick is tonight’s starter Travis Wood.  I can recall listening to last year’s perfect game bid from Travis against the Phillies.  His line over the first eight innings was flawless – no runs, no hits, no walks, eight strikeouts.  A lead off double in the ninth blew el perfecto, but Travis retired the next three batters and ended his night with a no decision.  The Reds would lose in ten.

It was Travis at his best, and while he wasn’t always that great, there were some who argued Travis should start in the NLCS against the Phillies as well.  Instead he mopped up the mess that Volquez created in game one, pitching 3 1/3 of shutout ball while striking out three.

This year, however, Travis has been befuddling.  His walk rate is up and he’s allowing more base hits as well.  His WHIP this year is 1.52, an increase over last year’s stellar 1.09.  The extra 1/2 base runner an inning has led to an above 5.00 ERA.  He even walked five Dodgers last go round in a six inning start, yet was able to tight-rope out of the game allowing only one run and earn the win.

Clearly Travis isn’t going to post a seasonal WHIP near 1 for a full season like he did in last year’s seventeen start debut.   But if he walks five Yankees, the game will be over before the fifth inning I’d say.  While Travis could escape the Giants and the Dodgers, neither one of those teams can hit worth a like when compared to New York.  Here’s hoping he’s back to 2010 form starting tonight.

*ADDED*  I knew I would forget to mention that is card came, with a bunch of others, from the Dog Faced Gremlin.  Not the wrestler, the blogger.  At least I think not the wrestler…  i’ll have more from this package in the week ahead.  I think.

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