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Thread: Offense? Reds took one of their biggest strengths and made it a glaring weakness

  1. #46
    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: Offense? Reds took one of their biggest strengths and made it a glaring weakness

    I picked up a copy of this morning's NY Times to read while I was waiting for my appointment. Murray Chass had a column about Uttley's hitting streak. He interviewed various players, past and present, about why DiMaggio's streak is the hardest to break (aside from those which will be unbreakable - most wins in a season, a career, etc.). It was interesting to be reminded by some pretty fair hitters that it isn't always the easiest thing to do. You always hope that your team is clicking on all cylinders, but sometimes not. Here's the final half of the column.

    DiMaggio’s record, on the other hand, requires only that a player get a hit every game for 56 games.

    “It seems like it’s not that hard to get a hit every day,” said Don Mattingly, the Yankees’ hitting coach and a fair hitter in his time. “It didn’t seem like it would be. Just one, you know? Why can’t you get one? Why not? So, I don’t know why. It’s tough, obviously.

    “You have to hit a ball clean, and some days you’re going to hit two lineouts. So you don’t hit every ball hard; you hit three out of four balls, but you hit two of them right at somebody. So all of a sudden you leave yourself with one at-bat to get a hit. So I think just luck sometimes. You have eight guys out there trying to catch a ball.”

    How hard is it to sustain a hitting streak? Since 1941, Rose is the only player to hit in 40 or more consecutive games. Paul Molitor reached 39 in 1987, and Jimmy Rollins of the Phillies is next on the post-Rose list, hitting safely in his last 36 games last season.

    Rollins also had hits in his first two games this season, making his streak 38 games for some people, but it makes no sense to extend a hitting streak over two seasons. Circumstances are different when six months separate at-bats. The pressure of a hitting streak is playing each day as the streak builds.

    “You just want to get in a consistent rhythm and keep doing the right thing,” Carlos Delgado of the Mets said. “But if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.

    “There are so many obstacles. One day you’re facing a guy throwing 95, then 85. Then they bring in a lefty, and then a sidearmer. There are so many outside elements, and that’s what makes doing it day after day so impressive.”

    Perhaps it is because of the difficulty of building a streak that teams and the news media are quick to talk about a player having a five, six or eight-game hitting streak. When Derek Jeter got a first-inning single yesterday in the Yankees’ game against Toronto, the announcers quickly talked about his 12-game hitting streak.

    “There’s a fine line,” Delgado said. “At 10 or 12 games, it’s an achievement, but no one’s starting to notice. At 15 or 16, that’s when people start caring, and it gets more difficult. People start asking about what you’re doing, if you’re doing anything different, about your approach. If no one’s talking about it, you can just focus on hitting the ball.”

    By the time a player gets to Utley’s level, he faces increased scrutiny and curiosity. That’s when he starts hearing DiMaggio’s name.

    “I had a 25-game one in L.A., and it seemed like forever,” Mets catcher Paul Lo Duca said. “DiMaggio’s 56 is unreal. To do it day in and day out is remarkable.”

    Mattingly said: “I couldn’t do it. I never got to 30.”

    Tony Gwynn, who won the National League batting title eight times, never hit in more than 25 consecutive games. Discussing hitting streaks a few years ago, he said: “They barely talk about it until you get to 30. Then when you get to 30, they talk about it every day. It’s going to take a guy who’s mentally tough, who’ll talk about it before the game and after the game.”

    Utley doesn’t talk about it, figuring he will jinx himself and the streak will end. That’s one way of dealing with mounting pressure.

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  3. #47
    "So Fla Red"
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    Re: Offense? Reds took one of their biggest strengths and made it a glaring weakness

    Quote Originally Posted by RedFanAlways1966
    Is this all a knee-jerk reaction to a string of bad games? Let us take a look at the month of May during this season. A month in which the REDS were a powerhouse offense team with Felipe at shortstop and Austin in RF.

    MAY 2006
    * The REDS play 28 games. They go 12-16.
    * The REDS average only 4.22 runs per game.
    * The REDS score 3 or less runs in 16 games (57.1% of the time).
    * The starting pitching has an ERA of 3.68 in the month... but have a crappy record of 7-14. 14 quality starts... 6-8 record as a team in those games!
    * The entire pitching staff has their lowest ERA for a month since May 2004 at 4.18 (more than 1/2 a run lower than any other month this year!)... but the team goes 12-16.
    * May 12-17. REDS lose 5 in a row. Score 10 runs in those 5 games.
    * May 24-30. REDS lose 5 of 6. Score 8 runs in the 5 losses.

    Did the offense get weakened when FeLo and AK were traded? Sure it did. Is it the reason that the team has lost 5 in a row? Definitely not. Do most teams go through a bad week now and then? Most do.

    Something else hurting, along w/ the offense, during the last 5 games:
    * Starting pitching: 29.1 IP, 40 H, 19 ER, 5.83 ERA.


    Bingo. Saved me the work of looking up the May offensive skid when the starting pitching was actually quite excellent. Still remember the back-back shutouts against the D-backs at home :thumbdown

  4. #48
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    Re: Offense? Reds took one of their biggest strengths and made it a glaring weakness

    If I'm Narron I'd be hitting Ross in the 4 hole while he's hot. Then when a lefty is pitching play him at 1st to breakup the grind. He has played 1st in the minors so he's not unfamilier with it.
    I still say this team badly misses Caseys leadership.
    "Show me a good loser, and I'll show you a loser."

  5. #49
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Offense? Reds took one of their biggest strengths and made it a glaring weakness

    I still say this team badly misses Caseys leadership.
    What did Sean Casey ever do to lead? Mostly he was a good face man for a bad organization, but as a leader I remember more whining about departed players then leading of the ones in the clubhouse.

  6. #50
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Offense? Reds took one of their biggest strengths and made it a glaring weakness

    Sean Casey was a Private Ryan, not a General Patton.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

    I'm witchcrafting everybody.

  7. #51
    Please come again pedro's Avatar
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    Re: Offense? Reds took one of their biggest strengths and made it a glaring weakness

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus the Pimp
    I'm not convinced it's a glaring weakness any more than just a slump.

    Even when Kearns and Lopez were there, I recall a few stretches where the team couldn't hit the broad side of a barn. It's too early to say whether this is the result of a depleted offense or the team simply can't catch a cold right now - let alone catching a break or catching fire.

    exactly.

    that's not to say that the trade didn't downgrade the offense, but it is not soley responsible for the current draught.
    Get your nunchucks and the keys to your dad's car. I know where we can get a gun

  8. #52
    Making sense of it all Matt700wlw's Avatar
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    Re: Offense? Reds took one of their biggest strengths and made it a glaring weakness

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltlabner
    If you buy into the theroy that we lost the last 3 games because AK and Lopez's bats were gone that means you also have to buy into the theroy that the Reds offense was a consistent run producer that never got streaky before the trade.
    Yup.

    This lineup was inconsistant before the trade, and it still is. It may have lost some pop, but it hasn't lost the ability to score runs.


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