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M2
04-07-2006, 12:13 PM
The Reds so far have been working pitchers to death and making offense look easy.

The danger in that is that we all know that it isn't easy. In fact, scoring runs is one of the hardest things to do in the game of baseball. And what an offense like Cincinnati's can do is create a weird type of relativism in a portion of the fan base.

It can create the expectation that seven runs a game has somehow become the standard for measuring this offense. Yet this club isn't going to 1,100 runs this season (seven a game would get 1,134). In fact, it's not going to score 1,000 runs this season and it's highly unlikely to score 900, which would be a franchise record.

So when the Reds score four or less runs, expect to hear that the bats are failing and that the offense needs to be fixed. If the Reds run into a good pitcher who shuts them down, expect to hear that the Reds aren't built to handle good pitching. Of course, that's an insane point to make. By definition no offense handles good pitching well. That's how you become a good pitcher, by consistently shutting down the other team.

This offense is a joy to watch, but no team gets to score at will. It will have off days. It will run into tough pitchers. There will be days where it can only deliver three or four runs and those will be games a team needs to win on a regular basis if it wants to be a legimate contender.

We saw last year how a good number of folks can build up false expectations about this offense and then use that to lambaste what is in fact the team's strength. My suggestion is that people instead appreciate how brutally destructive this offense can be because we won't always have it this good (scoring-wise) in the future.

Red Leader
04-07-2006, 12:24 PM
Did somebody say "score?"


http://www.junebughunter.net/images/beavis.jpg


Good post (as usual), M2.

TOBTTReds
04-07-2006, 12:33 PM
This is very true...here is a quote from someone in February about offense:


With the exception of someone like Dunn, offense grows on trees. If you're not a total idiot, you can field a contending offense year in and year out.

and here was my response, and I think it belongs in this thread too:


I disagree with this. You only feel it grows on trees because you are a Reds fans. You know Braves fans think good pitching grows on trees.

If offense grew on trees, the Astros would have dominated the world, and the Cubs would have made the playoffs.

I understand that the REDS could field a contending offense if we traded those guys, but even an ace-type pitcher wouldn't help this team be much better than .500 if our offense falls back this year.

The Brewers had an average offense (16th in runs scored), and above average pitching (10th in ERA) and still were .500.

GridironGrace
04-07-2006, 12:34 PM
Id settle for an avg of around 4 a game.

Thats a great avg.. and i know you cant do that every game.. but if you can AVG that and get the ERA around the same... your gonna win alot of ball games.

SteelSD
04-07-2006, 01:03 PM
Id settle for an avg of around 4 a game.

Thats a great avg.. and i know you cant do that every game.. but if you can AVG that and get the ERA around the same... your gonna win alot of ball games.

An average of 4 Runs per game from an offense would result in 648 Runs over the course of a season. The SF Giants scored 649 Runs in 2005 and were the second worst offensive team in baseball.

Score that many runs and post a 4.00 ERA and the most probable result is a losing record due to the accompanying Unearned Runs (add about 40 Runs Allowed).

BuckeyeRedleg
04-07-2006, 01:11 PM
4 runs a game only gives you 648 for the year.

The Reds haven't scored that few runs since the strike-shortened 1994 season and it takes going back to 1989, where they scored 632 (and went 75-87) to find a season under 648.

The Reds have managed to score 810+ runs (5+ per game) only three times in the past 28 years (1999 - 865, 2000 - 825, and 2005 - 820). As a matter of fact, the three most winniest seasons in the past 40 years (1975 - 108 wins, 1976 - 102 wins, and 1999 - 96 wins) the Reds have scored their three highest run totals as well in that span (840, 857, and 865 respectively).

So, even though it is only one run, there is a huge difference between 5 runs per game and 4. You average 5, you can win it all with decent pitching. You average 4 in today's game, you better have some horses in your rotation and gold glove defense around the horn. Heck, The BRM averaged 5.23 a game during their peak years in '75 and '76. If our offense puts runs on the board like last year, we are entering those waters the BRM treaded again. It's just we have really bad pitching.

It's a shame.

GridironGrace
04-07-2006, 01:28 PM
Ah.... i just think if u score 4 u should win. Not with our pitching but u should lol

What was our avg last season again?

Red Leader
04-07-2006, 01:30 PM
Ah.... i just think if u score 4 u should win. Not with our pitching but u should lol

What was our avg last season again?

Roughly 5.06 / game.

Johnny Footstool
04-07-2006, 01:33 PM
Offense is nice as long as the runs are "Win-Efficient".

westofyou
04-07-2006, 01:36 PM
CINCINNATI REDS
SEASON
MODERN (1900-)
RUNS vs. the league average displayed only--not a sorting criteria

RUNS YEAR R R
1 Reds 1999 865 10
2 Reds 1976 857 178
3 Reds 1975 840 147
T4 Reds 2000 825 -33
T4 Reds 1965 825 138
6 Reds 2005 820 64
T7 Reds 1962 802 35
T7 Reds 1977 802 67
9 Reds 1969 798 102
10 Reds 1987 783 16
11 Reds 1996 778 -16
12 Reds 1974 776 75
T13 Reds 1956 775 83
T13 Reds 1970 775 16
15 Reds 1939 767 34
16 Reds 1922 766 -46
T17 Reds 1959 764 55
T17 Reds 1903 764 74
19 Reds 1955 761 40
T20 Reds 1998 750 -30
T20 Reds 2004 750 -41

traderumor
04-07-2006, 01:39 PM
Ah, the 1903 squad...

TOBTTReds
04-07-2006, 01:43 PM
I would like it if we scored 5 a game and gave up 2...if my math is correct, we would have a winning record then.

SteelSD
04-07-2006, 01:45 PM
Ah.... i just think if u score 4 u should win. Not with our pitching but u should lol

What was our avg last season again?

5.03 Runs Scored per Game.

Keep in mind that, almost regardless of pitching quality, the bigger Win Probability swing is going to be at five Runs rather than four.

Here are the respective records for NL playoff teams last year at four and five Runs Scored:

4 Runs Scored:

Houston: 13-8
St. Louis: 15-12
Atlanta: 15-14
San Diego: 4-6

5 Runs Scored:

Houston: 8-7
St. Louis: 16-8
Atlanta: 15-10
San Diego: 14-8

In the AL...

4 Runs Scored:

Chicago WS: 15-6
Anaheim: 10-11
NY Yankees: 10-9
Boston: 7-13

5 Runs Scored:

Chicago WS: 20-8
Anaheim: 16-5
NY Yankees: 14-7
Boston: 12-6

westofyou
04-07-2006, 01:46 PM
Ah, the 1903 squad...
the war between the AL and the NL provided the Reds with some nifty players, in the end they had to throw Sam Crawford to the wolves to make nice during the peace agreement.

PickOff
04-07-2006, 01:55 PM
Interesting to note that while the Reds scored more runs than the Cardinals last year the Reds also scored 3 or LESS runs 16 more times than the Cardinals. Some will point this out to show that the Reds offense needs to focus more on Larussa style small ball.

TheGARB
04-07-2006, 02:01 PM
Interesting to note that while the Reds scored more runs than the Cardinals last year the Reds also scored 3 or LESS runs 16 more times than the Cardinals. Some will point this out to show that the Reds offense needs to focus more on Larussa style small ball.

Also interesting to note is that the Cardinals surrendered 3 or fewer runs 34 more times than the Reds last year. If Larussa style small ball would get the Reds that kind of pitching, I wouldn't be opposed to it. :D

lollipopcurve
04-07-2006, 02:06 PM
Agree with M2 here. The Reds, especially in GAB, are going to be a treat.

There's all kind of perspective-taking that helps sometimes.

For example, sometimes Reds pitchers are victimized by GAB. Looking at last night -- not that Rick White threw a great pitch to Doumit, but in most any other park that HR is a double, likely leaving runners on 2nd and 3rd and the score still 5-3. (I thought White threw quite well overall -- as opposed to Coffey on Wednesday, whose scoreless inning included some very obese offerings that Cub hitters just missed.)

RedsManRick
04-07-2006, 02:42 PM
Good posts M2 & Steel . To that point, and to Narron/Krivsky's credit, an offense built around solely OBP and power is more likely to lose those lower scoring games. Having a Womack on the bench so that down 4-3 in the 7th we can try and manufacture something makes a lot of sense. The problem becomes when you try to manufacture runs starting with the top of the first, Dusty Baker style.

Unfortunately, I don't have much confidence in Narron's ability to use the roster effectively. The White Sox experience last year sadly was touted as the triumph of "smart ball" when it should've been touted as the triumph of run prevention. With all their smart ball, they would run themselves out of a 3 run homer in the 3rd inning and then win by 1 with a sacrifice in the 9th.

Caveat Emperor
04-07-2006, 03:22 PM
Interesting to note that while the Reds scored more runs than the Cardinals last year the Reds also scored 3 or LESS runs 16 more times than the Cardinals. Some will point this out to show that the Reds offense needs to focus more on Larussa style small ball.

Also interesting to note that the Reds scored 6 runs and LOST the game 15 times last year.

Some will point this out to show how fixing anything on offense is completely secondary to finding someone who can make outs in the pitching staff. Some will also point out that if 10 of those games were wins instead of losses, the Reds would've finished with a winning record last year.

It's all about the pitching -- always has been, always will be.

M2
04-07-2006, 03:25 PM
Also interesting to note that the Reds scored 6 runs and LOST the game 15 times last year.

Some will point this out to show how fixing anything on offense is completely secondary to finding someone who can make outs in the pitching staff. Some will also point out that if 10 of those games were wins instead of losses, the Reds would've finished with a winning record last year.

It's all about the pitching -- always has been, always will be.

Bingo.

I also love that signature line you've got.

Blimpie
04-07-2006, 03:30 PM
Also interesting to note that the Reds scored 6 runs and LOST the game 15 times last year.That, my friend, is "mess your pants" scary...

PickOff
04-07-2006, 03:38 PM
It's all about the pitching -- always has been, always will be.

You'd have to be a fool to think that the Reds can compete without a huge improvement in the area of pitching. Clearly, that is where the large majority of the attention should be focused.

However, one can't just ignore stats that may reveal to you what you don't want to hear. Examine them, decide if they are relevant, and look for ways to improve.

KronoRed
04-07-2006, 03:43 PM
Great stuff M@

Will FREEL / DENORFIA '06 be on my ballot? :D

M2
04-07-2006, 04:17 PM
However, one can't just ignore stats that may reveal to you what you don't want to hear. Examine them, decide if they are relevant, and look for ways to improve.

True, except folks have looked over the stats you mentioned and they are largely irrelevant. The Reds finished second to the Cardinals in the stat you mentioned. It wasn't that the Reds were inconsistent, it was that the Cardinals were freakishly consistent.

The only real takeaway from those numbers would be that the Reds could be more like the Cardinals if the team BA was 10 points higher and the team speed were a little better. Yet the GAB is tough on singles and if the franchise pursued a higher BA and more speed, it likely would come at the expense of the OB and SLG that's driving the engine. Plus, as the club gets younger (thanks to the establishment of guys like Lopez, Encarnacion and hopefully Denorfia), that hopefully will add some dynamism to the mix.

Johnny Footstool
04-07-2006, 04:18 PM
To that point, and to Narron/Krivsky's credit, an offense built around solely OBP and power is more likely to lose those lower scoring games.

How so?


However, one can't just ignore stats that may reveal to you what you don't want to hear. Examine them, decide if they are relevant, and look for ways to improve.

You also can't simply look at one or two stats and make sweeping assumptions.

To address your point about the Reds offense failing to score 4 runs compared to the Cardinals last season, well, there are a lot more questions to ask before one jumps to the conclusion that "small-ball" is the key, including:

-How did other teams perform in that regard last season and in previous seasons?
-How did the Reds perform in that regard in previous seasons?
-How many of those games actually included opportunities to use "small ball" tactics?
-How many of those opportunities did the Reds attempt to capitalize on?
-How many times would 4 runs instead of 3 have given the Reds an opportunity to tie or win?

There's plenty of research we would need to do before we come up with a conclusion.