Re: The first 12 games of 2012 were worse...
Last year was different because the question was offense.
This year it's pitching, mostly due to injuries.
Cueto is you number 1 starter. The number 1 starter is normally the team's most important player. I think that is true for the Reds.
Marshall and Lecure are out, presumably for a short time, but their loss was already felt this week. I think the pitching staff is much weaker with these two relievers out.
So unlike last year, this year we have to focus more on the pitching staff. I think health will play a big role.
At full strength, I think this is a very solid starting staff and a superb bullpen. But without the top starter and with two good relievers out, it becomes more of a concern.