Goals are Still on the Table

The season has not gone the way Reds fans expected, predicted or hoped.  It is not the result we wanted but all has not been lost.  Team goals don’t really matter any more but lets make a few comparisons as I love doing.

A question evolved out of a twitter discussion this evening requiring further exploration and discovery.  The question originally revolved around comparisons between Joey Votto and any other Reds players over a 2 year period.  It was assumed that Joe Morgan was comparable and I chimed in a comparison with George Foster.  Our own Kerry Moss suggested that Foster’s success was a byproduct of the Big Red Machine and their team wide productivity.  In addition, Kerry pointed out the problem Joey has is with a lack of base runners.  I was certain he was correct and I wanted numbers to back it.  So here goes.

I decided to break the Reds down into 5 different 2 year segments starting with the Big Red Machine years 1971-1978 and then adding in the 2010-2011 campaigns.  This gives us a picture of our current squad as well as the zenith of the Machine in ’75-’76.

Teams Runs RA H 2B 3B HR BB K
71/72 Reds 1293 1138 2623 417 72 262 1044 1821
73/74 Reds 1517 1252 2835 503 69 272 1332 1887
75/76 Reds 1697 1219 3114 549 100 265 1372 1818
77/78 Reds 1512 1413 2891 539 74 317 1236 1910
10/11 Reds 1471 1341 2833 531 47 357 1002 2327

When I look at these numbers I am struck by a number of factors.  First, I had no idea how how many Home Runs this current team hits.  I am shocked at the variance.  This current team has hit more HRs over 2 years than the ’77-’78 squad where Foster clubbed 52 in just one season.

I am not surprised at the number of strikeouts our current team is guilty of and that may be this teams greatest weakness.

Obviously when examining aggregate numbers such as these take nothing into consideration that involves individual hitters or batting orders.  So the greatest weakness here in this analysis is that though I like Dusty Baker I still have no idea why he feels Edgar Renteria should bat second ever.  I say this while admiring his 3 for 4 day at the plate driving in the winning run this evening.

The young Reds late season call ups have stepped up the doubles production and if Drew Stubbs and Jay Bruce can make just a little more contact, this team will be a brutal opponent.

Looking at these number helps me understand the greatness of the World Series Champions and I understand why they didn’t make it in the years before or after.

The Reds current team will get to add to these numbers over the next couple of games but as it is clear they won’t hit 50 triples or walk 300 times.  At the same time this team already has more Home Runs or strikeouts than anyone else.

After evaluating the team I also wanted to shine a light on a few individual goals this season.

  1. The last time the Reds had two players drive in 100 runs or more in a season was 1977.  George Foster drove in 149 runs and Johnny Bench drove in 109.  Currently Joey Votto is at 95 and Jay Bruce is checking in with 90, it will be close but both our close enough to make it.
  2. Brandon Phillips is currently batting .297 and the last time a Reds second basemen hit .300 for the season was 1994 when Bret Boone hit .320.
  3. Last season both Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto scored 100 runs.  In order for this to be duplicated Joey needs to score 4 more times and Drew Stubbs is at 89.

As I wrote this piece the word came over the Twitter wire that the Reds are officially eliminated in the NL Central race after Ryan Braun hit a walk off home run against the Colorado Rockies to win 2-1.  Not a surprise but a disappointment nonetheless.

Follow me on Twitter @JohnHeitz

Tags: Big Red Machine Brandon Phillips Cincinnati Reds Drew Stubbs Dusty Baker George Foster Jay Bruce Joey Votto Johnny Bench

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