Originally Posted by oregonred
The team has played medioce ball for the last half season going 39-36 since June 1st. The team has three series wins all season against +.500 teams. Fortunately mediocre is all that appears necessary to secure an NL wildcard berth this season. Not sure why that's controversial. I would have expected better, but it's good enough to be in the division hunt.
Fortunately St Lewie is only 39-35 in the same stretch (Pit 42-32) and the rest of the serious NL contenders (Giants, Nats and DBacks) have largely fallen apart over the same period. ONly the Dodgers and Braves have been crushing it over the last ~75-80 games.
74-57 given the injuries is a bit disappointing after 35-21, but all in all an acceptable position. They've got a chance to win the division going into the last month with a wildcard all but secured given the weak NL field. Not a great season and certainly not the one we expected, but fortunately no one wants to run and hide with the division.
Looking into the crystal ball, I think the Reds catch the Pirates over the last week but can't quite catch the Cardinals.
So, it seems you are arguing that the timing of accumulating wins and losses is more important than the overall record. For instance, the Reds were a mere 32-27 as of June 9, 2012 after losing two straight to the Tigers. They were 44-37 at the halfway mark. They had the hot streak after the Votto injury which built up most of their above .500 mark, then went back to "medicore" ball. That resulted in 97 wins.
The moral of the story: Winning baseball is long periods of .500 ball with spurts of winning streaks and minimizing spurt losing streaks. There is nothing mediocre about being 17 over.