The Ugly Truth

Are you a Reds fan that was a little tired (maybe even down right frustrated) in hearing about the recent lack of offense? You are not alone, but sometimes, as we all know, the truth does hurt. In this case, it’s really is ugly, too.

When the Reds were out on the west coast for their seven game roadie, the bats were knocking a bit more than the recent homestand. I think we all will agree on that measure. But when you see the numbers in comparing those numbers, it is ugly. Here’s a reference for you…

ROAD TRIP HOMESTAND
AVG .276 .237
OBP .414 .268
SLG .372 .374
RISP .310 .200
BB 30 3

A worthy note here. The road trip involved, as I mentioned, was seven games were the homestand against the Blue Jays and Yankees was only six games. And in both cases, a 10-run game did tend to skew to average of runs per game, hence why that number is not included.

But the basic numbers that are commonly used (BA, OBP, SLG) are telling. When you see them in black and white (or an off grey in this post), they are nor pretty, especially OBP, BB (which is why there are here), and RISP. One area where the Reds certainly did not perform was RISP, a point that has been referenced on more than an occasion or two here. And that was skewed with a 5-for-8 performance in the finale!

I remember Lance McAlister harping on the lack of walks taken. He tweeted something on almost a daily basis in the last series versus New York. If you’re not willing to take those free passes (and as Lance pointed out), you also limit your chances of scoring just as much (maybe even more) than not getting a base hit.

Also, and it must be brought up, is the SLG. If not for the four HR in the last game in the Yankees series, that, too, would be lower. Chris Heisey and his hat trick added greatly to this…and the cries to get the nod as the starting LF. That topic is also getting a lot of play within the last couple of days.

So, if the bats were silenced, what about the starting pitching?

Glad you asked. On the road trip, it was down right masterful. Of the seven games, six resulted in in quality starts. Not so much on the homestand where of the six games, only half resulted in a QS. Funny thing about numbers though. They don’t always tell the whole truth. Here’s what I mean…

ROAD TRIP HOMESTAND
ERA 1.63 3.83
WHIP 1.107 1.000
SO/BB 2.20 4.00
H/9 7.25 7.20

Huh? The ERA is over 2 runs higher, but the base numbers tell you they might not be. In fact, the Reds starters only issued 8 walks compared to 17 on the west coast trip. It all boils down to one thing…RISP, right? As noted in the first table here, the Reds were a paltry .200 in those situations. The Jays and Yankees, was somewhat better at .241.

Is that all though? How’s that ERA so high? It’s the “when and what” aspect. In the first game against Toronto, Mike Leake offered the game-winning home run to Adam Lind. The next game, Edinson Volquez helped seal his fate with allowing three doubles, a triple and a Jose Molina homer in the seven hits he allowed.

In the first game of the Yankee series, Travis Wood, bumped up a day due to Johnny Cueto having a stiff neck, suffered from the “first-inning woes”, an all-to-common illness beset on Reds starters. Here a great example of the “when” deal. The Yankees sent eight men to the plate in that first inning. Hard not to score under those conditions. The only extra base hit in that inning was a Robinson Cano double. Another great example of “when” came during the first game of the day-night doubleheader on Wednesday and involved another extra base hit, a Jorge Posada screamer of a homer that did in Leake (again).

While I’m sure you would look at the starter’s ERA from the homestand and be maybe slightly pleased considering the Jays and Yankees do tend to hit the long ball, it can be firmly stated that the lack of offense was a big reason for the 2-4 homestand.

Just seeing in numbers makes it really ugly though…

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Tags: Baseball Chris Heisey Cincinnati Reds Edinson Volquez Hitting Mike Leake MLB Starting Pitching

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