Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Oswalt once again

Reds killer Roy Oswalt(24-1 against he Reds) takes the mound tonight to stop the Reds streak. After a rough series against the Phillies last week, the Reds turned it around to win 3 of the past 4 games including taking the battle of Ohio against the Indians. Here is a quick roundup of how the season has gone and what to look forward to.

Record: The Reds are 24-20, 3rd place in the Central and 2.5 games behind the Brewers for first place. They are +7 in run differential which puts their record right about what you would expect a team with that difference to be. Two games remain against the 'Stros before a pivital 10 game stretch, 3 in Mil, 4 in STL, and 3 at home against the Cubs. Should be a fun few weeks to see how the team will handle the big strech of games, most in tough surroundings.

Batting: Joey Votto is leading the NL in batting average. That includes everyone, Ty Cobb Pujols and all. Jay Bruce has found his power stroke having already hit 12 homers. The rest of the team are hitting and getting on base, with Alex Gonzalez the only regular player who has an OBP under .335. He started awful but has begun to find his swing which could be a big lift. The bench is also hitting, with Nix, Gomes, and Rosales all hitting well in limited roles. Phillips learning to take a pitch has helped improve his OPS+ to 110. Other then the hole at SS and lack of power at 3B(.329 slg) and LF(.331 slg), the bats have done better then expected. The new acquisitions have been doing very well with Hernandez having a .295/.363/.388 and 94 OPS+ and Taveras .274/.335/.348 and 77 OPS+. Taveras has stolen 12 bases while only being caught twice. Both have played above average defense and have proven to be solid everyday players.

Pitching: The strength coming into the season has held strong. The pitchers have all been solid, even with an injury sending Volquez to the DL and Arroyo having his annual blowup game. The Reds are 3rd in the NL in ERA+ and 5th in WHIP. The bullpen has only blown one save chance and, for the most part, kept the Reds in the game. Lincoln has been terrible all year and Burton has yet to find his form but the rest of the team has been great, including Masset, the pitcher acquired last season for Ken Griffey Jr.

Outlook: The Reds are in great position. They are 4 above .500 after 44 games, the best in a while. The upcoming 2 weeks will determine a lot. My prediction: Dusty finds a way to screw it up and the Reds fall back to .500. I hope I am wrong but I think I am right.

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