We all observed yet another offensive disappearance last evening. Here’s a few things from that and a coupleof views going forward…
1. If you’re a “fan” of Baseball Reference (or maybe not), you are aware of a stat called Pythagorean W-L. It is defined on the site as follows:
"Pythagorean winning percentage is an estimate of a team’s winning percentage given their runs scored and runs allowed. Developed by Bill James, it can tell you when teams were a bit lucky or unlucky. It is calculated by (Runs Scored)^1.83——————————————————— (Runs Scored)^1.83 + (Runs Allowed)^1.83The traditional formula uses an exponent of two, but this has proven to be a little more accurate."
One of the key words is “lucky” and “unlucky”. It doesn’t take long to realize something…the Reds have been unlucky this season. Why?
The answer is simple, comparatively speaking. The Reds sit at 47-49. The Pythagorean shows the Reds should be 51-45. If the Reds matched that, the would be in a virtual tie with the Pirates. That would also mean they have been more on the side of lucky.
But, that is not the case and the Redlegs sit 4 games out in the division.
2. One of the most common tweets I see is in regards to Dusty Baker and that his decision-making skills are questionable. Well, that’s dumbing it down. Most call for him to be fired and that he sucks as a manager. Last evening, Reds tweeps were questioning when Dusty removed Dontrelle Willis from the game having only hurled 4.2 innings.
Well, D-Train had more than 4.2 innings on his arm at the point he was removed. Am I saying the Reds bench has Dontrelle on a hard pitch count? No, but I am saying that Willis had thrown far more pitches due to having to get ready to pitch the bottom of the first on two occasions, not one. Pus, there’s a chance he was throwing a bit during one or both delays as well.
3. Here’s something else we all have to think about. It’s a no-brainer once you read it, and it goes a long with a conversation I had on Twitter. Managers get too much credit when a team wins and too much grief when a team loses. Coaches and managers have been saying this for years…and I believe it is true, for the most part. One time when it doesn’t completely apply is if the manager/coach makes the ultimate decision on the roster. I bring this up because of the point I made previously and this…
Managers also strive to put players in a position to succeed. Last night, such happened and the wrong result occurred.
Top of the first, runners on first and third with no outs. Joey Votto up. Weak grounder to the pitcher, Cozart to second. Now with one out, Brandon Phillips at the dish. Strikeout. An intentional walk to Jay Bruce loads the bases. Miguel Cairo up with bases loaded and two outs. Well, the second rain delay came during the AB, but Cairo did not perform in the clutch either. Three of the biggest plays of the evening happened in the first half-inning and all went against the Reds.
As I’ve heard former coaches and managers also say “Coaches coach, players play”. Every time the Reds do not succeed does not mean it’s a failure on Dusty. Am I being an apologist for Baker? Somewhat so. Two moves Baker makes that I’ll never understand are inserting Edgar Renteria in the starting lineup with any regularity AND batting him 2nd. Those two moves take away from the phrase I used earlier: putting a player in a position to succeed. We almost all know ER won’t. And he usually doesn’t.
(Editor’s note: One last thing on last night. Willis had the hardest hit ball for the Reds.)
4. With the trade deadline less than 2 weeks away, there’s a couple of things. BRM will be hosting a live chat as that day draws closer. The exact date and time are still TBD (the time would be most likely in the evening), but as soon as it is, you better believe we’ll let you know. Part of that will also depend on if the Reds will be sellers or buyers as well.
Along with that, if you are a sports or baseball blogger (Reds blog or not) and wish to have an active part, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will get together to discuss the particulars.