Re: 1st Inning Woes
It's absolutely possible that something is going on which causes Reds pitchers to be poor out of the shoot. And there's certainly no harm in digging around a bit to see if we can't uncover something. It certainly wouldn't be the first time somebody has suggested the Reds' have poor advanced scouting...
But given 16 teams, one of them has to be the worst and it's likely some team will have numbers that seem out of line with the quality of their pitching staff. We should also consider the selection bias involved in the observation -- what if Reds starters struggled in the 3rd inning relative to the league? Would we still be concerned? Would anybody have noticed at all?
Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.