Apr 28, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Tony Cingrani (52) throws during the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Week 4 Trends: 3 Reasons for Road Woes, High Run Differential, Masterful Rookie

The Reds have now played ten games away from GABP, only two or which they’ve won. Here are three reasons why:

1) Caliber of Opponents – The Reds’ April road schedule, on both paper and television, is pretty daunting. Three initial games with the Cardinals, followed by three with the first place Pirates (figured I’d pen that now while I can), four with Washington before another three at Busch starting this evening. But it depends how you assess the circumstances. When you have a team considered a World Series favorite, the opponent matters less..yeah? The Reds still aren’t necessarily at full-strength, so make assumptions on the team at your own risk. Three starters, including the team’s ace, are waiting to rejoin.

2) The offense has been missing for so long on the road that it’s starting to show up on milk cartons. And I don’t even know if they still do that. Who drinks from milk cartons?

Collectively, the Reds can boast the fifth best offense in the MLB, with 123 runs scored and only 99 runs allowed; however, when you remove games played at Great American Ballpark,  it’s a little more ominous. On the road, the Reds currently have the 26th best (worst) offense. They’ve amassed just 36 runs away from home so far. To put it into perspective, the Cardinals have scored 70. And their road schedule isn’t all that pedestrian either – Arizona, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Washington aren’t necessarily Chicago. The Reds are hitting just .218 outside of GABP.

3) The Reds have a collective 5.49 ERA on the road. When you consider the aforementioned offensive statistics, it’s really not hard to see why the Reds are 2-8 away. On the season, the Reds have the 8th best ERA in baseball (3.40). Check out these player ERAs away from GABP so far: Bailey- 0-2, 6.00; Arroyo – 0-2, 6.75; Leake – 0-1, 8.00.

If you’re stressed about the Reds, you have a pulse. But there is still reason to believe this team can deliver on heavy expectations. The Reds sport a run-differential of +24, which is tied with St. Louis for the best run differential in the National League. Overall, that’s good for 4 in MLB. Pundits of the game always swear by this metric. It’s a metric that lends itself to the validity of the Big 162. Cream naturally rises. Assuming the Reds correct their road woes, you have to believe they will too.

What about Anthony Michael Cingrani? The last Reds rookie to strike out ten or more opponents is currently on the DL. And to do it against a World Series favorite like the Nationals makes it’s that much more impressive. The blatantly obvious question becomes: when Johnny Cueto returns, does Cingrani stay or go? One has to believe he sticks around, but at the expense of which pitcher? Mike Leake looks like an early favorite.

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Tags: Cincinnati Reds MLB St Louis Cardinals Tony Cingrani

  • johnvrouse

    Cingrani has 2 be the best option to help this team throughout the season.. Leake has been given the opportunities, and failed miserably over the years.. he may not be a bad RH PH with Heisey now gone on the DL, considering hes hitting better than Heisey this season….LOL

    • http://blogredmachine.com/ Steve O’Red

      Failed miserably? How? The Reds are over .500 in all of his career starts with a record of 45-38 in those starts. Leake’s pitching might make you nauseous, but the Reds win more times than not when he’s on the mound.

  • beeker

    I do not believe that Leake’s time as a starter for the Reds is over. But with the way Cingrani has looked in his first three starts, it could be over for this year. When Cueto returns, I would not be shocked at all if Leake moves to the bullpen or gets sent to Louisville until Cingrani struggles or someone else goes to the DL. My preference: move him to the pen and DFA Parra.

  • metalhead65

    well the smart thing to do would be send Leake down where he can continue to start. he has. how much could he really help the Reds out of the pen when he has always been a starter? keep in Louisville until he can demonstrate he can consistently go 6 innings or more without giving up the same amount of runs.haven’t we all seen enough of his 2 good games followed by 2-3 bad games in row? the way Cingrani is going it would appear to be a no brainer which means dusty will want to go with his veteran Leake instead. speaking of call ups I hope they give this kid they just called up a chance and by that I mean start him in left field until he shows he is not ready or until Ludwick comes back if he is. what would be the point of having him sit on the bench instead of playing everyday like was in Florida?

    • http://twitter.com/JordanBarhorst Jordan Barhorst

      How can you, in one breath, describe Leake’s tendency to have 2 good games followed by 2-3 bad games in a row, and in the next say that Cingrani is the answer? We’ve seen a handful of outings by Cingrani. Sure, he’s been great, but who’s to say he doesn’t give up 10 runs in his next 4 games? This is the reason we play the games. Leake is on the big club for a reason, not just because we don’t have anyone else.

      • metalhead65

        and how can you say not to go with the hot hand in cingrani right now? seriously if cuteo came off the dl tom. you would go with Leake? and if cingani gave up 10 runs over his next 4 starts he would still be better than Leake. when have you ever seen Leake get out of a bases loaded jam before? common sense says you go with the hot hand,but even if cingrani turned into Leake over night I would still keep him and see if he could turn it around. so far I have seen only improvement with the kid and look for him to take arroyo’s spot next year as the #4 guy in the rotation with Leake again being the #5 guy. at this point what you see with Leake looks like all you ever will see of him,a # 5 guy which is fine if he would only be consistent and give you the 5-6 innings without giving up the same amount of runs.

        • http://twitter.com/JordanBarhorst Jordan Barhorst

          Unfortunately it’s not all about the hot hand when it comes to pitchers. You’ve got things like minor league options, contract status and clauses, the amount of money you’re paying a guy, etc. While Leake might not be an All-Star, you know what you’re getting. Cingrani is a complete wildcard at this point. Would I like him to be a dominate lefty in the rotation for years to come? Absolutely. But after three games we have no idea who this kid is. You can’t take a chance on the unknown.

          If you send Leake down to AAA in favor of keeping Cingrani, that’s an option for Leake, bringing him down to one. If Cingrani fails, you bring Leake back up anyway. Gotta think like you’re the one spending the money.

    • http://blogredmachine.com/ Steve O’Red

      Yes, let’s play a guy that has limited range and only 83 games of minor league experience as a left fielder and no experience at Triple-A and simply hand the position over to him., That makes a ton of sense…

      • metalhead65

        right let’s just sit him on the bench because he can get lots of experience that way. and who needs him anyway with the great production they are getting from there so far right. did you watch paul try and field out there yesterday? he looked like alonzo did before they traded him. why bother calling the guy up if he is not going to play and get experience? it’s early remember ? it does not matter how he plays now because he or somebody else will play much better later in the season because these games don’t count now.

        • http://blogredmachine.com/ Steve O’Red

          Funny…you didn’t say the same when Derrick Robinson was called up?

          • metalhead65

            maybe because I thought they were going to let Heisey finally play everyday. maybe you should talk to your buddy dusty and ask him why he does not give either of these young guys a chance.

          • http://blogredmachine.com/ Steve O’Red

            Sure, because a guy with a batting average of .181 and OBP of .195 deserves all the rope in the world. Maybe you should ask Dusty why he continued to let him play.

          • metalhead65

            so it was ok for guys like gomes and fred lewis to play everyday no matter how bad they were but Heisey does not get the same chance? I can only imagine your reaction today if Heisey had played the field the way paul did yesterday.

          • http://blogredmachine.com/ Steve O’Red

            Who said that was OK? No one here has EVER stated that.