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Thread: 10% of the Way Done: Contender or Pretender?

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    10% of the Way Done: Contender or Pretender?

    So, we're basically 10% of the way through the season, and the Reds are on a pace to win 100 games. What we've seen so far is that the Reds are very similar to last year's team in many respects. The starting pitching, almost without exception, is atrocious. The bullpen might actually be worse than last year's (save the emergence of Todd Coffee as a stopper). But a lineup with Dunn, Lopez, Freel, Kearns, Encarnacion and sometimes Griffey is able to pound out runs in bunches.

    So, the question looms: is this sustainable? Conventional wisdom is not only no, but HELL NO. You have to have pitching to win, and the Reds apparently do not. There are too many games against other teams' aces that the Reds simply do not have a chance to win to keep up this run, right?

    However, we're fans, so we can't just accept that. I mean, the Reds HAVE managed to beat Cris Carpenter and Dontrelle Willis already this year, arguably the top two pitchers in the National League (I said arguably Pedro). And isn't pitching around the league so poor that the Reds really CAN count on trying to outscore teams on most nights? Sure, it's not a great playoff strategy, but in the regular season when you play Pittsburgh as much as you do St. Louis, why not?

    Anyway, I'm interested in other Reds' fans thoughts. Is there any hope that this pace is at all sustainable (other than the fact that they play the games on the field and not on paper, so there's always SOME hope)? Or do you guys think that, barring some miracle with the pitching staff, we're headed for an unavoidable summer swoon?

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    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Re: 10% of the Way Done: Contender or Pretender?

    You don't have to have great pitching to win but it needs to be at least around league average.
    What are you, people? On dope? - Mr Hand

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    Re: 10% of the Way Done: Contender or Pretender?

    Quote Originally Posted by flyer85
    You don't have to have great pitching to win but it needs to be at least around league average.
    Exactly, if the Reds can at least sustain league average pitching through the all star break, then I believe the team will make a run a some 1/2 year rentals for a playoff push. The offense? It can absolutely be the the best in baseball, will it score 12 runs a night? No. But will it more often than not give us a chance to win? Bet on it.
    Benzinger backing and calling! And the 1990 world championship series belongs to the Cincinnati Reds!

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    Re: 10% of the Way Done: Contender or Pretender?

    We're one pitcher away from being a definete contender. Maybe when Paul Wilson gets back, we can get rid of Dave Williams...

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    Re: 10% of the Way Done: Contender or Pretender?

    Quote Originally Posted by bengalred
    We're one pitcher away from being a definete contender.
    actually I would say 3-4(Williams, White, Hammonds and likely Milton)
    What are you, people? On dope? - Mr Hand

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    Re: 10% of the Way Done: Contender or Pretender?

    Quote Originally Posted by flyer85
    actually I would say 3-4(Williams, White, Hammonds and likely Milton)
    I meant starting pitching, but the bullpen needs work too. I think we have enough bullpen to get by for now, with Shackelford, Coffey, Belisle, and Weathers, but by the trade deadline we need some bullpen help. I also think that Milton will be fine. He has only had one bad start so far, so I am willing to give him a chance. Williams, on the other hand, is not worthy of the slightest chance possible.

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    Re: 10% of the Way Done: Contender or Pretender?

    They are two starting pitchers away from being a contender. And, I mean two legit starters (not two Dave Williams starters). Without that, they still have a chance to make my dream of .500, but it's hard to expect more.

    Hope for more? Sure. Expect it? No way.

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    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: 10% of the Way Done: Contender or Pretender?

    What flyer said. The pitching just isn't built to contend and it's still multiple bodies away from league average. If there was viable help in AAA I might take a different position, but there isn't.
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    Re: 10% of the Way Done: Contender or Pretender?

    Quote Originally Posted by bengalred
    We're one pitcher away from being a definete contender. Maybe when Paul Wilson gets back, we can get rid of Dave Williams...
    Paul Wilson is nowhere near what we need. If Griffey is healthy, maybe we can swing something with the CWS since they had mucho interest last season. They are dying to get McCarthy in the rotation. Or maybe Minny, same situation with Liriano. Grif won't go to Minn, but since Kriv has a history with Minny he might be able to work something.

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    Re: 10% of the Way Done: Contender or Pretender?

    This team, with the pitching we have right now, may come out of the gate like Secretariat, but it's going to cross the finish line like Mr. Ed.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
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    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Re: 10% of the Way Done: Contender or Pretender?

    Quote Originally Posted by M2
    If there was viable help in AAA I might take a different position, but there isn't.
    Honestly they need to do what the Indians did a couple of years back when their pen was a disaster of epic proportions in the first two months. Just start running guys through there until you find a couple more than can get people out. That may mean trying AAA starters(especially since none project as effective ML starters anyway) as ML relievers and bringing up a AA pitcher or two as well.
    What are you, people? On dope? - Mr Hand

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    Re: 10% of the Way Done: Contender or Pretender?

    Unfortunately, still a small sample size. Once we've taken a full lap around the NL Central, then I would feel comfortable to pass judgment. I hope for the best for the Reds, but the pitching makes me sick to my stomach on a nightly-basis.

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    Re: 10% of the Way Done: Contender or Pretender?

    If they keep hitting like they are maybe. The NL Central maybe be the toughest division in baseball. The Mets and Braves get to play the Marlins 500 times. I tend to think that Pitts is better than FLa, but that might prove to be wrong.
    But, the team would never win a short series against a team with good pitching. They might against a team with average to decent pitching.
    I'm East of you. Be very very worried. Not quite OBX. But, be worried.

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    Re: 10% of the Way Done: Contender or Pretender?

    Pretender, must stop giving up runs or it's going to catch up to us.

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    Re: 10% of the Way Done: Contender or Pretender?

    Still too early to tell. I don't think the starting pitching has been as bad as people say it has been. Of course there have been three or four very putrid starts, but for the most part it's been at least servicable, and with this offense that's all you need.

    If the bullpen can get straightened out (and it's possible), and something can be done with Dave Williams (either come around or take him off the 25 man roster), then yeah I think this team can still make some noise.

    Still way too early to tell, though.
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