A high-level look at the week that was for the good guys…
9/10/12 – 9/16/12
Runs: 20-21 (-1)
Standings: 1st in NL Central
Race: pretty much over (magic number sits at 5 with 15 left to play)
Player of the Week (regular with highest wOBA)
Ryan Ludwick (.391) with honorable mention to Dioner Navarro (.390) – No player really stood out this week, but if you had a to single somebody out, you’d probably start with these two and their proclivity for coming through in big moments. Ludwick of course provided the game winning RBI in both the 14 inning affair on Monday and the 11 inning squeeker yesterday. He finished the week 8 for 25 with 5 RBI and 4 walks.
Navarro has turned into one hell of a signing, giving the Reds another option at catcher and providing a slight spark to an offense that has certainly needed it of late. Dioner reached safely in 5 of his 14 at bats while driving in 3. His wOBA sits at .357 on the year.
Pitcher of the Week (highest Game Score)
Homer Bailey (63) – Bailey earns this distinction for the second time in three weeks. The Reds offense is struggling and faced a guy who’s given them fits in A.J. Burnett on Wednesday, and Homer turned in a much needed performance, going 7 and striking out 4 while allowing only 1 run. His solid outing pushed his ERA back under 4.
The Difference Maker
The Reds have two jobs from here on out:
(1) Get their affairs in order in preparation for the postseason – rest players, set the rotation, basically do whatever needs to be done in order to (theoretically) maximize postseason success. Hopefully Dusty’ll give the starters a break and not flirt with the 120 pitch mark. Give Scott Rolen and Joey Votto and whoever else plenty of rest. Shelve Aroldis Chapman until October. The Reds need to be taking advantage of their monstrous lead.
(2) Go after home field advantage – while making the above the absolute #1 priority, try to win a few ballgames in the process and catch those Nats (after all, home field advantage would certainly increase the likelihood for postseason success). Again, this doesn’t have to involve wearing guys out the final two weeks, but let’s not punt the rest of the season either. Hosting a NLCS would be pretty spectacular.
Frustratingly, the Reds have averaged less than 3 runs a game in September. But I’ll say it again – probabilistically speaking, September performance is largely irrelevant when it comes to predicting postseason success, so let’s focus on what’s important and have a little fun out there the rest of the way, eh?
(Note: wOBA from Fangraphs, Game Score from Baseball-Reference)
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