Is the pitching a coincidence?
When Dunn was traded on Aug 11, less than two weeks after Griffey was dealt away, the Reds, at 52-67, were giving up an average of 5.12 runs per game. In the 32 games (small sample) since then -- during which time they're 18-14 -- they've allowed an average of 3.97. The obvious improvement is over a run a game. Do you think that's merely a function of Harang and Arroyo getting their stuff together, or does it also have to do -- perhaps a lot to do -- with the better range and defense in the outfield?
Another apparent outcome (again, sample size) is that the team, with better defense and less reliance on the big bang, is conspicuously more consistent, as evidenced by the spate of one-run games. Consistency, at the least, gives a general manager something solid to work with.
And one more thing worth noting: Tonight, the Reds' only complete-game shutout of the season was caught by Ryan Hanigan. Although I don't have the numbers rounded up (and don't intend to round them up), it seems that pitchers have thrown exceedingly well to Hanigan. Does anybody have the ERA of the games/innings he's caught?