Please forgive my tardiness this week, as we (finally) present a high-level look at the week that was for the good guys…
9/17/12 – 9/23/12
Runs: 24-17 (+7)
Standings: 1st in NL Central; 0.5 games behind Nationals for #1 seed
Race: Merry Clinchmas!; gained 1 game on Nats
Player of the Week (regular with highest wOBA)
Joey Votto (.412) - JoeyMVP assumes hit rightful place as the best player on the team. Votto was 6 for 18 with 6 walks and 4 RBI. The only thing that’s missing right now is the power. Votto has yet to hit a homerun since his return and has an isolated slugging – that’s slugging % minus batting average – of only .078 (his career mark is .237).
Another trend we’re not used to seeing with Votto is an elevated strikeout rate. Last week he struck out 29.2% of the time, much higher than his career average of 18.3%. Of course, we’re talking about a fairly tiny sample size here, and he’s returning from a knee injury. I’m willing to give him a little time to return to his normal Vottomatic self.
Pitcher of the Week (highest Game Score)
Mat Latos (77) - The division clincher also happened to be the best pitched game of the week. Latos turned in another dominating performance, going 8 innings with 7 strikeouts, allowing only 6 hits and zero walks. Latos’ season ERA is now 3.60. I’m looking forward to watching him pitch in October.
The Difference Maker
The Reds basically took two games off this week (Thursday in Chicago, and again on Sunday after clinching the night before) and still finished 4-2. Attention now turns to October, as I submitted to BRM my take on the potential playoff roster. Additionally, you hear more and more comparisons between this team and its 2010 counterpart, which unexpectedly won the division and was promptly shown the door by a dominant Phillies team.
Well we’ve covered that as well in a two part series posted earlier this month, breaking down the two rosters piece by piece. Feel free to peruse at your leisure as we sit back and watch the rest of baseball struggle through the rat race to the postseason.
(Note: wOBA from Fangraphs, Game Score from Baseball-Reference)
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