Barring an Aroldis Chapman 94 mph fastball that drifted slightly high and outside to the Marlins’ Justin Ruggiano, the Reds would have won every game between now and the last weekly wrap-up. The week in review saw both facades of the 2013 Reds – the offensive machine that can bury you in runs and the stingy low-scoring team that will go seven-eight innings in between scoring runs. We also saw the Reds win two games last Wednesday in about a span of three hours. That doesn’t happen as often as it should. I present to you, unadulterated and free of author-induced distractions, the numbers behind last week’s 6-1 run through the NL East.
- Shin-Soo Choo is batting .382 and has pretty much dominated the focal point of most Reds fodder. Why shouldn’t he? His .382 is baseball’s third best batting average. But even more impressive than his batting average, his .523 OBP leads all of baseball. He’s doing it for a Reds team that hovered around last place in this category from the lead-off spot all of last year. Drew Stubbs is sitting on an OBP of .344 in Cleveland. That may have been useful, last year.
- Choo may be the topic of conversation, but the recent surge of the 2010 MVP hasn’t quite gone unnoticed. This past week Joey Votto hit .385, drove in four runs and homered twice, a promising sign for those still skeptical of Votto’s knee. But #19 isn’t far removed from his 2010 form. Shin-Soo Choo has MLB’s #1 OBP. Joey Votto has its second. Treat your imagination and fathom the bloated offensive statistics Votto might have if he didn’t have 25 walks. By the way – David Wright is MLB’s #2 in BB. He has ten fewer walks and two less hits than Votto.
- A secret of Votto and Choo’s success? The two have seen more pitches this year than anyone else in baseball. Patience seems to be a common attribute among baseball’s best hitters.
- Mat Latos is in MLB’s top ten strikeout leaders. What has traditionally been a painful month for Latos (career 4.92 ERA, 2-8 in April) has been pretty productive. Although he still doesn’t have a decision for the 2013 season, he hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in any of his four starts.
- Tony Cingrani had a marginally impressive outing against the pedestrian Marlins. He recorded eight strikeouts and only allowed one run to the offensively challenged fish. He did amass a rather high pitch count – he finished with 102 pitches after going just five innings. It’s tough to assess Cingrani accurately because of the opponent he faced, but fans had to be excited about the potential of having a strong starting left-handed option.