Volquez likely to get Game 1 start for Royals
KANSAS CITY -- There has been no announcement yet, but all signs point toward the Royals starting right-hander Edinson Volquez in Game 1 of the World Series against the Mets on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET air time, 8 p.m. game time on FOX) at Kauffman Stadium.
While right-hander Yordano Ventura has essentially leapfrogged Volquez and right-hander Johnny Cueto as the team's ace, Ventura started Game 6 of the American League Championship Series on Friday and would have to come back on three days' rest to start Game 1 of the World Series.
Manager Ned Yost wasn't revealing his plans on Sunday, preferring to wait until Monday's Media Day to announce the Royals' rotation. Why wait?
"Because I'm being a little bit of a punk," Yost said.
Granted, Ventura pitched on three days' rest in the AL Division Series. But Volquez has been consistent this postseason -- 1-2 with a 4.32 ERA -- and he posted a masterful, six-inning scoreless effort against the Blue Jays in Game 1 of the ALCS.
If he gets the ball, Volquez will be opposed by right-hander Matt Harvey, and he believes he is up for the challenge.
"We have an important game to play, and it's going to be tough," Volquez said. "It won't be easy. They have a really good team over there, and we're going to do our best, especially playing at home."
Going with Volquez in Game 1 would have Ventura on his normal four days' rest for Game 2 on Wednesday, but Yost just might go with Johnny Cueto in that game. Cueto has had his problems on the road. He was awful in his last outing -- eight runs in two innings during a loss in Game 3 of the ALCS at Toronto. He was serenaded with chants of "Cueto! Cueto!" throughout and it may have rattled him, as it has in the past. And one can assume the fans in New York would be just as relentless.
During the regular season Cueto was 5-9 with a 3.80 ERA and 1.20 WHIP on the road, compared to 6-4 with a 2.96 ERA and 1.04 WHIP at home. Those aren't drastic splits, but at least on the road he would get to face a lineup with a pitcher (National League rules) batting once or twice.
On the other hand, Ventura came up big in Game 6 of the ALCS, giving up just one run in 5 1/3 innings against the Blue Jays.
"He was great," Volquez said of Ventura. "I told him before the game started, 'You don't have to go seven or eight innings tonight, just go five or six innings and the bullpen is going to take care of it.'
"He slowed it down a little bit. You know, he's got a lot of emotions. He's an emotional guy and he was able to calm himself down and pitch a very good game."
Right-hander Chris Young will round out the rotation in some manner. He was solid in Game 4 of the ALCS, giving up just two runs in 4 2/3 innings at Rogers Centre.