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Kc61
08-02-2011, 10:08 AM
I don't have the answers, but something is very wrong.

The team has a plus 39 run differential. This is much better than the Brewers who are plus 9. Reds narrowly trail the Cards who are plus 47.

Yet the Reds are 7.5 games out, in fourth place.

You might think it's the bullpen. Giving up close games at the end. But the bullpen numbers are pretty good. It's certainly not a major team weakness.

Lack of clutch hitting? Well, yes, to some extent, but all the stats I've seen show the Reds are ok with RISP. And overall the team OPS is tied for second in the NL.

Starting pitching not terrific? True, but the team ERA is now 4.02, which is vastly improved from earlier this year. Since Volquez and Wood were sent down, the starting pitching has been pretty, pretty good IMO.

Sometimes I think it is Baker's decisions. Some of them are poor. Bringing in the struggling Ondrusek in the tenth last night was inexplicable to me, as was all the bunting against the weak Astros. Yet, has Dusty's in-game managing cost the Reds so many games?

The Reds are a below .500 team virtually out of the race in a bad division. They seem to be a much better ballclub "on paper" than their record reflects. What is your explanation?

wolfboy
08-02-2011, 10:26 AM
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rally-Onion/124872650873160

I think its power has waned.

oneupper
08-02-2011, 10:46 AM
Last night was the season in a nutshell. What's more, I'd say they've lost three games to the Astros this year which are all similar to that. A tiny bit of anything better, and those games are yours.

A little of
1) Poor club design. Where's the masher when you need him? The hitting is vulnerable to average RH pitchers (which are abundant in the NL Central). SS/LF.
2) Poor game management. Yeah, yeah. I know. Lineups that don't work. Giving up outs on the basepaths. Sure, it doesn't matter if the hit and run didn't work in the 3rd inning.
But you're paying for it later when your tied or behind by one going into the late innings.
3) Poor luck. A foot more here or there. Injuries happen, but their timing has been terrible (both for REDS and teams playing the REDS).
4) Poor execution. Need some better playing when it matters. It hasn't happened.
5) Complacency. The fact that the team never collapsed or fell suddenly out of contention (like the Ms). If the Cards or Brewers had run away with the division, shortcomings would have been addressed sooner. Possibly the team, like many here, looked at the Pythag and said "we're fine, we just need some breaks".

We could go on.

OldXOhio
08-02-2011, 10:53 AM
Lack of clutch hitting? Well, yes, to some extent, but all the stats I've seen show the Reds are ok with RISP

Do you have any of these stats to pass along?

paulrichjr
08-02-2011, 11:05 AM
Mono. When I read it I knew he would be bad this year. Bronson Arroyo being run out there every 5th day no matter what he does is killing the Reds. Travis Wood, Sam LeCure, heck even Volquez might be a better option. If Arroyo pitches like he has for the last few years with the Reds they are 2-3 games back max.

reds1869
08-02-2011, 11:08 AM
Do you have any of these stats to pass along?

The Reds Batting average is 5th in the NL with runners in scoring position and 10th in the majors.

MLB Sortable Team Stats (http://mlb.mlb.com/stats/sortable.jsp?c_id=mlb&tcid=mm_mlb_stats#sectionType=st&playerType=ALL&statType=hitting&page_type=SortablePlayer&season=2011&season_type=ANY&sportCode='mlb'&league_code='NL'&split=risp&team_id=113&active_sw=&game_type='R'&position=&sortOrder='desc'&sortColumn=avg&results=&page=1&perPage=50&timeframe=&extended=0&last_x_days=&ts=1312297633974&tab_level=child&click_text=Sortable+Team+hitting)

fisch11
08-02-2011, 11:12 AM
Anyone who golfs can relate to this. One time I will got out and drive the ball well and sink some putts, but I can't hit my irons or handle my wedges around the green. The next time I go out, I have solved my iron play but now I am erratic off the tee box. The 3rd time out I am hitting fairways and getting on the green, but I 3 putt every hole and get more lip than Angelina Jolie.

My analogy is that this Reds team can't seem to put all phases of the game together at the same time. One night the offense is rolling but the bullpen stinks. The next night they give up unearned runs with terrible defense. Another game the starting pitching is on but the bats go cold. The have struggled to play well consistently in all phases of the game.

Run differential can easily be skewed by winning 9-0 one night and losing 1-0 the next time out. They seem to win big and lose small more often than everyone else (see runs scored vs. 1 run losses).

As for RISP, this team is not as clutch as they were last season, especially with 2 outs. I really think getting that clutch hit with 2 outs has really been the difference between last year and this year, especially in terms of losses in 1 run games.

PuffyPig
08-02-2011, 11:15 AM
Randomness for the most part.

We are a better team than our record, though that doesn't make it less frustrating.

reds1869
08-02-2011, 11:15 AM
As for RISP, this team is not as clutch as they were last season, especially with 2 outs. I really think getting that clutch hit with 2 outs has really been the difference between last year and this year, especially in terms of losses in 1 run games.

There is a lot of merit to that idea. Hitting .201 will not get the job done.

RISP w/ 2 out (http://mlb.mlb.com/stats/sortable.jsp?c_id=mlb&tcid=mm_mlb_stats#sectionType=st&playerType=ALL&statType=hitting&page_type=SortablePlayer&season=2011&season_type=ANY&sportCode='mlb'&league_code='NL'&split=risp2&team_id=113&active_sw=&game_type='R'&position=&sortOrder='desc'&sortColumn=avg&results=&page=1&perPage=50&timeframe=&extended=0&last_x_days=&ts=1312298072052&tab_level=child&click_text=Sortable+Team+hitting)

fisch11
08-02-2011, 11:17 AM
There is a lot of merit to that idea. Hitting .201 will not get the job done.

RISP w/ 2 out (http://mlb.mlb.com/stats/sortable.jsp?c_id=mlb&tcid=mm_mlb_stats#sectionType=st&playerType=ALL&statType=hitting&page_type=SortablePlayer&season=2011&season_type=ANY&sportCode='mlb'&league_code='NL'&split=risp2&team_id=113&active_sw=&game_type='R'&position=&sortOrder='desc'&sortColumn=avg&results=&page=1&perPage=50&timeframe=&extended=0&last_x_days=&ts=1312298072052&tab_level=child&click_text=Sortable+Team+hitting)

13th in the NL, 26th in baseball. For some reason it won't show 2010's stats though.

reds1869
08-02-2011, 11:23 AM
13th in the NL, 26th in baseball. For some reason it won't show 2010's stats though.

You're right, it only shows three teams. A look at last year's overall RISP numbers shows one of the big reasons this team won more tight games; .278 is getting it done.

#1 in the NL 2010 (http://mlb.mlb.com/stats/sortable.jsp?c_id=mlb&tcid=mm_mlb_stats#sectionType=st&playerType=ALL&statType=hitting&page_type=SortablePlayer&season=2010&season_type=ANY&sportCode='mlb'&league_code='NL'&split=risp&team_id=113&active_sw=&game_type='R'&position=&sortOrder='desc'&sortColumn=avg&results=&page=1&perPage=50&timeframe=&extended=0&last_x_days=&ts=1312298500141&tab_level=child&click_text=Sortable+Team+hitting)

RedsManRick
08-02-2011, 11:23 AM
There are basically two ways to answer this:

1) They haven't been productive enough. I think that while we can point to individual players who have underperformed expectations, on the whole we've scored/allowed enough runs to be on an 86 win pace and 1 run out of first place in the division. It's easy to point out a list of guys who have under-performed, but that's how a team works and it would be silly to expect everybody to meet or exceed expectations. I'm a bit disappointed, but on balance, we're more or less where I expected us to be in terms of run differential.

FWIW, here's my list of exceeds/meets/does not meet expectations, remembering that this is each player relative to my preseason expectations, not a comparison between players. A player could be on the not meeting list and still be productive -- just not as much as I had hoped. Of course, he could also just be stinking it up...



Exceeding expectations Meets expectations Not meeting expectations
CA Hernandez 1B Votto CA Hanigan
3B Cairo 2B Phillips SS Janish
SP Cueto OF Gomes SS Renteria
SP Leake OF Heisey LF Bruce
RP LeCure OF Stubbs 3B Rolen
RP Bray OF Lewis SP Arroyo
SP Bailey SP Volquez
RP Chapman SP Wood
RP Massett RP Smith
RP Arredondo
RP Cordero
RP Ondrusek

2) They haven't scored and prevented runs at the "right" times. They've won the blowouts and lost the close ones. History tells us that's not sustainable nor predictable.

We can muse and surmise systematic reasons why we're losing close games, but it would just be guesses. I'm not fan of Dusty's tactics (last night being a perfect example), but he's the same guy that led the Reds to a 27-27 record last year and 19-20 in 2009. If you replace Dusty with a better tactician, we're probably a better team -- but that's going to show up across the board.

To put it most simply, stuff happens. We simply haven't scored and prevented runs when we needed to the most. There's no one person or handful of people to blame; that's not to say we can spread the blame evenly, but just that there's no good way to assign it.

You can't just look at close & late, because runs count regardless of what inning they were scored. Score an extra 2 runs in the 5th and a 4-3 loss becomes a 5-4 win. Score 2 fewer runs in the 3rd and the 6-3 win becomes a 4-3 one (improving our 1-run game record).

I'm a little disappointed in our overall performance (My list is below), but the biggest issue is simple "bad luck". Again, that's not to absolve players of their responsibilities, but generally speaking, guys are always trying to do their best and have little control over the timing of their successes and failures (above and beyond their ability to affect the outcome).

It's discomforting not to have a better explanation than that. Humans are wired to explaining anything and everything. It's how we deal. But for now, I just take solace in knowing that this team is more talented than is reflected in its W-L record and that is likely to shine through over the next two months.

RedlegJake
08-02-2011, 11:24 AM
Youth. Young teams that succeed often take a step backward. Expecting all these young guys to gel in one forward motion was unrealistic. The FO, I think, is banking on them maturing together in 2012 and 2013 and probably thought they'd leapfrogged a couple years last season. We're still seeing a bunch of new or relatively inexperienced players and with Yonder, Mes and Frazier on the cusp and Chapman yet to work into the rotation, leaders Bruce, Votto, Stubbs and Cueto still very young and pre-prime so to speak, I think the health and problems losing regular time and production from vets Rolen and Arroyo and Volquez' implosion just messed up the leadership and balance of the whole team - last year ever guy seemed to have their role set and have their niche and this year it seems out of synch, hitting and pitching and D just don't seem to match up day to day and game to game like last year. All this just goes to me trying to say - this looks like a really, really young team struggling to find its footing.

Homer Bailey
08-02-2011, 11:29 AM
Anyone who golfs can relate to this. One time I will got out and drive the ball well and sink some putts, but I can't hit my irons or handle my wedges around the green. The next time I go out, I have solved my iron play but now I am erratic off the tee box. The 3rd time out I am hitting fairways and getting on the green, but I 3 putt every hole and get more lip than Angelina Jolie.

My analogy is that this Reds team can't seem to put all phases of the game together at the same time. One night the offense is rolling but the bullpen stinks. The next night they give up unearned runs with terrible defense. Another game the starting pitching is on but the bats go cold. The have struggled to play well consistently in all phases of the game.

Run differential can easily be skewed by winning 9-0 one night and losing 1-0 the next time out. They seem to win big and lose small more often than everyone else (see runs scored vs. 1 run losses).

As for RISP, this team is not as clutch as they were last season, especially with 2 outs. I really think getting that clutch hit with 2 outs has really been the difference between last year and this year, especially in terms of losses in 1 run games.

This is exactly how I've felt all year long, but couldn't summarize it. Well done.

oneupper
08-02-2011, 11:32 AM
Since "luck" comes up again and again, I'm going to re-tell an old tale.
(Re-told by Julia Roberts in the Eat, Pray, Love chick flick).

This one man went to church everyday and prayed in front of a statue of his favorite saint that he would win the lottery. “Please, please, please let me win the lottery,” he prayed day after day after day.

Finally, the saint could take it no longer and made the statue come to life. “Please, please, please,” said the saint, “buy a ticket.”

So, yes, the team has been unlucky. But the FO and Dusty haven't been "buying the ticket" either. (particularly Dusty).
If your luck is bad, your results are not going to get better by lowering the odds.

OldXOhio
08-02-2011, 11:52 AM
The Reds Batting average is 5th in the NL with runners in scoring position and 10th in the majors.

MLB Sortable Team Stats (http://mlb.mlb.com/stats/sortable.jsp?c_id=mlb&tcid=mm_mlb_stats#sectionType=st&playerType=ALL&statType=hitting&page_type=SortablePlayer&season=2011&season_type=ANY&sportCode='mlb'&league_code='NL'&split=risp&team_id=113&active_sw=&game_type='R'&position=&sortOrder='desc'&sortColumn=avg&results=&page=1&perPage=50&timeframe=&extended=0&last_x_days=&ts=1312297633974&tab_level=child&click_text=Sortable+Team+hitting)

As I thought. Anyone else hear Milo Hamilton say the Reds were second to last in the league in hitting with RISP???

membengal
08-02-2011, 12:08 PM
Whole year has felt like top of reds second last night. Bruce hits one literally 425 feet and it is only a double as it was to dead center in the one park that could hold it. Alonso follows with a 402 foot...out to deep left center, moving bruce to 3b where, with one out, hanigan Ks. They end up mot scoring through awful luck and poor "clutch" hitting. Just felt like a microcosm.

HokieRed
08-02-2011, 12:09 PM
Is our 39 run differential primarily a GABP effect? The obvious answer to this would be that our collective opponents play as many games in GABP as we do. But that would overlook the possibility that our team has been structured, consciously and unwittingly, for success in GABP whereas other teams are structured, again both consciously and unwittingly, for success in their parks. Note, for instance, that 15 runs of that differential derive from our recent three game sweep of SF at GABP. Does anybody really think we are a better team than SF? Are we falling victim to what Bill James said years ago was a systematic, largely unidentified problem for the Cubs--i.e. that playing in Wrigley Field caused them to consistently overrate their own offensive talent? Is it possible our players are really much less valuable than we think (as one might say we seem to find whenever WJ goes about trying to trade them)?

Kc61
08-02-2011, 01:50 PM
Here are a couple of additional possibilities:

1. It took the starting pitching a long time to sort itself out. Volquez belonged in the minors for an extended period, didn't happen until the end. Arroyo wasn't healthy most of the year, maybe better now. Bailey and Cueto were injured early.

2. Some of the major young players have been wildly inconsistent, most notably Bruce and Stubbs. Perhaps to be expected. But these two guys are major parts of the offense.

3. My pet peeve -- inability to hit righty pitching well. Being great against lefties is fine, but usually it's a right hander out there. I see this as an issue, but probably not a huge factor overall.

MikeS21
08-02-2011, 02:01 PM
Because so many folks want to blame somebody, the FO and Dusty seem to be favorite targets. But neither are actually on the field.

As fisch11 pointed out, you can't really point to any one player, or you could point fingers at all of them. And it's not every game, It's one bad inning in about 8-9 "big" games.

Take CoCo for example. Before the All Star game, the guy has been lights out. He has been spectacular. They play the division leading Brewers, and CoCo has a bad series where he blows two saves. Now. Every closer blows saves. Every closer closer goes through a bad series or two. Every closer racks up a few losses every season. What amplified that series was that the Reds were playing the Brewers, and because he blew the saves, the Reds not only lost the games, but they lost games in the standings. The Brewers were the very ones they needed to beat. So the losses stung just a little more than a simple loss. By the way, CoCo has been pretty good ever since that one series.

Last night, I was following the game thread and folks started howling because Dusty brought in Logan Ondrusek to pitch. I'm thinking, "This guy has proven to be one of the most dependable relievers in baseball this year. Why the complaining?" OK, he had a non-typical Ondrusek outing last night. How many relievers throw 50 innings and end the year with a 0.00 ERA and no losses? I know nowadays we have to look at WHIP and WAR and all those other new-fangled stats, but a guy who has an ERA under 2.00 is still pretty good in my book. Logan came in with a sub-2.00 ERA. Even with last night, his ERA sits at 2.15, and the guy has a lifetime 2.95 ERA in 108 innings. It seems to me Ondrusek has earned a little leeway, and yet we all know that if Dusty brings him into the game tonight, Dusty will be crucified.

Lets face it. If the Reds could take away a bad first inning by a starter here, a blow save there, an error here, and a strikeout with the bases loaded there, they would probably be in first place.

Rojo
08-02-2011, 02:03 PM
I'm a little disappointed in our overall performance (My list is below), but the biggest issue is simple "bad luck".

Probably. But I'd also add that we have a Potemkin bullpen. The Reds and Astros are the bottom two teams on the pythag differential. They're also the bottom two in save percentage.

This is why I'm not sure we move Chapman into the rotation. The first place I'm looking for improvement is the pen.

Kc61
08-02-2011, 02:08 PM
Probably. But I'd also add that we have a Potemkin bullpen. The Reds and Astros are the bottom two teams on the pythag differential. They're also the bottom two in save percentage.

This is why I'm not sure we move Chapman into the rotation. The first place I'm looking for improvement is the pen.

What pythag differential are you referring to? Ninth inning? Please clarify.

Rojo
08-02-2011, 02:41 PM
What pythag differential are you referring to? Ninth inning? Please clarify.

Looking at the "luck" stat on baseball-reference:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/NL/2011-standings.shtml

I know, correlation doesn't equal causation. But an iron-tight bullpen never hurt a team.

RedsManRick
08-02-2011, 04:19 PM
What pythag differential are you referring to? Ninth inning? Please clarify.

It's basically how many games better/worse you are than your pythag.

I think you're always going to find that blowing saves is highly correlated with a poor pythag differential, basically by definition. It's the act of turning a close win in to a (usually close) loss. But I would argue that that's my point.

It's not that our relievers have been poor; they're squarely middle of the pack. It's that they've been poor at bad times and/or our offense has not compensated.

Rojo
08-02-2011, 05:48 PM
It's not that our relievers have been poor; they're squarely middle of the pack.

I think worse but I won't belabor. With CoCo's contract at an end, it's to reboot the pen.

Griffey012
08-02-2011, 07:30 PM
There are basically two ways to answer this:

1) They haven't been productive enough. I think that while we can point to individual players who have underperformed expectations, on the whole we've scored/allowed enough runs to be on an 86 win pace and 1 run out of first place in the division. It's easy to point out a list of guys who have under-performed, but that's how a team works and it would be silly to expect everybody to meet or exceed expectations. I'm a bit disappointed, but on balance, we're more or less where I expected us to be in terms of run differential.

FWIW, here's my list of exceeds/meets/does not meet expectations, remembering that this is each player relative to my preseason expectations, not a comparison between players. A player could be on the not meeting list and still be productive -- just not as much as I had hoped. Of course, he could also just be stinking it up...



Exceeding expectations Meets expectations Not meeting expectations
CA Hernandez 1B Votto CA Hanigan
3B Cairo 2B Phillips SS Janish
SP Cueto OF Gomes SS Renteria
SP Leake OF Heisey LF Bruce
RP LeCure OF Stubbs 3B Rolen
RP Bray OF Lewis SP Arroyo
SP Bailey SP Volquez
RP Chapman SP Wood
RP Massett RP Smith
RP Arredondo
RP Cordero
RP Ondrusek

2) They haven't scored and prevented runs at the "right" times. They've won the blowouts and lost the close ones. History tells us that's not sustainable nor predictable.

We can muse and surmise systematic reasons why we're losing close games, but it would just be guesses. I'm not fan of Dusty's tactics (last night being a perfect example), but he's the same guy that led the Reds to a 27-27 record last year and 19-20 in 2009. If you replace Dusty with a better tactician, we're probably a better team -- but that's going to show up across the board.

To put it most simply, stuff happens. We simply haven't scored and prevented runs when we needed to the most. There's no one person or handful of people to blame; that's not to say we can spread the blame evenly, but just that there's no good way to assign it.

You can't just look at close & late, because runs count regardless of what inning they were scored. Score an extra 2 runs in the 5th and a 4-3 loss becomes a 5-4 win. Score 2 fewer runs in the 3rd and the 6-3 win becomes a 4-3 one (improving our 1-run game record).

I'm a little disappointed in our overall performance (My list is below), but the biggest issue is simple "bad luck". Again, that's not to absolve players of their responsibilities, but generally speaking, guys are always trying to do their best and have little control over the timing of their successes and failures (above and beyond their ability to affect the outcome).

It's discomforting not to have a better explanation than that. Humans are wired to explaining anything and everything. It's how we deal. But for now, I just take solace in knowing that this team is more talented than is reflected in its W-L record and that is likely to shine through over the next two months.


The three points I placed in bold hit the nail on the head in my opinion. It seems like we take a 4 or 5 run lead early and then go dead and let the other team back into the game. It seems like our bullpen is pretty good a majority of the time but then we get in to a tie ballgame, or a 1 run game, and they start walking people and becoming very hittable. It seems like our offense goes absolutely dead in tie games or when we have a 1 run lead, we never seem to be able to plate that insurance run. We get a solid start and can't score any runs, but then we will turn around and put up 12 the next day.

But then again this could simply be some sort of observational bias on my part, in the sense that these situations stick out to me a lot more than the similar situations where we succeed.

mbgrayson
08-02-2011, 08:01 PM
I think that this is an interesting thread. I agree with much of what others have said, and I would point out 3 things:

1. It seems like the team is 'pressing' this year. In tight games, they feel pressured, and then often choke. In blow-out type games, everyone relaxes and hits much better. I am fascinated by the contrast in the last two games: Cueto pitches well, and the team keeps on scoring, running up a big victory. Then last night, when under some pressure in a 2-3, then 3-3 game, we can't get runners across the plate, stranding twice as many as Houston.

2. It isn't very scientific to say this, but success breeds confidence, which yields more success. Failure leads to lack of confidence, which leads to more failure. Last year the Reds were caught up in a positive loop, this year the negative one.

3. Leadership is lacking. First of all, I don't see a clear leader among the players. Last year, it seems like OCab stepped up, this year nobody. It is my sense that there are half a dozen games that we lost due to bad decisions by Dusty: the second Cordero blown save in Milwaukee, leaving BA out there too long, iffy choice of relievers at times, sticking w/ Gomes too long, etc. Finally, I don't think that Walt could decide to pull the trigger. Trades could possible have been made in early to mid-July, while they might have made a difference. He waited too long, then did nothing, which might have been wise since by late July we were 6.5 out. Still, took a long time to get Cosart on the field, and Alonso, and we still are sitting on Ramon for no clear reason. Finally, I think a strong leader could have found a way to change the team chemistry back around to what it was last year, where everyone 'knew' the Reds would come from behind and win....I miss that.

Scrap Irony
08-02-2011, 08:18 PM
By WAR, Scott Rolen has seen his WAR drop by 3.5.

Jay Bruce has seen his drop by 2.4.

Arroyo's seen a drop of 2.3.

Hanigan's seen a 1.2 drop. So has Travis Wood.

Janish has seen a drop of 1.1.

Meanwhile, only Cueto, Leake, LeCure, Bray and Cairo have shown improvement.

Drew Stubbs hasn't taken a step forward offensively. In fact, he's regressed to this point. Jay Bruce has also taken a step backward offensively. Both were expected to be outstanding. Homer Bailey hasn't taken a step forward in the rotation. He was expected to be better.

In fact, you could argue that this team's supposed biggest strength coming into the season-- pitching depth-- has been its biggest disappointment.

nate
08-02-2011, 09:11 PM
Randomness for the most part.

We are a better team than our record, though that doesn't make it less frustrating.

I'm with you. High five!

RedsManRick
08-03-2011, 12:59 AM
Not to beat a dead horse, but I think it's worth reiterating. There's a difference between explaining what happened and explaining why it happened.

We know A LOT more about what than we do about why. We can state the "what" with a pretty high degree of certainty. We can't do the same for the "why". I know we want to answer the why question because that's how we get to a solution, but it seems like we just end up falling back on explanations we're familiar with and seeking out anecdotes to back it up. That's not to say they're wrong, but in reality it's probably some crazy mix of everything we can come up with and 100 things we can't.

If there was a way to succeed in 1-run games, beyond just playing better (which should always be rooting for), somebody probably would've cracked the code by now. I know that placing blame is a big part of what fans do, but it just strikes me as silly to try to surmise the why of something that doesn't show any history of being controllable.

Rojo
08-03-2011, 01:45 AM
If there was a way to succeed in 1-run games, beyond just playing better (which should always be rooting for), somebody probably would've cracked the code by now.

A great pen is as close as you're ever going to get to "cracking the code". Put together a great one and all the "heart/guts/clutch/luck stuff falls into place.

BCubb2003
08-03-2011, 07:52 AM
The short answer is the blown saves by Cordero against Milwaukee. Those two-game swings were huge. The longer answer is the erratic performances by offense, rotation and bullpen at different times in the season. If we could have May's offense, June's bullpen and July's rotation, things would look a lot different.

Roy Tucker
08-03-2011, 08:07 AM
I don't know if I'll be able to explain this very well or if it will make sense. But I think Dusty sometimes puts establishing a guy in his spot and showing confidence in him over winning a game.

Its' not that I think he *wants* to lose the game. But I think he is a players manager and wants the player to know that Dusty has confidence in him and will let him work through some rough times.

If he were a purely tactical manager and just went with numbers and yanked guys when they *started* to go bad (Tony LaRussa and Pete Mackanin comes to mind), he really wouldn't care about what the player thought or felt or whatever. What happens on the field and winning a game is absolutely paramount and everything else is secondary. Dusty would say he is this way, but his decisions don't reflect that IMO.

I think Dusty's approach worked well last year but not so well this year.

puca
08-03-2011, 08:26 AM
The Reds took a gamble that Edison would bounce back and enough of the young pitchers would improve that the starting staff would be a strength. It didn't happen. Cueto improved but that was offset by Arroyo backsliding. Edison couldn't throw strikes. None of the other young pitchers stepped up, most even regressed. This left the Reds with a starters struggling to make it into the 6th inning which taxed and to some degree exposed the bullpen.

They counted on Rolen being relatively healthy. That didn't work out and left the Reds without a legitimate RH bat to hit between Votto and Bruce - one that could hit RH pitchers as well as LH pitchers. This left a gaping hole in the lineup.

They failed to bring in good leadoff hitter that would have allowed Stubbs to move way down in the order where seemed more comfortable.

Scrap Irony
08-03-2011, 10:26 AM
The short answer is the blown saves by Cordero against Milwaukee. Those two-game swings were huge. The longer answer is the erratic performances by offense, rotation and bullpen at different times in the season. If we could have May's offense, June's bullpen and July's rotation, things would look a lot different.

Good call, BCubb. That series is the season in a nutshell. 3.5 games behind right now and it's a whole new ballgame.

oregonred
08-03-2011, 12:41 PM
The Reds took a gamble that Edison would bounce back and enough of the young pitchers would improve that the starting staff would be a strength. It didn't happen. Cueto improved but that was offset by Arroyo backsliding. Edison couldn't throw strikes. None of the other young pitchers stepped up, most even regressed. This left the Reds with a starters struggling to make it into the 6th inning which taxed and to some degree exposed the bullpen.

They counted on Rolen being relatively healthy. That didn't work out and left the Reds without a legitimate RH bat to hit between Votto and Bruce - one that could hit RH pitchers as well as LH pitchers. This left a gaping hole in the lineup.

They failed to bring in good leadoff hitter that would have allowed Stubbs to move way down in the order where seemed more comfortable.

Yep, and when the rotation stabilized in June (3.38 ERA for the month yet only a 14-12 record), the team inexplicably continued losing 1-run games and doing just enough to not win winnable games even losing to a Phillies infielder pitching in the 18th inning...

The Reds have the second best ERA in the NL since the ASB (3.07 vs. 3.05 for Milwaukee). Yet the Reds have managed only a 9-9 record and actually have lost 2.5 games in that stretch to the Brewers who are 12-7 since the ASB.

The only good news is that the pitching peripherals look much better and there is hope that 2011 was a correctable flukish season. The gaps, keepers and performers should be obvious to the FO at this point (slow learners) who really let the fans down this season.

One more thing, don't go 3-12 vs. the Indians and Pirates next season. 51-44 without that mess.

Orenda
08-03-2011, 03:54 PM
the curse of Hal McCoy; you can't proclaim the Reds the NL Central champs after 3 games and expect to get away with it.

klw
08-03-2011, 05:19 PM
I don't see why we are concerned about how Carpenter plans on explaining the Reds failure to his son.