2012 Post-season / 2012 Reds

For better or worse, the rotation is set for the Division Series

Make of this what you will:

“We’ve been planning this for a while. It didn’t take a genius to see how we planned it,” Baker said on Tuesday. “What you see is what it is right now.”

Judging by the current rotation — it’s Johnny Cueto, Bronson Arroyo and Mat Latos for the first three games.

Would they use four starters?

If they decide to go with four starters, you have to imagine that Homer Bailey will be waiting in the wings to take that start.

So…what about the decision to start Arroyo in game two, rather than Latos? Bizarre, no? You all know that I’m an unabashed member of the Bronson Arroyo Fan Club, but I don’t see any legitimate reason to start Arroyo over Latos. If they only go with three starters, wouldn’t you rather have Cueto and Latos pitching two games each (if the series goes five)?

I imagine Dusty’s reasoning has something to do with “splitting up the hard throwers.” Perhaps it has something to do with Arroyo’s post-season experience (ignore the post-season ERA of 6.04, please). Heck, they probably have a bunch of other reasons too, reasons to which I’m not privy. On the surface, however, it seems awfully strange.

One can only hope that Dusty re-thinks the rotation for the NLCS (assuming the Reds get there). I want Cueto and Latos being the two hammers at the top of the rotation, getting two starts per series, if necessary. I don’t think that’s too outlandish a request. After all, Cueto and Latos are the two best starters on the team, right?

115 thoughts on “For better or worse, the rotation is set for the Division Series

  1. I don’t get that. Wouldn’t you rather “risk” Bronson on the mound with the series tied 1-1, rather than have to count on Latos to win with the series down 0-2? … Granted, if Cueto wins Game 1, this is all out the window anyway and Game 3 is truly the pivotal game as referenced, but if not, I’d like to take the best step toward not falling behind 0-2 in the first place …

    Game 2 would be Sunday? That would keep Latos on his fifth day, for what that’s worth. I would expect Arroyo could handle an extra day or two off a little better than the less veteran-y Latos………..Anyway, whatever works, count me in.

  2. NLDS Series A Schedule (game times reliable but not guaranteed; times Eastern and based on published TV slots; times could vary based on how long other series last and geographic considerations)

    Game 1
    Sat., Oct. 6
    at San Francisco
    6:00 or 9:30

    Game 2
    Sun., Oct. 7
    at San Francisco
    3:30, 7:00, or 10:30

    Game 3
    Tue., Oct. 9
    at Cincinnati
    6:00*

    Game 4 (if necessary)
    Wed., Oct. 10
    at Cincinnati
    3:30, 7:00, or 10:30

    Game 5 (if necessary)
    Thu., Oct. 11
    at Cincinnati
    time TBD

    *could be moved an hour earlier if the ALDS game the same night is played in Eastern time zone

  3. is tonight’s lineup out yet? i’d be curious who plays and who sits now that there is genuinely nothing to play for ……

  4. Wait, does that say Game 4 could start at 10:30 p.m. Cincinnati time?!? That would be ridiculous.

    • Wait, does that say Game 4 could start at 10:30 p.m. Cincinnati time?!?That would be ridiculous.

      There is a 10:30 slot that night, and I should have deleted it as a possibility for a Reds home game. There is also a noon slot, but I doubt they’d make SF play that early in Pacific time.

    • @renbutler: I think 7:00 would be a realistic time for that game with 3:30 being the other choice.

      Even after a half hour of research, I think I still messed up the slots.

      On Wed., Oct. 10, the published TV slots are noon (MLBN), 6:00 (TBS), and 9:30 (TBS). There is a chance they’ll need a fourth slot that day, which would probably mean a 2:30 start on TBS.

      That means the Reds would probably start at 2:30 or 6:00, with a major east-coast team in primetime at 9:30.

      • That means the Reds would probably start at 2:30 or 6:00, with a major east-coast team in primetime at 9:30.

        6 would be preferred. 2:30 means big trouble for me.

        Also, nice avatar. On websites where I have a stronger presence, I’ve been using Fry as my avatar for more than 10 years.

        • Also, nice avatar.On websites where I have a stronger presence, I’ve been using Fry as my avatar for more than 10 years.

          Thanks, but that’s actually my 10th-grade yearbook photo.

          :lol:

  5. I really hope it’s 7. Man, I didn’t realize the level of flexibility required of ticket-holders.

  6. By the way, they should probably release the actual times for all series tonight, unless the Yankees and Orioles need a tiebreaker tomorrow. I hope they don’t wait to see who wins the wild card games before releasing game times. But, with the Yankees potentially involved, you know they’ll want to show their games in primetime as much as possible, so who knows?

  7. All that matters now is that someone produce Cueto and Arroyo’s splits vs. the Giants this year and/or career, especially at AT&T. You know they’ll see Cain and Lincecum in the first two games as part of that “home-field advantage” in the NLDS. And it means that with the way this team is hitting now, there’s another fairly decent chance of getting no-hit in the playoffs.

    • All that matters now is that someone produce Cueto and Arroyo’s splits vs. the Giants this year and/or career, especially at AT&T. You know they’ll see Cain and Lincecum in the first two games as part of that “home-field advantage” in the NLDS. And it means that with the way this team is hitting now, there’s another fairly decent chance of getting no-hit in the playoffs.

      Lincecum has an ERA over 5 and probably won’t even be in the Giants rotation for the playoffs. They’ll see Cain and Bumgarner in the first 2 games.

  8. Eh, this is just one of those things I’ve given up worrying about. It’s the same thing as never having Votto/Bruce hitting back to back. It was always gonna be this way. Win, and the various parameters of this decision don’t matter.

    It’s Dustyball. He should write a book.

    • Talk about assuming things you have no way of knowing…they acquired Latos to pitch big games and every 5th day—who told you that, Walt Jocketty?

      Jocketty has referred to Latos many times since the trade as a co-ace or a 1-2 punch with Johnny Cueto and a guy to help the Reds in the playoffs. Listening to interviews was key.

      Bryan Price and the Reds have always been concerned about overworking young pitching which makes it unlikely that Latos is a candidate to pitch on 3 days rest. If he can’t pitch on 3 days rest there’s not necessarily a big advantage to using him in game 2. Watch the Reds and you’ll notice trends sometimes.

      What makes no sense is to say that (a) you want Latos pitching game 3 and not Arroyo if they are down 0-2, and at the same time (b) based on that you don’t want Latos pitching game 2 and Arroyo game 3.What?Is Latos somehow going to be different in game 3 than game 2?Will Arroyo be different in game 2 or game 3?

      Every playoff game is a big game.To say you are saving Latos for game 3 because it’s pivotal, whereas game 2 isn’t pivotal, is just a fallacy.

      A lot of these issues are obviously a matter of personal opinion, but the Reds have a made a decision whether you like it or not. I say I’m fine with Latos pitching game 3 and there’s logic to it if you consider the options. If you’re blindly set on another opinion, oh well.

      Eh, this is just one of those things I’ve given up worrying about.It’s the same thing as never having Votto/Bruce hitting back to back.It was always gonna be this way.Win, and the various parameters of this decision don’t matter.

      It’s Dustyball.He should write a book.

      Let Bryan Price contribute to the chapter on managing pitchers. He must play a big role in this decision, which I keep pointing out.

  9. I don’t like Cain and Bumgarner, either. The Giants aren’t a great lineup, either, but I guess the biggest thing to hope for is that the batting order starts to wake up come elimination time.

  10. @redsfanman: I’m sure there exists logic, but logic isn’t “the big game pitcher will pitch well in game 3 but not in game 2, and you don’t want the other guy pitching in game 3 because he’s not a big game pitcher, so pitch him in game 2.”

    • @redsfanman: I’m sure there exists logic, but logic isn’t “the big game pitcher will pitch well in game 3 but not in game 2, and you don’t want the other guy pitching in game 3 because he’s not a big game pitcher, so pitch him in game 2.”

      The logic is that they’ve labeled Cueto and Latos as co-aces and have worked out a way so that one of them will start game 1 of the NLDS, the other will pitch the home opener for the NLDS (game 3), and one pitches game 1 of the NLCS (Cueto if the NLDS goes 3 or 4 games, Latos if the NLDS goes 5 games). Bronson Arroyo will pitch in San Francisco, where it’s tougher to give up homeruns. Don’t like it? Too bad.

      I’m just wondering what’s all the fuss is about? Their not going to pitch Latos or Arroyo on three day rest anyway. By some of the comments here it’s a forgone conclusion that Arroyo will lose, so if that’s the case what does it matter if he loses game 2 or 3. Dusty gets the most credit as manager for knowing & relating to his players, & putting them it the best position to succeed. Let him & his coaches manage. We’regetting bent out of shape & the first pitch hasn’t been thrown yet.

      Some people like fuss and are determined to disprove Dusty and his coaches. I agree they’re not going to pitch Latos or Arroyo on three days rest, but people want them to do that anyway (with Latos), and for the rotation to be planned accordingly (pitching Latos in game 2). You’ll notice that most evaluations of Dusty’s rotation are worst case scenarios. You’d think the Reds have already lost the 2012 NLDS from the outlook of fans.

      Big News tonight -
      Mark Sheldon reported that Dusty Baker confirmed that Homer Bailey is scheduled to pitch game 4 of the NLDS.

  11. On the flip side, say they win the first two in S.F., then you have a chance to drop the hammer with Latos at home in Game three. Also, you don’t have to worry about throwing Arroyo at GASP, where he has a greater chance of giving up home runs. From that standpoint, I’d rather do whatever is necessary to make sure Arroyo and Bailey don’t start at home. Latos and Cueto can start anywhere. But since winning on the road is key in the playoffs, I like the idea of Arroyo and Cueto starting in S.F. Arroyo is a lot tougher if he isn’t going to be giving up homers.

    • On the flip side, say they win the first two in S.F., then you have a chance to drop the hammer with Latos at home in Game three. Also, you don’t have to worry about throwing Arroyo at GASP, where he has a greater chance of giving up home runs. From that standpoint, I’d rather do whatever is necessary to make sure Arroyo and Bailey don’t start at home. Latos and Cueto can start anywhere. But since winning on the road is key in the playoffs, I like the idea of Arroyo and Cueto starting in S.F. Arroyo is a lot tougher if he isn’t going to be giving up homers.

      It could very well work out for the best that way, but that big ballpark can give up lots of gap shots, too, even though it keeps balls from going over the fence. I hope it works, and I’ve been known to worry about Bronson pitching at home as well, just saying I can see dropping the Cueto-Latos “hammer” before the Reds even return home. And if we get a win in three or four games, both of those guys are then ready to start the LCS. Anyway, San Fran awaits. Good luck to us all.

  12. I’m much more comfortable knowing there will be balls hit in the gap where Stubbs, Bruce and Heisey can run them down rather than over the fence at GASP. If the ball is in play, the Reds have the advantage, period.

    • Could someone tell me what days the games will be? especially the 2nd home game so i can get off of work? (the only game i have tickets too)

      I posted the schedule above if you want to see it. The times are educated guesses.

      The second home game will be Wed. Oct. 10. I’ll see you there! 8)

  13. I’m just wondering what’s all the fuss is about? Their not going to pitch Latos or Arroyo on three day rest anyway. By some of the comments here it’s a forgone conclusion that Arroyo will lose, so if that’s the case what does it matter if he loses game 2 or 3. Dusty gets the most credit as manager for knowing & relating to his players, & putting them it the best position to succeed. Let him & his coaches manage. We’re getting bent out of shape & the first pitch hasn’t been thrown yet.

  14. @redsfanman: you’re just not making any sense. i don’t know what you’re even arguing, since i’m just posting facts.

    Reds Starters September ERAs:

    Bailey 2.01
    Latos 2.27
    Arroyo 3.00
    Cueto 4.33
    Leake 5.48

    Even if you take out the no-hitter, and I don’t know why you would, Bailey’s ERA would be 2.52 and he’d still be the Reds second best starter in the last month.

    If you read my post, all I said was that if the Reds are going to go with 3 starters, I think Bailey should be one of them because of his recent numbers.

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