Must wins don’t come along too often in a baseball season. Certainly never in the first half of the season like some fans think.
But after yesterday’s shut-out, no-hit loss to the Philadelphia Phillies, the Cincinnati Reds are facing their first legitimate must-win game in years.
Edinson Volquez probably wasn’t the best choice to start Game 1 of the best of 5 series. But it is nice that for Game 2, the Reds will have Bronson Arroyo to send to the mound. He’s been there before, pitching in the playoffs with the Boston Red Sox. And he’s had the best year of any of the Reds starters, one of the best of Arroyo’s career. I’ve never been his biggest fan, but there is some comfort that will come from having him pitching tomorrow.
The hitters will have to show up, too. They’ve now played one game with the loud, loud, loud Phillies crowd. Much like how the Reds crumbled under the pressure back when Brandon Phillips called the St. Louis Cardinals “little bitches”, they did not play loose and relaxed in the series opener. That one game is really all the time they’ll have to learn. Because if they lose tomorrow, they would have to win 3 straight to get past the Phillies. And you know Roy “Mr. No-hitter” Halladay would be starting again.
Instead, the Reds will be facing Roy Oswalt, who they have owned for the past year and a half. Things could go well, so long as Bad-rroyo doesn’t make an appearance.