Thursday, June 26, 2008

Reds win, more thoughts

The Reds needed that win last night. They rebounded after being embarrassed and a win tonight would be two straight road series wins heading to Cleveland who just lost to Barry Zito and the Giants. Ouch. Also, after facing two good pitchers in Halladay and Burnett they get a young pitcher with an ERA over 4 and a WHIP of 1.4 against lefthanded batters, something the Reds have a lot of. I think the Reds win tonight and go into Cleveland on a roll to face the now last place Indians.

An answer to the comment about last night's post: The commenter did cherry-pick some stats but a quick check of the NL East and Central, the NL West is terrible, shows that the Reds are 9th out of 11 in OPS on 2-0 counts. Only the Brewers and Nationals have a lower OPS on 2-0 counts.

Also, the Reds have a great pitches per plate appearance thanks to Dunn, the player I stated yesterday they have to keep long term. If he leaves with Griffey, who is all but gone already, the Reds would be dead last in pitches per plate appearance. Also, those two learned discipline long before Dusty got here. I sense a lot of first pitch swinging next season if Dunn and Griffey are gone.

The offense, overall, has been horrible, at least by Reds standards. Normally the Reds are near the top of the league in runs scored. Not this year. The big failure has come with RISP and two outs. They are hitting .197/.322/.308/76 OPS+. Awful. Another odd stat is the Reds are actually worse the second time through the lineup then they are the first. This means the pitcher is making better adjustments then the hitters because their OPS+ goes from 98 to 80. I blame some of that on coaching, or lack there of.

The pitching, outside of Volquez, has been rough. Harang and Arroyo, the presumed top two in the rotation entering the season, are a combined 7-17 with ERA+'s of 99 and 68. Not great numbers from your ace and #2 starter. The bullpen is 15th in ERA, much better than previous years, but the starters are 26th. The starters need to pick it up for this team to have any chance this year.

If the Reds win tonight and sweep in Cleveland, all may not be lost. But losing tonight and a losing series this weekend would all but end it.That's alright. Only 63 days until college football starts.

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