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View Full Version : Are We Capable of a Hot Streak?



Edskin
07-05-2009, 10:37 PM
It might only take one folks...the Central and the NL in general is a parity party to say the least. The Dodgers are the only team where I can't find any obvious, major flaws, and we really aren't competing with them anyway.

I think it is 100% possible that an 83-86 win team is going to make the playoffs this year-- maybe two. Not only is the Central wide open, but I don't see the Marlins, Mets, Giants, or Rockies running away with the wild card either.

But I do think we'll need at least one legitimate hot streak if we stand a chance. We don't need anything historic, but we will need something like winning 9 of 11 or 10 of 13-- something in that neighborhood.

But are we capable?

At this point, I'm leaning towards a solid "no." I think we might simply be the most absolutely average baseball team that was ever assembled. Given our recent history, "painfully average" isn't such a bad thing-- especially if we do it behind a nice core of young players.

But when you hit the midpoint of the season and you're as close in the standings as we are, you might as well dream a little.

I don't think we even need to catch lighting in a bottle for the entire second half of the season-- maybe just for two weeks at the right time.

Figure it like this.....Reds get hot/lucky for two weeks and rattle off 10 wins in 13 games. Right now, that would put us 7 games over .500 and on pace to win 84-85 games for the season. After that two week stretch we could completely fall back into the "win one, lose one" routine we're currently in and be perfectly fine.

I think that's what keeps me really interested right now....not that I really think this team is a "conteder," but that even just one little hot streak could set us up for our first serious playoff run in 10 years.

VR
07-05-2009, 11:04 PM
Reds have been riddled with bad luck and very very subpar/ limited performances from key offensive contributors (EE, JB, JV,WT)

I think the offense is going to improve, greatly. If Bailey is for real, Volquez can come back and be a sub 4 ERA guys....they can do a lot.

When things fall into place, I see them running quite a few series wins out there....with a few sweeps thrown in.

guttle11
07-05-2009, 11:38 PM
If it happens, it'll happen against other Central opponents, which is good. I don't think this team is capable of running off a bunch of wins against the East or West. Can they? Sure. Any team can put it all together for two weeks. The question is whether they can continue to stop right on the brink of 4-5 game losing streaks. Otherwise a hot run won't matter.

I'm circling the 4 game set at home with Milwaukee after the all star break. I think we'll learn a lot about this team in the second half from that. Tread water until the break and that's where the move can start.

TheNext44
07-05-2009, 11:45 PM
If Volquez comes back healthy and pitches like he was before he got hurt (3.47 ERA, .99 WHIP, 8.0 K/9), and Bailey can pitch like he did in his last start at least half of the time, then that combined with Cueto and Harang holding steady for a few weeks, then yes.

Hot streaks nearly always are based on the starting rotation getting hot. The Reds have the arms to go on a solid streak, so it is possible. Not sure how probable it is, but it is possible.

Edskin
07-06-2009, 06:21 AM
I'm circling the 4 game set at home with Milwaukee after the all star break. I think we'll learn a lot about this team in the second half from that. Tread water until the break and that's where the move can start.

Totally agree- that's what I'm thinking as well. But I am a bit nervous about these 7 games prior to the break: 3-4 is the minimum acceptable for me to still feel good about our chances in the second half. I fear if we blow this road trip that it could spell lights out.

jojo
07-06-2009, 08:45 AM
As of this morning the Reds have three teams ahead of them in their division and 5 teams ahead of them for the wild card. Also, the Reds just aren't all that good.

The Reds are actually facing a pretty big climb.

oneupper
07-06-2009, 09:00 AM
As of this morning the Reds have three teams ahead of them in their division and 5 teams ahead of them for the wild card. Also, the Reds just aren't all that good.

The Reds are actually facing a pretty big climb.

I agree that the REDS aren't that good. But neither is anyone else, really.
Every team out there has some serious flaws.
BP puts the REDS postseason odds today at 10.4%. That sounds realistic, I'd say. 10-1 is still a longshot, but you never know.

Highlifeman21
07-06-2009, 09:06 AM
As of this morning the Reds have three teams ahead of them in their division and 5 teams ahead of them for the wild card. Also, the Reds just aren't all that good.

The Reds are actually facing a pretty big climb.

Only b/c the Reds are in the NL Central are we remotely "contending".

I have full faith that 2 weeks from now, we'll clearly be sellers before the deadline, and we'll see some desperately needed roster turnover.

The worst thing this team could do is not make a move one way or another (adding pieces to make a run, or selling pieces to reshuffle for next year).

Ltlabner
07-06-2009, 09:28 AM
In a word no.

Sure, anything can happen, yaneverknow, lady luck will shine and all that.

There are just far too many holes on the team for them to blast off a long string of wins. There's too many below replacement/at replacement level players, too many guys who go into prolonged slumps, a couple of rookies trying to figure things out, and too many guys using up and/or giving away too many outs.

Someone else suggested this a ways back, but my guess is they will win a couple, lose a couple, win a couple, lose a couple with probably a couple of skids tossed in for good measure. The reality, whether we want to face it or not, is we are fighting to be a .500 team, not for the WC or the division.

There are just far too many stars that have to perfectaly align for us to be at the top of the heap come October. We can hope those stars align, but there's no reasonable expectation they will.

And then you have "the Dusty factor". It's often said his weaknesses as a manager "only" cost us a game or three every year. Well.....will this be the year where that makes the difference between playing more games or going home? I tend to doubt it (only because we'll be more than 2 or 3 out) but if the division continues to limp along this might be the year where those 2 or 3 Dusty-disasters become really important.

hebroncougar
07-06-2009, 09:50 AM
Only b/c the Reds are in the NL Central are we remotely "contending".

I have full faith that 2 weeks from now, we'll clearly be sellers before the deadline, and we'll see some desperately needed roster turnover.

The worst thing this team could do is not make a move one way or another (adding pieces to make a run, or selling pieces to reshuffle for next year).

The NL East is worse, and unless one team does significant improvements by the deadline, I think the NL Central winner will be better than the East winner.

Highlifeman21
07-06-2009, 10:00 AM
The NL East is worse, and unless one team does significant improvements by the deadline, I think the NL Central winner will be better than the East winner.

On paper I like the Mets and the Phillies much better than anything the NL Central has to offer.

bucksfan2
07-06-2009, 10:29 AM
No.

They have the pitching to do it but the need another plus bat.

traderumor
07-06-2009, 10:37 AM
Yes. Teams who pitch and field well are always capable of winning streaks during an offensive hot streak. A 15-5 run is certainly doable for a team that pitches well.

nate
07-06-2009, 11:08 AM
I dunno. It doesn't seem like they have the pitching or hitting. And when they maybe, barely, almost have the hitting, the defense suffers.

That being said, they don't seem capable of prolonged cold streaks either. They've topped out their "streaks" at 4 games either won or lost.

Reds1
07-06-2009, 11:25 AM
With our pitching if the bats get hot we can get on one of those 7 or 8 of 10 streaks I think would put us in major competition for a playoff spot. This team in the playoffs could be interesting with their pitching.

LINEDRIVER
07-06-2009, 11:56 AM
A hot streak? With Encarnacion in the line-up????????

REDSEER
07-06-2009, 12:17 PM
IMO there are two keys to getting a hot streak put together:

1) The healthy return of Edinson Volquez. Despite some of his shortcomings this year, Volquez is a top arm on this staff.

2) Continued improvement by Homer Bailey. We all saw his electric stuff and what it can do. We also read the comments by "Prince" Albert.

This leaves us with 6 decent (maybe 5 if Arroyo doesn't improve) starters:

Harang
Volquez
Cueto
Bailey
Owings
Arroyo

That is a very solid rotation of starters if everyone is healthy. Good pitching can win a lot of baseball games. If Bruce goes on the tear that we are waiting for and everyone else plays solid baseball, I could see a hot streak.

Caveat Emperor
07-06-2009, 01:06 PM
As of this morning the Reds have three teams ahead of them in their division and 5 teams ahead of them for the wild card. Also, the Reds just aren't all that good.

The Reds are actually facing a pretty big climb.

Only in the wild card. The NL Central will eventually shake out. There are simply too many games within the division for it to stay bunched.

Plus, with the low number of games separating the teams, stringing together a nice 7-3 or 8-2 run would likely put the team into first place.

TheNext44
07-06-2009, 01:28 PM
In a word no.

Sure, anything can happen, yaneverknow, lady luck will shine and all that.

There are just far too many holes on the team for them to blast off a long string of wins. There's too many below replacement/at replacement level players, too many guys who go into prolonged slumps, a couple of rookies trying to figure things out, and too many guys using up and/or giving away too many outs.

Someone else suggested this a ways back, but my guess is they will win a couple, lose a couple, win a couple, lose a couple with probably a couple of skids tossed in for good measure. The reality, whether we want to face it or not, is we are fighting to be a .500 team, not for the WC or the division.

There are just far too many stars that have to perfectaly align for us to be at the top of the heap come October. We can hope those stars align, but there's no reasonable expectation they will.

And then you have "the Dusty factor". It's often said his weaknesses as a manager "only" cost us a game or three every year. Well.....will this be the year where that makes the difference between playing more games or going home? I tend to doubt it (only because we'll be more than 2 or 3 out) but if the division continues to limp along this might be the year where those 2 or 3 Dusty-disasters become really important.

1) Besides Taveras, who, on the current 25 man roster is below/at replacement level?

2) Among the Brewers, Cards and Cubs, who doesn't have the same problems that you listed? Who among those teams doesn't need for the "stars to be aligned" for them to win the division?

3) I simply don't agree that Dusty's managing costs the team 1-3 wins a season. He's not the best manager out there, but he simply does not cost the team 1-3 wins more than any other manager.
Sure, he makes out terrible lineups, but last year Justin Inaz did a projection and found out that Dusty's lineup was only a few runs worse than the best possible one. That is more because lineups really don't matter than because Dusty's lineups are good, but it make the point that he is not costing the team 1-3 wins every year with his lineups.
And while this is not very accurate, Dusty outperformed the Pythag last year by two games and is doing the same this year. He averages beating the Pythag around 1 game a season, over his 15+ years as a manger. If he really was costing the team 1-3 wins every year, you think that would show up in his Pythag over time.

Every manager makes bad decisions. Every now and then, they make decisions that cost the team the game. Dusty really does not make any more of those than any other manager. Everyone talks about "Dusty-disasters." I would love to see some one name them this season and see how many there actually are.

Still you are correct that this team is one that should be struggling to stay above .500, talent wise. But given the state of the division, that should be enough to stay in contention, and win it, if they can get just one good winning streak.

Strikes Out Looking
07-06-2009, 01:34 PM
Sure they are capable of a hot streak. Will they is another question.

I have my doubts about certain aspects of the team, but they have as much raw talent as anybody in the division.

I'm hoping for a hot streak because I really like to be obsessed with baseball in October.

Ltlabner
07-06-2009, 01:52 PM
1) Besides Taveras, who, on the current 25 man roster is below/at replacement level?


NAME PA VORP RAR
Laynce Nix 186 5.6 7.6
Jerry Hairston 274 4.9 5.1
Jay Bruce 320 1.9 7.8
Ramon Hernandez 289 0.1 5.7
Paul Janish 81 -1.6 -1.7
Willy Taveras 289 -6.8 -2.6
Alex Gonzalez 198 -7.3 -7.1
E Encarnacion 86 -7.4 -3.7
Adam Rosales 149 -8.7 -4.1

Nix and Harston are only clocking in only slightly above replacement level.

Bruce and Hernandez are squarely at replacement level performance. Baring unforeseen circumstances, they will continue to get plenty of PA's.

Janish et all clearly below replacement level. Obviously A Gon isn't likely to play again, EE should bounce back post injury and ARow is spending his nights at Churchill Downs. Those are all good things (unless AGon somehow heals, EE continues to struggle and ARo makes a return because of injuries/poor play).


2) Among the Brewers, Cards and Cubs, who doesn't have the same problems that you listed? Who among those teams doesn't need for the "stars to be aligned" for them to win the division?

Obviously they are also flawed. Doesn't change the fact that I think the Reds don't have the horsepower to get it done. Also doesn't change that St.Louis, Milwaukee and the Cubs have shown a willingness to go out and make things happen to be relevant. The Reds have....well....had $1 hot dog nights.


3) I simply don't agree that Dusty's managing costs the team 1-3 wins a season.

My point wasn't that it was scientifically proven that Dusty costs us 2.4678 games per year. My point was, in a division that *might* turn out to be very, very close, every last win will be important. At that point you better be looking at every last detail in the construction of your team because that one detail could be what costs you the division.

Caveat Emperor
07-06-2009, 01:59 PM
Obviously they are also flawed. Doesn't change the fact that I think the Reds don't have the horsepower to get it done. Also doesn't change that St.Louis, Milwaukee and the Cubs have shown a willingness to go out and make things happen to be relevant. The Reds have....well....had $1 hot dog nights.

Dealing for the sake of dealing won't change anything. Heck, if Bailey (and it's a huge if, so just go with it) can look like he did against STL for the rest of the season, it'll be the deal that DIDN'T get made that keeps the Reds in the race.

bucksfan2
07-06-2009, 02:02 PM
A hot streak will have to correspond with both Edwin and Bruce getting hot during the same time. You just can't expect more out of Votto or Phillips. But I just have no faith in Edwin becoming a positive factor this season. His first series back he was pretty much abismal going 0-3 with runners on 3rd with less than two outs and making a routine error again.

Bruce may a different story all together. Could he hit .280 with an OBP of .380 the rest of the way? Can he turn those warning track fly balls into HR's? Will he begin to hit or not?

The one minor league player who I think can make an impact is Drew Stubbs. Its basically two fold. He comes in and continues to do what he does, gets on base around .370 but he also forces Taveras to the bench.

Ltlabner
07-06-2009, 02:03 PM
Dealing for the sake of dealing won't change anything.

I agree. I don't think they should be going hog wild making trades just to make them.


Heck, if Bailey (and it's a huge if, so just go with it) can look like he did against STL for the rest of the season, it'll be the deal that DIDN'T get made that keeps the Reds in the race.

But that also assumes that all the other players continue to perform at the current levels. No slumps, no injuries, etc.

cincrazy
07-06-2009, 04:35 PM
I don't think we're capable of a hot streak. As has been mentioned, there are just too many holes. This is a team that will be around .500 all year, barring any more injuries or something unforseseen.

I'm not giving up on the season, but I don't think it's likely that they pull it out. Not with Taveras leading off regularly and Arroyo getting his head bashed in every turn now.

Edskin
07-12-2009, 10:11 PM
A hot streak looks even less likely after the 2-5 road trip entering the AS break. I think this little road trip was a killer in terms of having any realistic hopes of contending.

Our 10 games out of the break are at home against the Brewers and on the road against the Dodgers and Cubs. It could be officially over after those ten games. At this point, it's going to take a true hot steak (8 out of 10 or something similar) for the Reds to have a shot, and it just does not seem possible at this point.

Our ONLY chance is to come hot out of the gate after the break and it seems highly unlikely with that schedule.