There's a possibility that Sunday's results could help manager Dusty Baker make up his mind regarding his rotation for the playoffs. Aaron Harang, Sunday's starter, is still fighting for a playoff-roster spot -- and a strong outing on Sunday could possibly influence Baker. Edinson Volquez, who was originally slated to start on Sunday, was named the Reds' NLDS Game 1 starter, pushing him out of the season finale start.
Harang, who hasn't pitched in a game since Sept. 22nd after being struck by a liner in Milwaukee, is fine now. Despite the possibility of not making the roster, Harang isn't overly concerned at this point.
"I haven't heard anything," Harang said. "There's nothing I can really do about it. It's up to Dusty [Baker], Bryan Price and Walt Jocketty to figure out the best possible players to take."
While Baker hinted on Sunday that many of the decisions had already been made, the manager indicated that the rotation was a particularly hard choice -- because someone deserving would be left out.
"That's why it's such a tough decision. How do you pick three out of the five?" Baker said. "It's easier and the rest of the guys on the team understand when you've got [Roy] Halladay, [Cole] Hamels and [Roy] Oswalt. They've got three No. 1's. We've got some guys [who] will be No. 1's."The Reds will be scoreboard watching on Sunday to find out who they will face in the NLDS. The Reds will either face the NL West winner or Philly. If the Braves secure the Wild Card, that locks the Reds into a series with the Phillies. Otherwise, they will play the winner of the West division.
Watching the Reds prepare for the postseason, the Brewers have every aspiration of getting there in 2011. And if their offensive output in 2010 is any indication, they very well could. With Ryan Braun (103), Corey Hart (100) and Casey McGehee (101) all topping the century mark in runs batted in, the talent is there.
"Our goal is not just to be competitive, it's to get back to the postseason," Braun said. "There's no doubt the potential's there to get back where we want to be."
Brewers: Wolf goes in the finale
Left-hander Randy Wolf gets the call in the season finale for manager Ken Macha. Wolf has allowed just four runs in his last four starts combined. He had a 1.47 ERA in the month of September -- which is good news for the Brewers, who will look to the veteran Wolf to fill an important role in their rotation next season. With a seven-inning effort on Sunday, Wolf will tie his career-high for innings pitched at 114 1/3 innings.
Reds: Votto, Rolen sit on Saturday
NL MVP candidate Joey Votto got Saturday off against the Brewers, after turning in a 1-for-7 stretch in his last two games. Manager Dusty Baker wasn't overly concerned at all, but thought a day off might give his slugger a chance to regroup a bit with the playoffs on the way. Votto, batting .355 in his last 10 games, hasn't struggled for any extended stretch all season. Baker did say that Votto would be back in the lineup on Sunday, along with Scott Rolen and most of the regulars for about the first five innings -- as was the case on Saturday. "I'll try to play some of the guys, especially guys that have a chance to play on the playoff roster, and get them some at-bats," Baker said.
The Brewers will try to tack one more win onto their season record vs. the Reds, which currently sits at 3-10. ... Milwaukee is 7-3 in their last 10 games. ... With one more stolen base, Drew Stubbs will become just the ninth player in club history to hit 20 home runs and tally 30 stolen bases in a single season.
Sun, 10/3 1:10 PM ET
Bruce wields hot bat at right time
Jay Bruce's third homer in two days proved to be the difference as Cincinnati heads into the postseason with momentum. Corey Hart accounted for Milwaukee's scoring with a two-run double off Aaron Harang.
|Hart, C, RF||5||0||3||2||0||1||2||.283|
|Escobar, A, SS||2||0||0||0||1||1||2||.235|
|Parra, M, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.176|
1-Ran for Weeks in the 5th.
|Phillips, B, 2B||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||.275|
|Cabrera, O, SS||3||1||1||0||0||0||0||.263|
|Gomes, J, LF||3||0||2||1||0||0||0||.266|
|Nix, L, LF||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.291|
|Hernandez, Ra, C||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||.297|
|b-Miller, C, PH-C||2||0||0||0||0||1||2||.243|
2B: Hart, C (34, Harang).
TB: Gomez; Hart, C 4; McGehee; Cain; Wolf.
RBI: Hart, C 2 (102).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: McGehee; Wolf 2; Escobar, A; Hart, C.
SAC: Escobar, A.
GIDP: Hart, C.
Team RISP: 1-for-10.
Team LOB: 9.
SB: Gomez (18, 2nd base off Cordero/Miller, C), Cain (7, 2nd base off Burton/Miller, C).
CS: Hart, C (6, home by Chapman/Miller, C).
2B: Votto (36, Wolf), Cairo (12, Wolf).
HR: Bruce (25, 4th inning off Wolf, 0 on, 1 out).
TB: Cabrera, O; Votto 2; Cairo 2; Gomes, J 2; Bruce 5; Stubbs; Heisey; Hernandez, Ra.
RBI: Votto (113), Gomes, J (86), Bruce (70).
2-out RBI: Gomes, J.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Stubbs; Valaika 2; Bloomquist; Francisco; Miller, C 2.
Team RISP: 1-for-8.
Team LOB: 9.
SB: Stubbs (30, 3rd base off Wolf/Kottaras).
Pitches-strikes: Wolf 124-86, Parra, M 15-9, Harang 41-23, Ondrusek 11-6, Maloney 39-22, Chapman 16-9, Rhodes 12-6, Burton 6-3, Cordero 11-8.
Groundouts-flyouts: Wolf 6-8, Parra, M 1-1, Harang 1-2, Ondrusek 2-0, Maloney 2-3, Chapman 0-1, Rhodes 1-0, Burton 0-0, Cordero 0-0.
Batters faced: Wolf 31, Parra, M 5, Harang 11, Ondrusek 3, Maloney 13, Chapman 3, Rhodes 3, Burton 1, Cordero 4.
Inherited runners-scored: Ondrusek 1-0, Burton 1-0.
Umpires: HP: Mike DiMuro. 1B: Sam Holbrook. 2B: Bill Welke. 3B: Tim Welke.
Weather: 51 degrees, overcast.
Wind: 14 mph, Out to RF.
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media