Aug 26, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher J.J. Hoover (60) looks on after giving up a grand slam to St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Allen Craig (not pictured) during the seventh inning at Busch Stadium. St. Louis defeated Cincinnati 8-6. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Reds v. Cards Record Reflection of Back of Rotation

If you’re upset over the domination of the Reds by the Cardinals, congratulations on being human. Games like last night aren’t fun, regardless of who it’s against. Paul Goldschmidt rounded the bases to a chorus of silence when he twisted his dagger at GABP. Last night was Allen Craig‘s turn, and a chorus of silence in Cincinnati has manifested itself into a turbulent flurry of words, many of which are aimed at the same players that carried this team to where it is now.

We’re looking far too much into these games with St. Louis. 9-4 against the Reds in the 2013, which naturally means we can take off our hats to St. Louis and call them our daddy.

J.J. Hoover‘s bandwagon is once again wide open, in case anyone needed a ride back to reality. 26 1/3 straight scoreless innings is quickly forgotten when two balls account for eight opponent runs, both at the hands of NL MVP candidates batting with the bases juiced. What do you think guys like Craig and Goldschmidt do in that situation anyways?

The Reds have been owned. But if you think the record serves as some crystal ball that predicts October, you’re going to end up like Cleo, another failed psychic. The record is what it is, but it’s just not an honest breakdown, mainly because the Cards are amassing all of these wins against pitchers they probably won’t face in October.

Obviously, the Reds have had plenty of cracks at rookies and fill-ins too. But be realistic. The Cardinals have the most prolific offense in the National League and the third in all of baseball. The Reds are 13th. It’s just unrealistic to expect the Reds to win in some shootout fashion. The only way the Reds can win is if the starting pitching can preform at a high caliber. So while the Cardinals can survive the best arms of their rotation being sidelined because of its incredible offense, the Reds simply cannot.

That isn’t to say the Cards can’t pitch either. They sure can, fourth best ERA in all of baseball, right behind the Reds. The Reds and Cards are ranked second and third in starting rotation ERA.

Here is the breakdown of pitchers seen during the 13 games between the Reds and Cards thus far:

Bronson Arroyo, 4 games (0-3) 5.96  ERA

Mike Leake, 3 games (0-2) 8.27 ERA

Homer Bailey, 2 games (0-2) 9.58 ERA

The Cards have owned the back of the Reds’ rotation. But if they really owned the Reds, it wouldn’t matter who they send to the bump. It actually matters a lot. While we’re wasting our time freaking out about guys who, if everyone is healthy come October, won’t even be throwing in a five game series with STL, we’re completely ignoring the fact that the Reds have the pitchers to turn the lights off at Busch Stadium.

Mat Latos, 3 games (2-0) 1.42 ERA

Tony Cingrani, 1 games (1-0)  5.40 – but in fairness, the rookie only surrendered three runs in five innings, he also struck out seven Cardinals.

Then of course there’s the forgotten ace, Johnny Cueto. Unfortunately, he hasn’t received a crack at the Cards yet, but he had a 3.00 ERA in two starts against a highly prolific 2012 Cardinals offense. The front end of this rotation has not been bullied by the Cardinals, which means if the Reds want to advance and stick it to their rivals, they’ll need the services of their Cy Young vote-getting Dominican and their hard-throwing rookie. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like they’ll be able to retain Cueto’s services for the remainder of the year, meaning one of the pitchers the Cardinals have mercilessly beaten would have to have a dramatic turn around.

Which means the obvious: if the Reds can’t win the division, a one game showdown with the Cardinals is the next best thing. There are too many variables in one game to accurately predict. Anything could happen. Plus,  the Cardinals would undoubtedly throw Wainwright, who fell to Latos already once this year.

If it’s a question of who is better, you have to take the Cardinals. In a five game series, the only way the Reds advance is if they can send Cueto, Latos and Cingrani, in succession. That probably won’t happen, which means the Reds would have to outscore a team that scores more runs than any other team in the NL. And unless Ludwick undergoes his own metamorphosis and suddenly propels this offense to where it’s supposed to be, the only way the Reds can survive and advance is riding the arms of the front of baseball’s second best rotation. Just hope they’re there.


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Tags: Cincinnati Reds MLB NL Central St. Louis

  • ntoni

    Same old Reds. Always finding a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Wondering why Joey doesn’t get the big hits (a) when it counts, and (b) when there are runners on base. Wondering why the middle of the lineup isn’t producing. Wondering why Joey didn’t (a) throw to the plate, or (b) know how many outs there were. Another year of “almost”…..

    • itswhatever

      I understand. I was convinced this was the year, but losing an ace can sink a ship. This ship is by no means sinking, just has holes.

  • Garret

    I like reading these articles by Reds fans. They always have some unique spin to explain why even though their team is in third place and hasn’t had a whiff of first in months, and even though St. Louis has a near .700 winning percentage against them, even though the Reds are below .500 away from the Great American Bandbox, somehow, some way, they are still magically clearly the better team and will win in the post season.

    • Steve O’Red

      I don’t recall reading anywhere in this post stating the Reds being better than the Cards. In fact, the exact opposite is stated.

      • Garret

        Oh please we all know what the author was doing. Backhanded compliments aside, the point was the Reds best players will be there to shine in the post-season and the Cardinals will not measure up when that happens–which is a ridiculous assertion. Your team can’t go 4-10 against another and then somehow claim an advantage in the caliber of your players, pitching or otherwise. You can’t make a monumental deal about the Cardinals lack of success against Latos (ahem, see last night however), then claim the fact Cingrani got pushed around but still came up with a win means he’ll be a dominant post season presence. You gotta support your team, and find silver linings wherever you can when you’re losing games, but come on fellas. Don’t whine when someone calls a spade a spade.

        • Steve O’Red

          A Cards fan telling someone not to whine. That’s pretty rich…

        • itswhatever

          Did you call the spade a spade?

          What happens during 162 is in no way indicative of October. If you want me to do some homework for you, I can for my next article. Always obliged to Cards fans, thanks for stopping by and hope you enjoyed the game last night.

    • itswhatever

      “If it’s a question of who is better, you have to take the Cardinals.”

      Try making it through the entire thing next time. You’d at least want to ensure the time you spent writing that paragraph wasn’t entirely wasted.

  • Moveguy

    So tell me, is Latos a top of the rotation pitcher? Joe Kelly must be an ace. Oh wait your “GUY” got beat by a bottom of the rotation guy. How did that happen.

    • itswhatever

      Because the Reds scored one run. You watch?

      • Moveguy

        You did see Latos gave up 4 runs in 6 innings?

        • itswhatever

          Yeah, not bad considering he dominated the Cards every other time out. That had to feel good in STL.

          • Moveguy

            You guys are funny. You make up excuses and reasons for everything. Instead of just saying your team is a step behind this year.

          • itswhatever

            Sure looks like it. STL 31-31 v. teams above .500, but if ten wins are against the step behind Reds, I guess that makes the Cards a half-step down this year, or?

    • Garret

      he’s going to pitch every game in the postseason Moveguy! So if he’s 3-1 against the Cardinals, that means if they meet in the NLDS, Reds win 3-1! Yay Redlegs! Dusty Baker is not an idiot, that Joey Votto signing was genius because of his on base percentage, and Johnny Cueto HAD to kick Jason LaRue spikes out to the head because kicking is how men defend themselves in this world, not little girls! Hooray Reds!

      • itswhatever

        “If it’s a question of who is better, you have to take the Cardinals. In a five game series,”

        Is it just these Cards fans that refuse to actually read the article or is this universal?