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18 game capsule, take 3

Guh.  On the one hand, a real kick in the gut, reminiscent of every other season where the Reds inevitable fall apart.  On the other hand, the club went 8-10 in a difficult stretch of games, with a strong AAA lineup.  Bomb Milwaukee now!

 

2009 Reds, Capsule 3

Overview:

Wins/Losses: 8 - 10 (PSA), 28-26 (YTD)

Strength of Schedule: .509, YTD (4th most difficult in NL; 5th most difficult in ML) [Prev: .512 YTD SOS, 5th most difficult in NL; 8th most difficult in ML]

RPI (ESPN): .512, YTD (6th best in NL; 10th best in ML)

[Prev: .523 YTD RPI, 3rd best in NL; 4th best in ML]

Baseball Prospectus playoff odds (based on team stats, YTD): 19.9% [prev: 27.9%]

Baseball Prospectus playoff odds (based on ELO concept): 16.9% [prev: 18.3%]

Baseball Prospectus playoff odds (based on team stats + PECOTA projections): 15.9% [prev: 14.4%]

Offense:

  • .243/.316/.406 (AVG/OBP/SLG) for the team for the period, compared to NL average of .261/.339/.417.
  • Submitted without comment: the 8 regulars for the period, based on most plate appearances: Hernandez, Rosales, Phillips, Gonzalez, Hairston, Nix, Tavares, Bruce.
  • Team carrier: Brandon Phillips at .327/.370/.735 for the period.  No one else was even close.
  • Except for a partial Joey Votto, who had 13 total bases in 14 at bats.
  • Semi-regulars Chris Dickerson and Ryan Hanigan were also pretty decent, posting period stand alone OPS totals of 860 and 930, respectively.
  • The other end of the spectrum was fuller: Jay Bruce with a .169 batting average and an OPS of 614; Alex Gonzalez bringing a 1.7% walk rate (league average: 9.8%) for the period to hit for an OPS of 621; Adam Rosales leveraged a slugging percentage of .209 into an OPS of .469; and my personal fav: Willy Tavares with 45 at bats, 3 walks, and 1 extra base hit for a period stand alone OPS of 386 (!).  If the Reds had played 9 Tavares's in the lineup, they would have scored 0.07 runs per game.  Holler at yer boy, Willy.
  • The Reds have 32 steals and 13 caught stealings for the year...exactly equal to league averages.
  • For all the injuries, this profiles as an average offense in most every way: average contact rates, average walk rates, nearly average RC/G.  The Reds probably play in an average offensive stadium, right?
  • Among players with at least three plate appearances, the top 4 OPS totals belong to: Votto, Nix, Phillips, and...some pitcher (Babe Ruth Micah Owings).

Pitching:

  • The bullpen!  Cordero, Masset, and Rhodes combined to give up zero runs.  Dave Weathers, who is washed up, gave up one run in this period.
  • The starters need their hoss to get back on his horse.  Aaron Harang was 2-2, but a 5.53 ERA in 24.1 IP.
  • Cueto and Arroyo were good (3.30 ERA and 3.07 ERAs, respectively), but strikeout rates are ominous: 5.6 per 9 IP for Cueto and only 4.3 for Bronson.  Gotta miss some more bats.
  • Mike Lincoln...3 ding dongs allowed in six innings.  Walt, I asked for his release in the last one of these.  Come on!
  • I also asked for Homer to get called up, but no one really remembers what I write, so no biggie.
  • Micah Owings has been brutal.  A 6.85 ERA in 19.2 IP, and the ERA is fully deserved...Batters hitting .309 off him, and Owings allowed 13 walks and 3 homers.  I know the bat mitigates some of this, but it's hard to win any of the games he pitches right now.
  • The defense keeps getting better.  The DER is now up to .708, which is 4th best in the NL and the ML.

The next 18:

  • 8 games at home, 10 on the road
  • 10 of the next 18 are against female teams, I mean American League teams.
  • 2 of the 18 against divisional opponents
  • 5 of the 18 against 2008 playoff teams
  • .446 average winning percentage (2009) for the teams in the next 18 games.
  • With the weak opponents coming up, this may be THE shot for the Reds to surge ahead.  However, with DH games and with Votto and Eddie being so iffy, this is far from a perfect scenario.  I'm looking for Bruce to break out, and I've got to assume that Gonzo has to improve soon (i.e. can't get any frakkin worse).
  • If I were GM: kind of a long shot out of nowhere here, but: Ryan Church is in the 4th level of doghouse in Queens.  And Jose Reyes is out for a couple months with a hammy.  Gonzo for Church, stick Church in RF and slide Bruce to center?  With Janish getting the full time starting job?  Not really a fair trade, I know, but the NY manager really hates Church.
  • Thanks for beating the Cubs and starting off the next 18 on a good note.  Let's get hot!
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