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Nationals and Reds set their NLDS rotations

Oct 2, 2012, 8:34 PM EDT

gonzalez, cueto getty Getty Images

They don’t yet know who they’ll be facing, but the Nationals and Reds have set their NLDS rotations.

According to Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington, the Nats will go with Gio Gonzalez in Game 1, Jordan Zimmermann in Game 2, then either Edwin Jackson or Ross Detwiler in Game 3.

Gonzalez, a candidate for the NL Cy Young Award, was an obvious choice for Nationals manager Davey Johnson. The left-hander posted a fantastic 2.89 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 32 regular-season starts for the NL East champions, fanning 207 batters in 199 1/3 innings. He’ll match up well against anyone.

For the Reds, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer, it’ll be Johnny Cueto in Game 1, Bronson Arroyo in Game 2 and Mat Latos in Game 3. Homer Bailey will be available for a potential Game 4.

Cueto was also an easy pick. He had a 2.78 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 170/49 K/BB ratio in 217 frames this year.

  1. urdoingitwrongreds - Oct 2, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    Not sure why the Reds would rather have Arroyo make 2 NLDS starts over Latos if they use a 3 man staff. Latos has had a 2.70 ERA the last 3 months.

    • stoutfiles - Oct 2, 2012 at 9:03 PM

      1) Arroyo has more playoff experience and won’t get jitters.

      2) Latos has an ERA of over 4 on the road, compared to around 3 at home.

      3) Arroyo and Latos won’t be starting twice. Homer Bailey would pitch Game 4, and Cueto would pitch Game 5.

      • urdoingitwrongreds - Oct 2, 2012 at 9:12 PM

        They said they most likely wont use Bailey. “Generally, you only use three starters in the first round”

        So yea most likely Arroyo will start 2 games. Hard to really argue that Arroyo is a better pitcher than Latos no matter where they are pitching.

      • jm91rs - Oct 3, 2012 at 8:45 AM

        ” Homer Bailey will be available for a potential Game 4.”

        So yes, as you said they will be using Bailey. We’ll probably know after he pitches tonight if that’s a good idea or not

  2. dcfan4life - Oct 2, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    Jackson got shelled his last outting, but detweiler didnt fare that much better either in his last start. Id expect it to be Jackson cuz of his experience, with possibly a short leash for either detweiler or gorzalanny in game 3.

    • natstowngreg - Oct 3, 2012 at 12:44 AM

      Detwiler in Game 3 if it’s the Braves, because of their lefty-heavy lineup. Jackson in Game 3 if it’s the Cards. According to Davey, cited by Zuckerman.

  3. metalhead65 - Oct 2, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    latos owns the giants and bailey pitches much better on the road than at home but can’t go against the book of dusty no matter how much it goes against common sense.

  4. baseballisboring - Oct 3, 2012 at 5:03 AM

    Ugh, leave it to Dusty to pick the Playoff Veteran over the better pitcher.

  5. mrredlegz - Oct 3, 2012 at 5:53 AM

    Ugh. Bailey usually gets shelled at GABP. I’d go Cueto, Bailey, Latos. But what do I know?

    • jm91rs - Oct 3, 2012 at 8:53 AM

      I think there’s something to this. It’s all mental at this point, but Bailey just can’t pitch here. Asked why he’s better on the road he recently said something to the effect of “because I don’t pitch in a little league park when I’m on the road”. If he can’t get that out of his head I don’t like the idea of him pitching in any home playoff games. Let’s hope his first start isn’t until the NLCS on the road.

      I do have a problem with Arroyo over Latos when Latos is probably pitching better than anyone on the staff.

      Maybe after round 1 (hoping there is an NLCS for the reds), they’ll shuffle it around and get the order right.

  6. zeus250 - Oct 3, 2012 at 9:15 AM

    Guys, I think the idea to use this pitching order is two-fold…using Cueto, Arroyo, and Latos keeps hitters off balance. Power-pitcher, soft-baller, power-pitcher. Also, like Bronson or not, he does have playoff experience. I wouldn’t have Bailey pitch anywhere neat Great American Small-Park if it was up to me…but we all know Dusty will do whatever “the book” says he should do.

    • amunoz78 - Oct 3, 2012 at 9:38 AM

      I understand managers say that the “power-soft-power” thing keeps hitters off balance, but it’s not like they’re switching it up pitch-by-pitch or inning-by-inning. These guys have 21 hours to wind down, sleep, wake up, spend all day doing whatever it is they do, and go through a pre-game routine. Is a different pitcher type really going to have an effect?

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