View Full Version : Winning and Losing - seasons within the Season

07-21-2008, 04:57 AM
The Reds season so far can be divided into 4 segments. The opening group of games had the team playing very poorly overall, shoddy defense, no offense, decent starting but a shaky bullpen. From Opening Day through the Atlanta series ending May 4th, the Reds were 12-20. I think Dusty Baker had little to no idea who could do what on the team or how to best utilize them and the team seemed to be pulling in different directions.

Then came the spurt from May 5th with the Cubs in GAB through June 1st at home ending with the sweep of Atlanta when the team ran off a 16-9 record and played erratic ball - sometimes looking very good but falling flat on the west coast trip that was sandwhiched in the middle of this group of games. At home the Reds were 13-2 but the road continued to hurt them, going 3-7 away from GAB. The home run offense designed for GAB was starting to kick it up a bit at home but they still weren't scoring on the road. Despite this, the bullpen begin to solidify but the infamous San Diego game is in this group and Harang's problems began in this group of games. Bruce arrived and was red hot helping kick the offense into gear. Injuries and erratic starting pitching and the offense going cold again (and Bruce becoming a normal rookie after his hot start) led into the next group of games.

From Jun 2nd to June 19th the Reds went 5-12. Harang pitched poorly, Arroyo pitched poorly, Bailey looked terrible, the offense was missing Kepp and Hairston, and Cabrera got hurt, Bako's bat fell into CPatt territory, Janish was up and down again and Bruce was playing like a young rookie. Every night it seemed there were two or three errors and nobody hit with men on base. They were struggling so much it's probably lucky they managed to win 5 games in this time frame. They even went 3-5 at home where they had been clobbering opponents at GAB before.

Finally beginning with the East Coast road trip and a grueling schedule of games just before and after the AS break against the Yanks, Jays, Indians, Cubs, Brewers, Pirates, Nats and Mets they began to play solid baseball and put things together a bit. They swept the bad Nationals as they should have, and played everyone else to a standstill and are 15-11 in the last 26 games. Over .500 in this stretch solely due to the sweep of the Nats but .500 against the remaining group of teams is solid performance. They went 5-4 on the road, and then went 3-3 for an 8-7 road record. They went 7-4 at home. They beat the poor team and split with the good ones. There's still room for big improvement as they blew at least 3 games in this group that they should have won.

Now they have 37 games ahead of them against some mediocre competition. I think the team has turned a corner as a team. The talent is still not entirely here but they are playing like a team lately, and although Dusty still defies understanding at times he is doing a better job at handling the players he has and I think the players may be getting used to what Dusty wants from them as well. When you consider Harang hasn't pitched at all well, and they've relied on Thompson and Bailey and a resurgent Fogg to fill out the rotation in his absence, Bruce is struggling, Cueto still erratic from inning to inning, Kepp hasn't hit since returning, Hairston is out, Cabrera isn't back yet, Votto is in a mini slump, Bako is ice cold - Dunn, BP and EE have begun to pick up this offense and carry it. If those big guns can keep firing until Bruce makes the adjustments that he WILL make, and Votto reheats and Harang comes back. Get Kepp hitting. I think the Reds will make a second half run and finish over .500. Too much is starting to point the right direction for them.

NYM 2-2
Mil 2-1
Chi 1-2
Was 4-0
Pit 1-2
Cle 2-1
Tor 1-2
NYY 2-1 15-11 overall 7-4 home 8-7 road Jun 20th to present

LAD 0-3
Bos 1-2
STL 1-2
FLA 2-2
PHI 1-3 5-12 overall 2-7 home 3-5 road Jun 2 - Jun 19th

ATL 3-0
PIT 2-1
SD 2-2
LAD 0-3
CLE 3-0
FLA 3-0
NYM 1-2
CHI 2-1 16-9 overall 13-2 home 3-7 road May 5th - Jun 1st

Atl 0-3
STL 1-2
SF 2-1
HOU 0-2
LAD 1-1
MIL 1-2
CHI 1-2
PIT 0-3
MIL 2-1
PHI 2-2
AZ 2-1 12-20 overall 6-8 home 6-12 road Mar 31-May 4th

07-23-2008, 04:19 PM
17-12 in the last 29 games now. This could have easily been 20-9. Taking 2 of 3 from the Padres with Arroyo continuing his resurrection and Cueto adding a 10K game to his resume. The offense continues to get its main impetus from Dunn and EE with several others providing crucial hits here and there. It's encouraging the Reds keep winning despite meltdowns by Cordero in two of the past few games - losses that could have taken some wind out of the teams' sails. The next step is to get important role players like Hairston and Burton healthy, and getting an effective Aaron Harang back.