As the Reds head into the home stretch of the season, they are still a ways away from "officially" clinching anything, but there's a bit of rumbling as it pertains to the potential postseason rotation.
Bronson Arroyo is clearly the guy you want on the mound in the first game of a series. No, he's not Roy Halladay, Ubaldo Jiminez, or Tim Lincecum, but I have strong confidence he would keep us in the game.
A game 2 starter would be Johnny Cueto. He deserves that honor for his fine work this season, assuming he doesn't completely blow up in his final five starts (or so) this season.
What about game 3?
Certainly, it's a nice problem to have, in comparison to past years. It's no longer about building some sort of momentum that we hope will carry into the following season.
It's about the here and now. It's about October.
Seeing as how Aaron Harang and Edinson Volquez have played themselves out of the mix, the only likely candidates at this point would be Homer Bailey and Travis Wood.
Everyone who watches the Reds knows about Homer Bailey. His stuff is electric, no doubt about it.
With him, though, it's always "yeah, but" or "however...."
We saw it in his last start. He had a bulldog mentality, with a competitive zeal that is downright nasty, but sometimes, he lets that gets the best of him.
Ryan Hanigan and Ramon Hernandez have been outstanding behind the plate. Trust the signals they throw down.
The other candidate is Travis Wood. His last start in St. Louis, one in which he allowed one unearned run in seven innings, puts him in the conversation.
His past few starts prior to that were struggles, and there was talk about him having hit a rookie "wall," but he put that to bed on Saturday.
What I really like about Wood is his demeanor. He doesn't get rattled.
He also owns left handed hitters, who are only batting .111 against him with zero extra base hits. Something to keep in mind should the Reds happen to face a lefty dominated lineup such as the Phillies.
Right now, I would say Travis Wood leads the race, but there is still a month to decide things. Each start they make from here on out is not only important for the team, but serves as an audition for them as well.
Who will it be? Stay tuned.