PDA

View Full Version : It's the Hitting



mace
07-19-2011, 01:25 PM
In all the arguments over whether it's pitching or hitting that the Reds most need, a lot of people point to the simple fact that the club continues to lead the NL in runs scored, while ranking in the bottom third in runs given up. There's no disputing that. And yet, something about it just doesn't ring quite true; or telling. Not if you watch the games. I know that, especially lately, I've certainly been frustrated more often by the offense than the defense. In spite of the total runs scored, something about the offense just smacks of inefficiency.

To me, there's a fundamental indicator of a team's effectiveness in either department. I know that this is a gross oversimplification, but the fact is that NL teams this year average 4.1 runs per game. So if your offense scores 5 a game or more, you should win most of the time with average pitching. If your defense holds the opposition to 4 runs or fewer, same thing. So I checked the Reds' scores to see how the hitting and pitching fare in that regard. (Admittedly, this is skewed a bit toward the pitching, because 4 runs is closer to the norm of 4.1 than is 5. On the other hand, I haven't taken into consideration extra innings, and that would skew, though less, toward the hitting.)

In their 96 games so far, Reds pitchers have held the opponent to 4 runs or fewer on 59 occasions. In that crude context, the pitchers are 59-37.

The offense, meanwhile, has scored 5 or more in 44 of those games. By the same measure, then, the hitters are 44-52.

I suspect that a similar analysis of other teams would also tilt the result toward the pitchers, to some extent. I acknowledge, accordingly, that the stark difference here is probably overstated. Nevertheless, I think it's an indication that, as a contributor to winning, the Reds' hitting leaves as much to be desired as the pitching, if not more.

Reds1
07-19-2011, 01:34 PM
Not so much is hitting, but getting key hits. We miss countless opportunities game after game. It just amazes me. Bases loaded and 0 or 1 out and they can't get a run in, but those same guys that don't hit in the key situation get on base the next AB. That's baseball, but it's been a rough patch. Our line up all the way up and down is not bad.

I personally think Gomes and Lewis are not consistant enough and bat too high in the batting order, but I"m not the manager, but this team other then Votto are very inconsistent in key situations. Maybe we need to do more sqeezes in those situation. :) - JK. I don't have the answers, but the make up of this team I just believe they are going to take off and make a little run. Right now they can't seem to win 2 games in a row, but they also don't lose 2 games in a row - we'll see.

Kc61
07-19-2011, 01:36 PM
The pitching is the main culprit.

But the Reds hitting is way overrated.

The Reds good hitting stats are largely attributable to their great success this year against LHP. Team has a .822 OPS against lefties, that is by far the highest in the league.

But most of the time you face right handed pitching. Reds not so good there. The team OPS is .708 against RHP. Ninth in the league.

The Reds IMO have a good offense, but not a well balanced one. There's a shortage of LH bats on the team. There's a shortage of higher average hitters on the team.

I'm also of the view that the Reds' offense would be quite middling except that Joey Votto is a great hitter. If you eliminate Votto, the offense is really nothing special.

So I don't agree "it's the hitting." But the offense surely can improve.

mace
07-19-2011, 01:39 PM
To give a fairer picture, the instances of the pitchers giving up exactly 4 runs number 16. If you hold the pitchers to the tougher standard of 3 runs, their record, then, is 43-53. Of course, that skews toward the hitters, while almost exactly matching the won-loss performance.

westofyou
07-19-2011, 01:40 PM
In all the arguments over whether it's pitching or hitting that the Reds most need, a lot of people point to the simple fact that the club continues to lead the NL in runs scored, while ranking in the bottom third in runs given up. There's no disputing that. And yet, something about it just doesn't ring quite true; or telling. Not if you watch the games. I know that, especially lately, I've certainly been frustrated more often by the offense than the defense. In spite of the total runs scored, something about the offense just smacks of inefficiency.

To me, there's a fundamental indicator of a team's effectiveness in either department. I know that this is a gross oversimplification, but the fact is that NL teams this year average 4.1 runs per game. So if your offense scores 5 a game or more, you should win most of the time with average pitching. If your defense holds the opposition to 4 runs or fewer, same thing. So I checked the Reds' scores to see how the hitting and pitching fare in that regard. (Admittedly, this is skewed a bit toward the pitching, because 4 runs is closer to the norm of 4.1 than is 5. On the other hand, I haven't taken into consideration extra innings, and that would skew, though less, toward the hitting.)

In their 96 games so far, Reds pitchers have held the opponent to 4 runs or fewer on 59 occasions. In that crude context, the pitchers are 59-37.

The offense, meanwhile, has scored 5 or more in 44 of those games. By the same measure, then, the hitters are 44-52.

I suspect that a similar analysis of other teams would also tilt the result toward the pitchers, to some extent. I acknowledge, accordingly, that the stark difference here is probably overstated. Nevertheless, I think it's an indication that, as a contributor to winning, the Reds' hitting leaves as much to be desired as the pitching, if not more.


2011 Wins Losses
Games 47 49
RS 305 142
RA 142 278
BA 0.290 0.226
OB % 0.360 0.296
Slg % 0.469 0.337
HR 66 38
HR vs 32 74
ERA 2.72 5.51






2011 Scored Allowed
10 runs + 7 0 0 7
9 runs 3 0 0 3
8 runs 5 2 1 3
7 runs 10 1 1 5
6 runs 6 4 2 1
5 runs 4 2 6 8
4 runs 4 8 7 9
3 runs 5 7 9 9
2 runs 3 12 12 3
1 run 0 8 6 1
0 runs 0 5 3 0
Total 47 49 47 49






Inning 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Extra Final
Ahead 16 26 32 39 38 38 42 41 41 6 47
Behind 30 34 39 42 44 42 40 42 45 4 49
Tied 50 36 25 15 14 16 14 13 10 18 --

reds44
07-19-2011, 01:47 PM
It's both. The pitching could use an upgrade and the Reds could use another bat.

Dan
07-19-2011, 01:50 PM
2011 Wins Losses
Games 47 49
RS 305 142

To me this is the biggest issue. The games the reds win, they're blowing the other team out. The games they're losing they're getting shut out or only scoring a few runs. The lineup needs stability and consistency and it isn't getting it from the current players. A solid middle-of-the-order hitter (Beltran) would give them that.

The Voice of IH
07-19-2011, 01:52 PM
It is clear that they have the offense, just not the timely hitting. They just need to click and everything will be fine.

Homer Bailey
07-19-2011, 01:56 PM
I wish some of you would watch a team on a consistent basis that was actually, truly a below average offense, or even an average offense. Then maybe people would appreciate the Reds offense for what it is, instead of finding new ways on a daily basis of tearing it down. The Giants have scored less runs than the Astros this year, yet it's "covered up" by the solid pitching they have. The Reds have very poor pitching, which leads to more blame on the offense. If the Reds had given up around the league average runs against, no one would say a word about the offense.

The offense is good. Very good. Can it be better? Sure. Every offense can be better.

The pitching is bad. 2nd highest FIP, 3rd highest xFIP, 4th highest ERA. It's really not that complicated.

Homer Bailey
07-19-2011, 01:58 PM
It is clear that they have the offense, just not the timely hitting. They just need to click and everything will be fine.

Reds still have the 4th highest OPS and wOBA with RISP.

mdccclxix
07-19-2011, 02:07 PM
I wish some of you would watch a team on a consistent basis that was actually, truly a below average offense, or even an average offense. Then maybe people would appreciate the Reds offense for what it is, instead of finding new ways on a daily basis of tearing it down. The Giants have scored less runs than the Astros this year, yet it's "covered up" by the solid pitching they have. The Reds have very poor pitching, which leads to more blame on the offense. If the Reds had given up around the league average runs against, no one would say a word about the offense.

The offense is good. Very good. Can it be better? Sure. Every offense can be better.

The pitching is bad. 2nd highest FIP, 3rd highest xFIP, 4th highest ERA. It's really not that complicated.

It's a funny thing in Cincinnati...while the rest of the league has regressed offensively, the Reds have stayed about where they've always been and in doing so have drifted to the top of the pack. The result is a lack of perspective by us Reds fans on how good the pitching has become around the league. The Reds have a "great" offense now, even though it's hard to consider.

reds44
07-19-2011, 02:12 PM
It's a funny thing in Cincinnati...while the rest of the league has regressed offensively, the Reds have stayed about where they've always been and in doing so have drifted to the top of the pack. The result is a lack of perspective by us Reds fans on how good the pitching has become around the league. The Reds have a "great" offense now, even though it's hard to consider.
The Reds led the NL in runs scored last year, IIRC.

mdccclxix
07-19-2011, 02:34 PM
The Reds led the NL in runs scored last year, IIRC.

They did, and it was the first time the NL leader in runs was under 800 runs since before 2001 (espn.com only goes that far). The Year of the Pitcher was deemed last year, but it's really just continued on, perhaps more so, this year.

traderumor
07-19-2011, 02:46 PM
I am starting to entertain thoughts that this is essentially the same style of offense that we've had throughout the 21st Century, which seems to struggle against some of the most unlikely candidates, esp. any guy with a trick, like Morton two seaming and sinking everything, like a soft tossing lefty or a junkballing righty. These guys are not performing well overall, but look like world beaters against the Reds.

The numbers are what they are, but watching performances like last night raise anyone's ire, and I've been standing behind the evidence of production for this offense over the last two seasons.

I had to laugh last night when they went on and on about a different Charlie Morton, but his numbers aren't really that different, just has 23 innings of 1 run ball against one team skewing his numbers. He was awful last year and a little below average in 2009, which is what he is overall this year. He's still sporting a 1.47 WHIP. While he may be improved, he's still, at best, average....unless he's tossing against the Reds that is.

Kc61
07-19-2011, 03:20 PM
It's a funny thing in Cincinnati...while the rest of the league has regressed offensively, the Reds have stayed about where they've always been and in doing so have drifted to the top of the pack. The result is a lack of perspective by us Reds fans on how good the pitching has become around the league. The Reds have a "great" offense now, even though it's hard to consider.

I don't agree that the Reds have a "great" offense by any measure, but I do agree that many offenses in the NL are below par. Pitching is dominant right now, and NL offenses have suffered generally.

But we're talking about being a pennant winner. The Reds don't have the lights out pitching -- never had, probably never will -- to rely solely on pitching and defense. And GABP makes it hard for the team to build solely around pitching, since home runs are so easily allowed there.

The hitting is good but has clear deficiencies. Three lefty bats on the whole team (among position players)? That, in my view, is a joke. In a righty pitching dominant league, you need better righty/lefty balance.

IMO the Reds starting lineup needs two things (now that Janish is replaced by Cozart).

One, it needs a solid hitting right handed left fielder who can hit both kinds of pitching, lefty and righty. A switch hitter like Beltran would certainly do.

Two, it needs a lefty hitting third baseman to platoon with Rolen. Let Scott play less often. Introduce another lefty bat in the infield. I had hoped Francisco would play that role, if not him then somebody else.

Reds could also use one or more additional lefty hitter or switch hitter on the bench to allow flexibility. Currently, their pinch hitters are overly righty.

Reds also need more OBP/contact type hitters. That's why I find Alonso so intriguing, he's slow, but he makes contact and takes walks. Good things tend to happen in clutch situations with hitters who make contact and take walks. (Every guy doesn't have to fit this mold; but some do.)

So, yes, the league's pitching is tougher. The Reds need better pitching. But the offense can use some work too.

RedsManRick
07-19-2011, 03:25 PM
It's getting hits and/or stops in close games that's really hurting us. We're 14-21 in 1 run contests. Swap 4 of those and we're in 1st. Luckily, a team's record in 1 -run games isn't predictive of it's future performance in 1-run games.

But from my perspective, trying to analyze the "why" is only relevant if it's something you can adjust for moving forward. Unfortunately, there's really not much you can do to fix performance in 1-run games, control your run distribution, etc. It's an artifact of history that explains what happened, but it's not some inherent skill of a team that can be controlled.

It is extremely frustrating and difficult to accept that line of reasoning; we're wired to both explain and assign control.

I know Reds broadcasters have been making the clutch argument recently, but I find this interesting:


AVG OBP SLG OPS wOBA Rank
Empty .254 .313 .399 .713 .317 7th
Men On .265 .348 .407 .755 .330 1st
RISP .259 .352 .402 .754 .325 4th

If anything, our problem is getting rallies started to begin with. This does perhaps support a notion that we're "inconsistent", scoring (or not scoring) runs in bunches. But looking at total runs by game, that argument starts to fall apart.

Kc61
07-19-2011, 03:37 PM
I know Reds broadcasters have been making the clutch argument recently, but I find this interesting:


AVG OBP SLG OPS wOBA Rank
Empty .254 .313 .399 .713 .317 7th
Men On .265 .348 .407 .755 .330 1st
RISP .259 .352 .402 .754 .325 4th

If anything, our problem is getting rallies started to begin with. This does perhaps support a notion that we're "inconsistent", scoring (or not scoring) runs in bunches. But looking at total runs by game, that argument starts to fall apart.

These numbers are significant, but they don't break things down by situation.

How do the Reds fare with RISP in close and late situations?

It's one thing to hit with men on base in a blow out win or loss.

It's another thing to hit with men on base in a tight nailbiter.

Again, I don't personally think "clutch" hitting is the issue. I think the offense needs better lefty/righty balance and more contact/OBP guys.

But if we're going to analyze clutch hitting, I wonder how they do in tight games.

OesterPoster
07-19-2011, 03:45 PM
I think the offensive answer is pretty simple. Scott Rolen. This recent fangraphs article pretty much nails it, IMO.

http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/index.php/is-the-end-near-for-scott-rolen/


What is pretty obvious about Rolen this year is that he has lost all patience at the plate. He is swinging at a career high balls outside of the strike zone and his walks are at an eye-popping 3.8%. He has averaged a 20.6% swing rate on balls outside the strike zone in his career, giving him a pretty discerning eye. But the last three years have crept up going 22%, 26% and now near 33%.

_Sir_Charles_
07-19-2011, 03:54 PM
2011 Wins Losses
Games 47 49
RS 305 142

To me this is the biggest issue. The games the reds win, they're blowing the other team out. The games they're losing they're getting shut out or only scoring a few runs. The lineup needs stability and consistency and it isn't getting it from the current players. A solid middle-of-the-order hitter (Beltran) would give them that.

It's both. If people would look at the info that WoY posted you'll notice that in our losses, our offense has been absent AND our pitching has given up a ton. I'm guessing on this part, but I'd assume that alot of those losses, the offense has pretty much given up because we get behind so badly so early. It also allows the opposing pitcher to pitch with ease and confidence due to large early leads...thus making it even more difficult on the hitters who are frustrated due to the large early deficits.

On the flip side, if you look at our victories, the offense explodes in those games scoring a ton of runs...but those are also the games where we're getting our best pitching performances too. Both the offense and the pitching are getting their numbers significantly boosted during our wins and trounced during our losses.

We're scoring 163 more runs in our wins. That says it's our offense.
We're allowing 136 more runs in our losses. That says it's our pitching.

It's both. And it's also really bad timing. You'd think that occasionally we'd get good pitching when our offense struggles, or great hitting when the pitching struggles...but that's not the case. It's all or nothing on average.

AtomicDumpling
07-19-2011, 04:00 PM
Yes it irritates me to no end when our clueless broadcasters constantly whine about the Reds leaving men on base and failing to get a clutch hits. If they weren't so lazy the broadcasters could very easily look at the stats and see that the Reds are actually a very good clutch-hitting team compared to the other teams in the league.

The best run-scoring teams leave a lot of men on base. It may seem wrong at first glance but that is how it works. Teams that get more runners on base (teams with high on-base percentages) will leave more runners on base. Teams that get more runners on base will also score more runs. In general, teams that score the most runs also leave the most runners on base. It is not like every team gets the same number of baserunners and the team that drives in the best percentage of those runners scores the most runs. Not at all.

Ron Madden
07-19-2011, 04:04 PM
Yes it irritates me to no end when our clueless broadcasters constantly whine about the Reds leaving men on base and failing to get a clutch hits. If they weren't so lazy the broadcasters could very easily look at the stats and see that the Reds are actually a very good clutch-hitting team compared to the other teams in the league.

The best run-scoring teams leave a lot of men on base. It may seem wrong at first glance but that is how it works. Teams that get more runners on base (teams with high on-base percentages) will leave more runners on base. Teams that get more runners on base will also score more runs. In general, teams that score the most runs also leave the most runners on base. It is not like every team gets the same number of baserunners and the team that drives in the best percentage of those runners scores the most runs. Not at all.

Good Post. :thumbup:

REDREAD
07-19-2011, 04:06 PM
Yes it irritates me to no end when our clueless broadcasters constantly whine about the Reds leaving men on base and failing to get a clutch hits. If they weren't so lazy the broadcasters could very easily look at the stats and see that the Reds are actually a very good clutch-hitting team compared to the other teams in the league.


Exactly, it's extremely frustrating. The announcers will complain in an inning that the Reds score a run because there was still men getting on base.
The radio guys have been particularly annoying.. after every inning.. "so now the Reds are 0 for 5 with RISP"..

I agree that there doesn't seem to be the "magic" we had last year when every close game went our way, but hitting with RISP is not the team's biggest problem. Disappointing seasons from Volquez, Arroyo, and Wood (and some pen implosions) have put us behind in the standings. It's something we can recover from. Seeing Willis pitch so well last night gave me renewed hope that we will move up in the standings.

Homer Bailey
07-19-2011, 04:06 PM
Yes it irritates me to no end when our clueless broadcasters constantly whine about the Reds leaving men on base and failing to get a clutch hits. If they weren't so lazy the broadcasters could very easily look at the stats and see that the Reds are actually a very good clutch-hitting team compared to the other teams in the league.

The best run-scoring teams leave a lot of men on base. It may seem wrong at first glance but that is how it works. Teams that get more runners on base (teams with high on-base percentages) will leave more runners on base. Teams that get more runners on base will also score more runs. In general, teams that score the most runs also leave the most runners on base. It is not like every team gets the same number of baserunners and the team that drives in the best percentage of those runners scores the most runs. Not at all.

Thank you.

I posted this last night in the game thread, but it's worth reposting:

http://basecloggers.tumblr.com/post/7765029767/lovelob

AtomicDumpling
07-19-2011, 04:09 PM
It's both. If people would look at the info that WoY posted you'll notice that in our losses, our offense has been absent AND our pitching has given up a ton. I'm guessing on this part, but I'd assume that alot of those losses, the offense has pretty much given up because we get behind so badly so early. It also allows the opposing pitcher to pitch with ease and confidence due to large early leads...thus making it even more difficult on the hitters who are frustrated due to the large early deficits.

On the flip side, if you look at our victories, the offense explodes in those games scoring a ton of runs...but those are also the games where we're getting our best pitching performances too. Both the offense and the pitching are getting their numbers significantly boosted during our wins and trounced during our losses.

We're scoring 163 more runs in our wins. That says it's our offense.
We're allowing 136 more runs in our losses. That says it's our pitching.

It's both. And it's also really bad timing. You'd think that occasionally we'd get good pitching when our offense struggles, or great hitting when the pitching struggles...but that's not the case. It's all or nothing on average.

I would bet the numbers for every other team in the league look similar to this. I don't think it is surprising that you score less and allow more in your losses than you do in your wins.

Another factor in these numbers is that teams tend to use their best relief pitchers in games they are leading and use their lesser relievers when they are trailing.

Secondly, you need to consider the opposing starting pitcher too. Even if our hitters performed at exactly the same skill level every game there would still be a wide disparity in runs scored between wins and losses because of the effect the opposing pitcher's skill level has on the hitters. When facing an ace pitcher you are far more likely to lose (and score fewer runs) than you are when facing a bottom of the rotation pitcher. So even if our hitters were amazingly consistent there would still be a lot of variation between wins and losses.

reds44
07-19-2011, 04:11 PM
I think the offensive answer is pretty simple. Scott Rolen. This recent fangraphs article pretty much nails it, IMO.

http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/index.php/is-the-end-near-for-scott-rolen/
I think the reason for this is because of how much his bat speed has slowed down this year. I don't know if it's the shoulder injury or what, but he can not catch up to a fastball. When the Cardinals brought Motte in to face him over the weekend you knew he had no chance. I think he knows his bat has slowed down and he's starting his swing earlier to compensate and a byproduct of that is him swinging at more balls.

Homer Bailey
07-19-2011, 04:22 PM
I think the reason for this is because of how much his bat speed has slowed down this year. I don't know if it's the shoulder injury or what, but he can not catch up to a fastball. When the Cardinals brought Motte in to face him over the weekend you knew he had no chance. I think he knows his bat has slowed down and he's starting his swing earlier to compensate and a byproduct of that is him swinging at more balls.

Yep. Can't catch up to the fastball. Cheats on the fastball. Fooled on the breaking ball.

AtomicDumpling
07-19-2011, 04:39 PM
The Reds actually lead the National League in having the best percentage of their baserunners come around to score a run at 31%. In other words, when a Reds hitter gets on base he has a 31% chance of scoring.

The lowest percentage in the NL is 27% (Padres and Dodgers), so you can see there really is not much difference between the best and the worst in terms of scoring your baserunners. This magnifies the importance of getting more baserunners and diminishes the importance of the "clutch factor" -- if you want to score more runs you must get more runners on base because you are not going to be significantly more effective than the other team at getting those runners around the bases.

RS% -- Run Scoring Percentage
Percentage of times a baserunner eventually scores a run.
(R - HR) / (H + HBP + BB - HR)

The baserunning formula only applies to baserunners that are on base for subsequent batters, which means a hitter that hits a home run is not counted in the formula, but any runners that were on base at the time of the homer would count. So another way to improve your runs scored (in addition to getting more runners on base as mentioned above) is to hit more home runs.

camisadelgolf
07-19-2011, 04:41 PM
There is no number you can show me that the offense is the bigger problem than the starting pitching. I think the reason people are believing it as much as much they are is due to raised expectations from 2010. Compared to the rest of the league, the Reds' production is down at every position except three, and the improvements at 2B and CF are quite marginal. The only noticeable upgrade has been in right field, and I don't think it's a coincidence that the offense seems more dormant as he slumps.

These numbers might not help you reach any conclusions, but they're at least interesting:

2011
NL Average Cincinnati difference in OPS
BA/ OBP/ SLG BA/ OBP/ SLG
C .247/.320/.379 .280/.354/.412 +.068
1B .264/.345/.438 .320/.430/.506 +.153
2B .254/.316/.376 .276/.324/.410 +.042
3B .254/.316/.376 .249/.298/.386 -.008
SS .257/.311/.361 .240/.285/.291 -.097
LF .262/.330/.416 .220/.313/.369 -.064
CF .264/.334/.415 .257/.333/.439 +.022
RF .266/.338/.435 .266/.340/.489 +.057

2010
NL Average Cincinnati difference in OPS
BA/ OBP/ SLG BA/ OBP/ SLG
C .253/.325/.388 .296/.375/.429 +.091
1B .268/.353/.459 .327/.420/.599 +.206
2B .265/.332/.386 .274/.328/.425 +.035
3B .265/.331/.421 .284/.358/.466 +.072
SS .266/.324/.387 .266/.314/.366 -.030
LF .266/.337/.433 .275/.335/.441 +.006
CF .260/.329/.406 .253/.326/.426 +.017
RF .264/.334/.443 .267/.336/.469 +.028

RedsManRick
07-19-2011, 05:37 PM
These numbers are significant, but they don't break things down by situation.

How do the Reds fare with RISP in close and late situations?

It's one thing to hit with men on base in a blow out win or loss.

It's another thing to hit with men on base in a tight nailbiter.

Again, I don't personally think "clutch" hitting is the issue. I think the offense needs better lefty/righty balance and more contact/OBP guys.

But if we're going to analyze clutch hitting, I wonder how they do in tight games.

I find the clutch notion funny. Runs are runs. Score more runs in the 1st 7 innings and you'll have fewer close & late situations to deal with. At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is outscoring your opponent at the end of 9 innings. Focusing on when those runs are scored completely misses the forest for the trees, allowing you to play false what-if games based on false premises.

That said, here are the clutch section from B-R:


Split G PA BA OBP SLG OPS
2 outs, RISP 95 434 .208 .325 .303 .628
Late & Close 63 734 .241 .316 .367 .683
Tie Game 89 1056 .245 .315 .362 .678
Within 1 R 93 1936 .257 .330 .400 .729
Within 2 R 96 2519 .250 .322 .395 .717
Within 3 R 96 2992 .257 .327 .400 .727
Within 4 R 96 3259 .262 .331 .405 .736
Margin > 4 R 41 514 .237 .312 .389 .701
Ahead 68 1261 .260 .335 .409 .744
Behind 74 1456 .267 .332 .426 .758

It's completely fair to observe that the team has not performed as well with 2 outs and in Late & Close situations as it does overall. But I would suggest that the latter is probably a league wide phenomenon caused largely because teams use their best short relievers in those situations.

But really, the clutch discussion misses the point entirely. All that's true about clutch at the individual level holds at the team level. We can play the splits game all day and find interesting things. But the thing is, you can't control how you perform in those splits. How you perform in those splits is basically a function of how well you perform overall, but with a healthy dose of randomness and an adjustment for the difference in the difficulty of pitching.

You can't control the randomness. You can't control the difficulty of pitching you're facing. The only thing you can control is the overall talent you've got in the lineup. And study after study has shown that there either isn't a skill called clutch or that it exists and has a very small affect on the order of 25 points of OPS.

It sucks to think that we can't fix the thing that's been a problem (assuming we even establish a lack "clutch" hitting as the problem). But the flip side of the coin is recognizing that nothing is really "broken". Even if we've had a bad roll of the collective die in close & late, we should expect performance in those situations to be more reflective of our overall performance moving forward. That is to say, to the extent that our "clutch" hitting is below our overall talent level, it's a problem that will fix itself.

Personally, I agree with you. Our offense isn't bad, but to improve it, we need to add OBP, especially in front of Votto. We need to spend less time fretting over who converted what RBI opportunity when and more time figuring out how to create more run scoring opportunities across the board.

There's no right or wrong way to win games, just outscore your opponent. Just focus on the macro issue of either scoring more runs and/or allowing fewer and the rest will sort itself out. The micro stuff matters, but you can't control most of it and to the extent that you can, you aren't going to make enough of a difference to change the team's fortunes.

dougdirt
07-19-2011, 05:41 PM
I find the clutch notion funny. Runs are runs. Score more runs in the 1st 7 innings and you'll have fewer close & late situations to deal with. At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is outscoring your opponent at the end of 9 innings. Focusing on when those runs are scored completely misses the forest for the trees, allowing you to play false what-if games based on false premises.

That said, here are the clutch section from B-R:


Split G PA BA OBP SLG OPS
2 outs, RISP 95 434 .208 .325 .303 .628
Late & Close 63 734 .241 .316 .367 .683
Tie Game 89 1056 .245 .315 .362 .678
Within 1 R 93 1936 .257 .330 .400 .729
Within 2 R 96 2519 .250 .322 .395 .717
Within 3 R 96 2992 .257 .327 .400 .727
Within 4 R 96 3259 .262 .331 .405 .736
Margin > 4 R 41 514 .237 .312 .389 .701
Ahead 68 1261 .260 .335 .409 .744
Behind 74 1456 .267 .332 .426 .758


Here is MLB in the clutch section


Split G PA BA OBP SLG OPS
2 outs, RISP 2819 13117 .228 .331 .350 .681
Late & Close 1845 19037 .243 .322 .362 .684
Tie Game 2698 31286 .252 .320 .384 .704
Within 1 R 2797 57851 .252 .320 .387 .707
Within 2 R 2836 75621 .251 .319 .386 .705
Within 3 R 2855 87684 .251 .318 .387 .705
Within 4 R 2858 95450 .251 .318 .388 .705
Margin > 4 R 1007 13535 .261 .325 .413 .737
Ahead 1974 38392 .255 .326 .399 .725
Behind 1976 39307 .249 .311 .388 .699

The Reds are worse with 2 out/RISP, but league average when its late and close.

mth123
07-19-2011, 07:30 PM
The season is about 60% complete and the Reds are 2 games under .500. Its the hitting and the pitching (and the baserunning too). Its the Manager and above all, IMO, its the GM.

BearcatShane
07-19-2011, 07:32 PM
When they pitch they cant hit and when they hit they can't pitch. So get Ubaldo and Beltran and everything will be fine:)

Griffey012
07-19-2011, 07:59 PM
2011 Scored Allowed
10 runs + 7 0 0 7
9 runs 3 0 0 3
8 runs 5 2 1 3
7 runs 10 1 1 5
6 runs 6 4 2 1
5 runs 4 2 6 8
4 runs 4 8 7 9
3 runs 5 7 9 9
2 runs 3 12 12 3
1 run 0 8 6 1
0 runs 0 5 3 0
Total 47 49 47 49







I think this actually shows much of the problem. Currently there is a lot of variation in the Reds offense. They average 4.65 Runs per game. However, they are not scoring 4 or 5 runs very often. Currently they have scored 6+ runs 38 times or 40% of the time. They have also scored less than 3 runs 40 times or 42% (rounded) of the time.

It goes like this:
10+ runs = 7.3%
9+ runs = 10.4%
8+ runs = 17.7%
7+ runs = 29.2%
6+ runs = 39.6%
5+ runs = 45.8%

<= 4 runs = 54.2%
<= 3 runs = 41.7%
<= 2 runs = 29.2%
<= 1 runs = 13.5%
= 0 runs = 5.2%

The distribution is skewed toward the lower run totals a bit. The scary number is 41.7 % of the time we are scoring 3 runs or fewer, those games you have a tough time winning regardless of the pitching staff you possess. I would be interested to see how the % of games where we score less than 3 runs compares to a lot of the other top offensive teams.

Scoring 3 runs, 3 runs, and 9 runs makes it much harder to win 2/3 than does scoring 5, 6, and 4.

I am not sure if it is just bad luck, inconsistent players, or what. But if we can skew that distribution more towards to middle (decrease the standard deviation) we will have a chance to win a lot of ballgames.

membengal
07-19-2011, 09:37 PM
Pirate pitching is Reds kryptonite, apparently.

edabbs44
07-19-2011, 09:53 PM
I think the offensive improvement needs to come from within. I'm not sure that the cure will be had in one trade. The team has the talent.

OPSs since June 1:

Bruce: .700
Votto: .888
BP: .708
Hanigan: .649
Stubbs: .727
Rolen: .669

Go get Beltran or whatever other player you want, if these guys don't start to step up their game it won't matter. These guys are all capable of playing better, hopefully they will.

OldXOhio
07-19-2011, 10:30 PM
I think the offensive improvement needs to come from within. I'm not sure that the cure will be had in one trade. The team has the talent.

OPSs since June 1:

Bruce: .700
Votto: .888
BP: .708
Hanigan: .649
Stubbs: .727
Rolen: .669

Go get Beltran or whatever other player you want, if these guys don't start to step up their game it won't matter. These guys are all capable of playing better, hopefully they will.

Sell. Now.

edabbs44
07-19-2011, 10:32 PM
Sell. Now.

It comes down to how much you believe in those names.

Griffey012
07-19-2011, 10:57 PM
I am going to go ahead and guess the Reds score 8+ runs tomorrow.

Kc61
07-19-2011, 11:02 PM
I am going to go ahead and guess the Reds score 8+ runs tomorrow.

I predicted a third shutout in the game thread tonight.

kbrake
07-19-2011, 11:06 PM
Hopefully the boys go out and find some big female Steelers fans tonight and have a good time.

vaticanplum
07-19-2011, 11:20 PM
Hopefully the boys go out and find some big female Steelers fans tonight and have a good time.

If I saw any Reds out in Pittsburgh tonight with a 12:35 game tomorrow, I would bash their ears in. (Note: I am not a Steelers fan.)

OldXOhio
07-19-2011, 11:21 PM
It comes down to how much you believe in those names.

Outside of Votto and some much needed help, I just don't.

WVRedsFan
07-19-2011, 11:44 PM
Yes it irritates me to no end when our clueless broadcasters constantly whine about the Reds leaving men on base and failing to get a clutch hits. If they weren't so lazy the broadcasters could very easily look at the stats and see that the Reds are actually a very good clutch-hitting team compared to the other teams in the league.

The best run-scoring teams leave a lot of men on base. It may seem wrong at first glance but that is how it works. Teams that get more runners on base (teams with high on-base percentages) will leave more runners on base. Teams that get more runners on base will also score more runs. In general, teams that score the most runs also leave the most runners on base. It is not like every team gets the same number of baserunners and the team that drives in the best percentage of those runners scores the most runs. Not at all.All of that is tru. Great post, , but call it luck or whatever, the Reds aren't scoring runs or hitting in the clutch when they need it most and it's easy to get down after two straight shutouts.

I feel the ship has sailed on this season. You don't go 14-22 in one-run games and really contend. A couple of moves could change that, but I doubt they will make any. I just hope they make things interesting

WVRedsFan
07-19-2011, 11:47 PM
If I saw any Reds out in Pittsburgh tonight with a 12:35 game tomorrow, I would bash their ears in. (Note: I am not a Steelers fan.)Good girl. Neither am I. That's reserved for dumb West Virginians who hate Pitt but fail to realize that the same fans who call us names and look down at us are Pirate fans too and yet they root for the Pirates. Having a wife from there just compounds the problem. Especially tonight :).

Tony Cloninger
07-19-2011, 11:53 PM
I think the Twins are about to have a better record than the Reds sometime soon. Were the Twins NOT about 14-32 or something at one time?

CrackerJack
07-19-2011, 11:53 PM
Hopefully the boys go out and find some big female Steelers fans tonight and have a good time.

They are in the right city for this, it shouldn't be hard...(no offense to VP, that's why she's a Reds' fan and not a Steelers' fan either)

membengal
07-20-2011, 07:42 AM
On the plus side, they didn't leave as many runners on base last night...

Mario-Rijo
07-20-2011, 10:48 AM
Pirate pitching is Reds kryptonite, apparently.

Well I think teams have just finally figured out that this team is/has become a typical Dusty type team, hack masters and not only that but too many holes in swings on top of it. So just keeping the ball down and changing speeds is all that is required to completely frustrate them. They will continue to beat the daggone ball into the ground and/or strike out alot.

RedLegsToday
07-20-2011, 10:49 AM
So, the Reds are something like 18-98 (.184) with bases loaded this year. The rest of the NL minus the Reds is something like 319-1078 (.296). That's just 10 more hits with bases loaded, to be up at the league average, and the Reds (with the ridiculous number of 1 and 2 run losses) would probably be at their pythag record or slightly better, and be in first place. It's a razor thin line between success and failure in this game.