Cincinnati Reds set record for most home runs allowed in a season

Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports /

After setting a new franchise record for home runs allowed, the Cincinnati Reds have set a new MLB record.

The Cincinnati Reds have allowed more home runs than any team, ever.  Since the All-Star Break, no pitcher in the National League has allowed more home runs than Dan Straily.  Third in the NL is Anthony DeSclafani.  Brandon Finnegan, who has allowed the most home runs of any NL pitcher across the entire season, has slid all the way down to seventh in the second half.  Those are the Reds’ top three starters since the All-Star Game.

It’s not even really that close.  The Reds have surrendered 242 home runs.  The Minnesota Twins are next with 209.  The second ranked team in the NL, the Philadelphia Phillies, are a full 50 home runs behind the Reds at 196.

Despite having allowed so many home runs, the Reds are second in the NL and third in MLB in earned runs this season.  This is mainly attributable to their eighth place ranking in batting average against.  They don’t allow as many hits as other poor pitching teams.

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The Reds have begun to replace home runs with strikeouts.

The Reds have also done a nice job of striking out the opposition.  They rank 20th overall in MLB.  Since the return of DeSclafani to the rotation and the addition of Michael Lorenzen and Raisel Igelsias to the bullpen the second half of the season, the Reds have moved up to 12th in MLB in striking out the opposing batters.  They’ve still allowed the most home runs in the NL in that time frame, but they are improving.

Even though, the BIg Three in the rotation have allowed a ton of second half home runs, the Reds entire rotation has only allowed five more home runs than the Kansas City Royals over the course of the year.  The bullpen, however, has allowed 21 more than the second place Phillies.

Some of these stats have to do with utilization.  No bullpen in all of baseball has pitched more this season than that of the Cincinnati Reds.  Ross Ohlendorf has allowed the third most home runs of any reliever in baseball.  Sudden spot starter, Josh Smith, is also in the top twenty.  They have both over 50 innings, however.  One of the real culprits is former closer, J.J. Hoover, who allowed 9 home runs in 18 2/3 innings.  Jumbo Diaz has also allowed eight over 37 innings.

Next: Reds' fans deserve to see top starters pitch

Giving up home runs, even at a historic pace, can be overcome.  What cannot be overcome is over using a weak bullpen.  The Reds have seen what will happen, if they can’t have their rotation set by the start of the 2017 season.