Hey, where's our golf thread? Someone is slipping.

Here we go.

This year's Pythagorean is probably around 88 wins if it would have been calculated the day before the season started. Just a guess on my part. So, with that, PAR this year will be (5W-4L) for every 9 games the team plays, for an even par score of 90-72. Finish Par or better and the REDS should win the Division.

So, remember, that a stretch of 5-4 is a good thing, not a bad thing. You want to go 7-2 and 6-3 once in a while to offset any 4-5 and 3-6 stretches. But, in the end, winning 5 out of every 9 games should win the Division.

For those unfamiliar and new to this, you can look up past year's "Golf Threads" in the SunDeck to see how they went those years. The reason for doing this is to pull all the Chicken Littles off of the ledge whenever they see the REDS lose 3 games in a row. The sky isn't falling....not over any three game stretch of a 162-game season. (162 games divided by 9 equals exactly 18, which happens to be how many holes one plays in a round of golf). So, screwing up one hole doesn't necessarily mean you're going to have a bad round. Just get it back on the next hole, or try to hold par for a few holes until you can. Sort of like this year's Masters winner, who parred about a dozen holes in a row before he finished BIRDIE-BIRDIE-BIRDIE-BIRDIE to win the Masters in a clutch performance that's never been done before. Nobody has ever finished the Masters like that to win. It was truly one of the greatest golf performances ever.

Back to the "golf thread". Every 9 games, I'll post a score for the REDS based on 5 wins and 4 losses being par. If the REDS go 6-3 during a stretch, they get a Birdie and are 1-Under for the year, on pace for a 91-71 season, recalling that 90-72 is par. I'll post a different picture for every hole. Excuse me if I post a picture that I've posted in previous years, but it's getting more difficult each year to come up with new pictures. I try to not make them too large for the sake of the site, while trying if I can to make them relevant in some way to a current event, or not.

So, here we go...

Hole #1: Torrey Pines

The REDS begin the season in beautiful San Diego. (Why does Mike Brown not think Carson Palmer is serious? Does he really not believe that Palmer would take his \$50M he's got now and live every day in this Paradise on Earth?)

The Cincinnati REDS' Ballclub avoids the pitfalls that could befall a reigning Division Champion and come out like a house on fire, destroying their closest division rivals, the Milwaukee Brewers, in a three-game whooping that let the rest of the Division know that it's the Cincinnati REDS who are the team to beat in the Central Division, and that any thoughts of winning the NL Central involve stopping the men from Cincy from galloping through the Central Division for a second straight year.

The REDS took that opening sweep and parlayed that into another series victory against another Central Division foe, the Houston Astros, taking two of three with the only blemish being a one-run loss.

These young (with a few veterans sprinkled in for maturity) guns took their talents into an early West Coast trip, that normally wreaks havoc for the ballclub during the late summer months. Maybe an early April trip is just the way to tackle the West because of the sunny and warm April Weather is such a contrast to the cold and gloomy April Days of the Tri-County area. Having split the first two games in Arizona, the REDS were poised to take another series from the Diamondbacks, whom they've dominated the last four seasons when Jonny Gomes hit a two-run homer to put the REDS ahead in the 7th inning. But, the bullpen faltered for the second time this season as Nick Masset couldn't hold onto the lead. A rough start for Masset so far this season with two of the REDS first three losses by his name. Even still, the missed 15-footer for Eagle is not something to be down about, as the REDS tapped in for BIRDIE (6W-3L) to make them 1-UNDER for 2011.

Hole #1: BIRDIE (6W-3L)

Simply an excellent thread every year.

-4 is what I think would be a good year of golf. There was some concern of a slow start, particularly because of pitching injuries, but thus far we've been fine. Hopefully we can continue to get better while playing games against Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Milwaukee. I feel like our schedule, while competitive, is weaker than average this month. Especially if we clean up against our division, where we're playing 6 against the Brewers and 4 against the Buccos -- 10 games this month (yes, opening day last month counts too ).

Originally Posted by Brisco
Simply an excellent thread every year.
I summarily agree.

Hate golf, but love this thread each year and its analogy to our season. Thanks for doing this! Hope we dont have tiger derail any of the holes ahead.

Five more holes have been played since a post has been made here. Of those, there were three good holes, one bad hole, and one hole so bad we haven't seen the likes of it in several years (a Triple Bogey!). But, since golf matches aren't won over the first six holes any more than Division Pennants are won over the first two months, it's not the end of the world. (I also wanted to get away from "The-Sky-Is-Falling" months of April and May without reading the posts from this web-site, which are so prevalent here, so I stayed away for all of May. Absolutely ridiculous ideas like sending Jay Bruce to the Minors and stuff like this makes it unbearable at times to read this web-site.) Golf holes, like baseball games, are more important as you get closer to the end of the competition. The pressure is much greater, and like last year, this REDS' team will overtake the Cardinals and win for themselves back-to-back Division titles. They had their bad hole from 5/21-5/29, and Dusty has now had the time through April and May to evaluate his team and go forward (Dusty realized that Ruth and Gehrig hit quite well together in the 3-4 positions even though they were both lefties, just as Mays and McCovey hit well together also in the 3-4 positions even though they were both righties. Votto and Bruce, as was proven so perfectly today (2-run homers in the 7th and 8th to rally the REDS yet once again), are ideal back-to-back 3-4 hitters, and it makes no difference whatsoever that they are both left-handed.

With no further comment, here are holes #2-#6 with comments about each:

The same start as last season on the first two holes with Birdie/Double-Bogey for the 2011 REDS. The Irish links course proved to be too tough for the team from the state where golf legend Jack Nicklaus began his epic journey through the world of golf. The REDS found themselves scurrying out of one bunker after another as they tried every club in the bag on their way to a DOUBLE-BOGEY (2W-7L) which placed them at 1-OVER through 2 holes.

What they really needed was just a little luck from the wind (three losses by one run), but as with the British and Irish Opens so often, this type of luck tends to favor amateurs, not defending Champions.

After 2 Holes: (1-OVER).

Hole #1: BIRDIE (6W-3L)
Hole #2: DOUBLE-BOGEY (3W-6L)

Hole #3: The Ohio State University Golf Club - Columbus, Ohio

Redesigned under the supervision of Jack Nicklaus in 2006 (the "Scarlett" Course), was a blessing to the REDS to be back at something they felt very comfortable with....putting a whooping on the St. Louis Cardinals. That series win (taking 2 of 3 @ St. Louis) proved that it's the REDS in 2011 who are the team to beat. A beautiful 245-yard 2nd shot that put them 15-feet from the pin where they two-putted for PAR (5W-5L) (a series win against the Brewers and a split of two games against the Marlins). While 1-OVER after three holes has them in first place, it's not likely going to be good enough to win the division when it's all over.

After 3 Holes: (1-OVER).

Hole #1: BIRDIE (6W-3L)
Hole #2: DOUBLE-BOGEY (3W-6L)
Hole #3: PAR (6W-3L)

Hole #4: Ailsa Course at Turnberry Golf Links, South Ayrshire, Scotland

Having renewed confidence, the REDS took their clubs back to Britain for another stab at a Links course. Looking like it was Ireland all over again after a poor drive that sent them into the rough [a loss to the Marlins and a shellacking by the Astros (10-4)], they bounced back with a powerful second shot that placed the ball 120 yards from the green and a chance at a Bogey if they could two-putt the green.

Trying to figure out the wind in this turbulent Scottish air, the REDS approached this 3rd shot with a pitching wedge and gave it all they had. Aiming 120 feet to the right of the pin while only 120 feet away, the wind grabbed the ball just as they figured it would and brought it landing 35 feet from the hole where it bounced twice and rolled into the cup for a BIRDIE (6W-3L). It takes shots like this to win Championships. At EVEN-PAR after 4 holes, the REDS are right where they need to be in order to be in contention when September hits. If they finish at EVEN-PAR, they'll have a record of 90W-72L.

After 4 Holes: (EVEN-PAR).

Hole #1: BIRDIE (6W-3L)
Hole #2: DOUBLE-BOGEY (3W-6L)
Hole #3: PAR (5W-4L)
Hole #4: BIRDIE (6W-3L)

Hole #5: Moscow City Golf Club - Moscow, Russia

Staying overseas, the REDS went for the first time to the "RED" state of Russia. Russia has really attempted to improve their golf courses since perestroika with golf courses designed by Robert T. Jones (Jr.), Jack Nicklaus, and Dave Thomas. The REDS opening drive was fair (a 4-3 loss to the Astros), but their second shot was a thing of beauty (3-game sweep of the Cardinals) flying 280 yards in the air and landing 30 feet from the pin for an Eagle opportunity. Perhaps the long walk to the green after that shot gave them a feeling of invincibility as they would struggle to hit another decent shot until the 7th hole. Only 30 feet away, the REDS three-putted (swept two games by the Pirates and a loss to the Indians) for a PAR (5W-4L) to leave them at [COLOR="rgb(139, 0, 0)"]EVEN-PAR[/COLOR] with disappointment in their minds at missing a great opportunity. Having so many losing seasons before this last one, the REDS are going to be tested on the next hole to see if they've learned that they can't get too high on the highs or too low on the lows. Staying even-tempered is a trait that makes a veteran what he is, and this ball-club may have a bit too much youth on it's club, especially in the pitching department.

After 5 Holes: (EVEN).

Hole #1: BIRDIE (6W-3L)
Hole #2: DOUBLE-BOGEY (3W-6L)
Hole #3: PAR (5W-4L)
Hole #4: BIRDIE (6W-3L)
Hole #5: PAR (5W-4L)

Hole #6: Coeur d'Alene Resort Golf Course, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Maybe they were travel-fatigued coming all the way from Russia to Coeur d'Alene (went over the Arctic Circle, as it was the shortest route). Maybe they shouldn't have been trying to golf in Idaho in May. Maybe they were overconfident. But, most likely they were feeling a twinge in the shoulder and it affected their swing. Regardless, they couldn't land a ball onto the floating green, twice hitting it into the water for a TRIPLE-BOGEY putting them at 3-OVER after 6 holes. These REDS haven't had a TRIPLE-BOGEY in years, so this comes as a real surprise. One thing that can be said about this version of the REDS is that they have been consistent....never going in big losing slumps or big winning streaks. Dusty Baker can probably be given the credit for this more than anyone. That this slump happened in May is acceptable and understandable, especially considering the number of injuries that's happened to the pitching staff. Losing 2 to the Indians, 2 of 3 to the Phillies and 3 of 4 to the Braves with 4 of those losses by one run has been a run where later in the season it will have been a learning lesson for those who were around it, basically the entire 40-man roster and then some.

With June now here, everyone gets a fresh start. The season truly begins in June (REDS start Hole #7 by taking 2 of 3 from the Brewers). There won't be another TRIPLE-BOGEY this season. To remind everyone once again, (5-Wins, 4-Losses) is "PAR" for a hole, as that leads to 90-Wins, 62-Losses on the season, close enough so that 3 or 4 under ought to get us into the playoffs.

I've always said that one shouldn't judge a Manager during April or May, as there are literally 1000's and 1000's of ideas that he must consider during those first two months of the season. It's an evaluation time. It's time to get everyone some innings pitched, some at-bats, so that one can see where the team is as a whole. It's not only beneficial to the players and Manager, but it's extremely valuable to the General Manager. Now it's time to define the team and to go with the best players. Egos aside now as those who are producing should get the playing time from here on out. Dusty has already made a huge adjustment, moving Bruce into the #4 hole. It's pretty obvious that Gomes shouldn't be starting and maybe not even platooning on a regular basis. Fred Lewis and Chris Heisey should probably get as many at-bats as Gomes and it's looking like Heisey will cut into Drew Stubbs' playing time in Center. Anyway, this isn't a thread for going over the club, but a reminder that it's a long season and to not put too much weight into what's happened the first two months of the season. It only matters what happens from June on. And, if they avoid any more TRIPLE-BOGEYS, and hopefully, DOUBLE-BOGEYS, too, then they should be able to get back into the playoffs by the end of the year by getting PARS and BIRDIES.

After 6 Holes: (3-OVER).

Hole #1: BIRDIE (6W-3L)
Hole #2: DOUBLE-BOGEY (3W-6L)
Hole #3: PAR (5W-4L)
Hole #4: BIRDIE (6W-3L)
Hole #5: PAR (5W-4L)
Hole #6: TRIPLE-BOGEY (2W-7L)

Originally Posted by Brisco
Simply an excellent thread every year.
Indeed, and thanks for maintaining it.

Hole #7: Palmer Course at Oasis Golf Club, Mesquite, Nevada

The REDS bounced back from their worst hole (Triple-Bogey) in several years by setting themselves up with a Birdie opportunity with a great drive (taking two of three from the Brewers) and a great chip shot (back-to-back 8-2 wins over the Cubs). Their second shot wasn't bad (losing 2 of 3 to the Dodgers) as it looked good off the tee (a 2-1 opening series win), but the shot sailed off into the rough (poor pitching performances giving up 20 runs to the Dodgers in the final two games). Starting pitching has been the theme of this hole, and it was the opponent's starting pitching (Ryan Dempster) that kept them from getting a Birdie. Needing only to make a 10-foot putt to nail the Birdie, the putt fell to the left of the hole as it was misread, not hit wrongly. The tap-in for PAR (5W-4L) leaves the team at 3-OVER for 2011 on pace for an 87-75 record. If they're going to cut into their score by getting some Birdie's (and hopefully, an Eagle or two), it's going to have to come from improved Starting Pitching. They'll need it as much as ever as 4 of the next 9 games are against the Giants, the best starting pitching in the Majors.

After 7 Holes: (3-OVER).

Hole #1: BIRDIE (6W-3L)
Hole #2: DOUBLE-BOGEY (3W-6L)
Hole #3: PAR (5W-4L)
Hole #4: BIRDIE(6W-3L)
Hole #5: [COLOR="rgb(139, 0, 0)"]PAR [/COLOR](5W-4L)
Hole #6: TRIPLE-BOGEY (2W-7L)
Hole #7: PAR (5W-4L)

Hole #8: Muirfield Village, Dublin, Ohio

The REDS on #8 showed that they'd overcome that disaster at #6 by stroking a very good T-shot on this Par-5 8th hole (Getting a split with the Giants in a 4-game series). They then hit one of the best second shots they've hit in a long time landing the ball from 245 yards out within 10 feet of the hole in what looked like a sure Birdie, if not an Eagle (Sweep of a 3-game set against the Dodgers). But, then the inconsistencies that have plagued them all season came to the forefront again. The REDS pushed the 10-foot putt just along the upper lip of the hole (3-2 loss at home to the Blue Jays) leaving a two-foot tap-in for Birdie. But, like so many other times this season, the REDS failed to take advantage of a situation and relaxed too much. They blew the 2-foot putt (4-0 loss to the Blue Jays) turning what should have been a great opportunity to get some strokes back into a very disappointing PAR (5W-4L).

After 8 Holes: (3-OVER).

Hole #1: BIRDIE (6W-3L)
Hole #2: DOUBLE-BOGEY (3W-6L)
Hole #3: PAR (5W-4L)
Hole #4: BIRDIE(6W-3L)
Hole #5: PAR (5W-4L)
Hole #6: TRIPLE-BOGEY (2W-7L)
Hole #7: PAR (5W-4L)
Hole #8: PAR (5W-4L)

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