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Thread: Explaining the Reds failure this year

  1. #1
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    Explaining the Reds failure this year

    I don't have the answers, but something is very wrong.

    The team has a plus 39 run differential. This is much better than the Brewers who are plus 9. Reds narrowly trail the Cards who are plus 47.

    Yet the Reds are 7.5 games out, in fourth place.

    You might think it's the bullpen. Giving up close games at the end. But the bullpen numbers are pretty good. It's certainly not a major team weakness.

    Lack of clutch hitting? Well, yes, to some extent, but all the stats I've seen show the Reds are ok with RISP. And overall the team OPS is tied for second in the NL.

    Starting pitching not terrific? True, but the team ERA is now 4.02, which is vastly improved from earlier this year. Since Volquez and Wood were sent down, the starting pitching has been pretty, pretty good IMO.

    Sometimes I think it is Baker's decisions. Some of them are poor. Bringing in the struggling Ondrusek in the tenth last night was inexplicable to me, as was all the bunting against the weak Astros. Yet, has Dusty's in-game managing cost the Reds so many games?

    The Reds are a below .500 team virtually out of the race in a bad division. They seem to be a much better ballclub "on paper" than their record reflects. What is your explanation?
    Last edited by Kc61; 08-02-2011 at 10:12 AM.

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    On the brink wolfboy's Avatar
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    Re: Explaining the Reds failure this year

    How do we know he's not Mel Torme?

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    Danger is my business! oneupper's Avatar
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    Re: Explaining the Reds failure this year

    Last night was the season in a nutshell. What's more, I'd say they've lost three games to the Astros this year which are all similar to that. A tiny bit of anything better, and those games are yours.

    A little of
    1) Poor club design. Where's the masher when you need him? The hitting is vulnerable to average RH pitchers (which are abundant in the NL Central). SS/LF.
    2) Poor game management. Yeah, yeah. I know. Lineups that don't work. Giving up outs on the basepaths. Sure, it doesn't matter if the hit and run didn't work in the 3rd inning.
    But you're paying for it later when your tied or behind by one going into the late innings.
    3) Poor luck. A foot more here or there. Injuries happen, but their timing has been terrible (both for REDS and teams playing the REDS).
    4) Poor execution. Need some better playing when it matters. It hasn't happened.
    5) Complacency. The fact that the team never collapsed or fell suddenly out of contention (like the Ms). If the Cards or Brewers had run away with the division, shortcomings would have been addressed sooner. Possibly the team, like many here, looked at the Pythag and said "we're fine, we just need some breaks".

    We could go on.
    "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it."

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  5. #4
    I thought you'd be bigger OldXOhio's Avatar
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    Re: Explaining the Reds failure this year

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    Lack of clutch hitting? Well, yes, to some extent, but all the stats I've seen show the Reds are ok with RISP
    Do you have any of these stats to pass along?
    Originally Posted by nate
    Chapman can be downright pornographic at times.

  6. #5
    Member paulrichjr's Avatar
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    Re: Explaining the Reds failure this year

    Mono. When I read it I knew he would be bad this year. Bronson Arroyo being run out there every 5th day no matter what he does is killing the Reds. Travis Wood, Sam LeCure, heck even Volquez might be a better option. If Arroyo pitches like he has for the last few years with the Reds they are 2-3 games back max.
    Tim McCarver: Baseball Quotes
    I remember one time going out to the mound to talk with Bob Gibson. He told me to get back behind the batter, that the only thing I knew about pitching was that it was hard to hit.

  7. #6
    We Need Our Myths reds1869's Avatar
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    Re: Explaining the Reds failure this year

    Quote Originally Posted by OldXOhio View Post
    Do you have any of these stats to pass along?
    The Reds Batting average is 5th in the NL with runners in scoring position and 10th in the majors.

    MLB Sortable Team Stats

  8. #7
    Fielder's Indifference fisch11's Avatar
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    Re: Explaining the Reds failure this year

    Anyone who golfs can relate to this. One time I will got out and drive the ball well and sink some putts, but I can't hit my irons or handle my wedges around the green. The next time I go out, I have solved my iron play but now I am erratic off the tee box. The 3rd time out I am hitting fairways and getting on the green, but I 3 putt every hole and get more lip than Angelina Jolie.

    My analogy is that this Reds team can't seem to put all phases of the game together at the same time. One night the offense is rolling but the bullpen stinks. The next night they give up unearned runs with terrible defense. Another game the starting pitching is on but the bats go cold. The have struggled to play well consistently in all phases of the game.

    Run differential can easily be skewed by winning 9-0 one night and losing 1-0 the next time out. They seem to win big and lose small more often than everyone else (see runs scored vs. 1 run losses).

    As for RISP, this team is not as clutch as they were last season, especially with 2 outs. I really think getting that clutch hit with 2 outs has really been the difference between last year and this year, especially in terms of losses in 1 run games.
    "Are you trying to say Jesus Christ can't hit a curveball?!"

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    Re: Explaining the Reds failure this year

    Randomness for the most part.

    We are a better team than our record, though that doesn't make it less frustrating.

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    We Need Our Myths reds1869's Avatar
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    Re: Explaining the Reds failure this year

    Quote Originally Posted by fisch11 View Post
    As for RISP, this team is not as clutch as they were last season, especially with 2 outs. I really think getting that clutch hit with 2 outs has really been the difference between last year and this year, especially in terms of losses in 1 run games.
    There is a lot of merit to that idea. Hitting .201 will not get the job done.

    RISP w/ 2 out

  11. #10
    Fielder's Indifference fisch11's Avatar
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    Re: Explaining the Reds failure this year

    Quote Originally Posted by reds1869 View Post
    There is a lot of merit to that idea. Hitting .201 will not get the job done.

    RISP w/ 2 out
    13th in the NL, 26th in baseball. For some reason it won't show 2010's stats though.
    "Are you trying to say Jesus Christ can't hit a curveball?!"

  12. #11
    We Need Our Myths reds1869's Avatar
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    Re: Explaining the Reds failure this year

    Quote Originally Posted by fisch11 View Post
    13th in the NL, 26th in baseball. For some reason it won't show 2010's stats though.
    You're right, it only shows three teams. A look at last year's overall RISP numbers shows one of the big reasons this team won more tight games; .278 is getting it done.

    #1 in the NL 2010

  13. #12
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Explaining the Reds failure this year

    There are basically two ways to answer this:

    1) They haven't been productive enough. I think that while we can point to individual players who have underperformed expectations, on the whole we've scored/allowed enough runs to be on an 86 win pace and 1 run out of first place in the division. It's easy to point out a list of guys who have under-performed, but that's how a team works and it would be silly to expect everybody to meet or exceed expectations. I'm a bit disappointed, but on balance, we're more or less where I expected us to be in terms of run differential.

    FWIW, here's my list of exceeds/meets/does not meet expectations, remembering that this is each player relative to my preseason expectations, not a comparison between players. A player could be on the not meeting list and still be productive -- just not as much as I had hoped. Of course, he could also just be stinking it up...

    Code:
    Exceeding expectations	Meets expectations	Not meeting expectations
    CA Hernandez		1B Votto		CA Hanigan
    3B Cairo		2B Phillips		SS Janish
    SP Cueto		OF Gomes		SS Renteria
    SP Leake		OF Heisey		LF Bruce
    RP LeCure		OF Stubbs		3B Rolen
    RP Bray			OF Lewis		SP Arroyo
    			SP Bailey		SP Volquez
    			RP Chapman		SP Wood
    			RP Massett		RP Smith
    			RP Arredondo 
    			RP Cordero
    			RP Ondrusek
    2) They haven't scored and prevented runs at the "right" times. They've won the blowouts and lost the close ones. History tells us that's not sustainable nor predictable.

    We can muse and surmise systematic reasons why we're losing close games, but it would just be guesses. I'm not fan of Dusty's tactics (last night being a perfect example), but he's the same guy that led the Reds to a 27-27 record last year and 19-20 in 2009. If you replace Dusty with a better tactician, we're probably a better team -- but that's going to show up across the board.

    To put it most simply, stuff happens. We simply haven't scored and prevented runs when we needed to the most. There's no one person or handful of people to blame; that's not to say we can spread the blame evenly, but just that there's no good way to assign it.

    You can't just look at close & late, because runs count regardless of what inning they were scored. Score an extra 2 runs in the 5th and a 4-3 loss becomes a 5-4 win. Score 2 fewer runs in the 3rd and the 6-3 win becomes a 4-3 one (improving our 1-run game record).

    I'm a little disappointed in our overall performance (My list is below), but the biggest issue is simple "bad luck". Again, that's not to absolve players of their responsibilities, but generally speaking, guys are always trying to do their best and have little control over the timing of their successes and failures (above and beyond their ability to affect the outcome).

    It's discomforting not to have a better explanation than that. Humans are wired to explaining anything and everything. It's how we deal. But for now, I just take solace in knowing that this team is more talented than is reflected in its W-L record and that is likely to shine through over the next two months.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 08-02-2011 at 11:30 AM.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  14. #13
    Moderator RedlegJake's Avatar
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    Re: Explaining the Reds failure this year

    Youth. Young teams that succeed often take a step backward. Expecting all these young guys to gel in one forward motion was unrealistic. The FO, I think, is banking on them maturing together in 2012 and 2013 and probably thought they'd leapfrogged a couple years last season. We're still seeing a bunch of new or relatively inexperienced players and with Yonder, Mes and Frazier on the cusp and Chapman yet to work into the rotation, leaders Bruce, Votto, Stubbs and Cueto still very young and pre-prime so to speak, I think the health and problems losing regular time and production from vets Rolen and Arroyo and Volquez' implosion just messed up the leadership and balance of the whole team - last year ever guy seemed to have their role set and have their niche and this year it seems out of synch, hitting and pitching and D just don't seem to match up day to day and game to game like last year. All this just goes to me trying to say - this looks like a really, really young team struggling to find its footing.

  15. #14
    I'm gettin paper Homer Bailey's Avatar
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    Re: Explaining the Reds failure this year

    Quote Originally Posted by fisch11 View Post
    Anyone who golfs can relate to this. One time I will got out and drive the ball well and sink some putts, but I can't hit my irons or handle my wedges around the green. The next time I go out, I have solved my iron play but now I am erratic off the tee box. The 3rd time out I am hitting fairways and getting on the green, but I 3 putt every hole and get more lip than Angelina Jolie.

    My analogy is that this Reds team can't seem to put all phases of the game together at the same time. One night the offense is rolling but the bullpen stinks. The next night they give up unearned runs with terrible defense. Another game the starting pitching is on but the bats go cold. The have struggled to play well consistently in all phases of the game.

    Run differential can easily be skewed by winning 9-0 one night and losing 1-0 the next time out. They seem to win big and lose small more often than everyone else (see runs scored vs. 1 run losses).

    As for RISP, this team is not as clutch as they were last season, especially with 2 outs. I really think getting that clutch hit with 2 outs has really been the difference between last year and this year, especially in terms of losses in 1 run games.
    This is exactly how I've felt all year long, but couldn't summarize it. Well done.

  16. #15
    Danger is my business! oneupper's Avatar
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    Re: Explaining the Reds failure this year

    Since "luck" comes up again and again, I'm going to re-tell an old tale.
    (Re-told by Julia Roberts in the Eat, Pray, Love chick flick).

    This one man went to church everyday and prayed in front of a statue of his favorite saint that he would win the lottery. “Please, please, please let me win the lottery,” he prayed day after day after day.

    Finally, the saint could take it no longer and made the statue come to life. “Please, please, please,” said the saint, “buy a ticket.”

    So, yes, the team has been unlucky. But the FO and Dusty haven't been "buying the ticket" either. (particularly Dusty).
    If your luck is bad, your results are not going to get better by lowering the odds.
    "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it."

    http://dalmady.blogspot.com


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