Red Reposter Númer Eldfjall, supporting all who have been affected by the Iceland volcano: 2nd. The Reds are tied for 2nd in the majors in unearned runs surrendered, only coughing up one unearnie so far.
The Fay blames the starting pitching for the woeful road trip
The starters gave up 33 runs in 38.1 innings, with Mike Leake throwing the only two quality starts in that span. Of course, it's tough to overlook the 15 runs the offense scored in the last 5 losses. Make no mistake, there is plenty of blame to spread around.
Mike Leake has been a big league player for just a few weeks now
and he has already claimed his first unofficial Reds player of the week award. He was about the only good thing going on the tail-end of that road trip, as he was the only starter who threw 7 innings in his start. He's also the leading hitter on the team with a .600 average.
If the Reds 5-game skid has you feeling down in the dumps
RLN has the Top Ten Reasons to Stay Optimistic. My favorite is #5, "We're only a half-game behind the Brewers and Cubs!" Woo-hoo! 3rd place here we come!
Dave Cameron points out that our boy Joey Votto is stealing bases at a suprising rate
He stole 4 bases all of last season, and then stole 4 all of last week. Mr. RoVotto has always had the wheels to swipe a few (he stole 24 in AA) but hasn't really shown it yet in the bigs. What Dave fails to mention though is the hundreds of thousands of Reds' fans' hearts he's stolen in the past few years.
Doug Gray is starting his draft preview series
leading up to the Reds #12 selection in June. He lists a number of guys who could potentially be targeted by the Reds, including the hometown kid, tOSU righty Alex Wimmers. The Reds should always draft the best player available, but if he's still on the board when the Reds pick it would be tough to pass him up, wouldn't it?
Joe Posnanski offers his two cents regarding Tony LaRussa and the Cardinals 20-inning game against the Mets
Many folks were ready to pop LaRussa's head like a pimple after that game. "When you manage baseball games that way, like a heavyweight boxer throwing haymakers, you win some and you lose some, and you make a lot of people angry. But one thing is for sure: You never go to sleep wishing you had tried harder."
Alyson Footer says our old pal Jeff Keppinger is swiftly taking the starting 2B job from Kazuo Matsui
Keppy has been hitting like an impatient blackjack player on a coke bender these first few weeks, posting a .410 wOBA so far. I always did like Keppy and figured he would make a decent-to-good starting 2B. He was just woefully miscast as a SS in his time here. WE SHOULDA MOVED BP TO SS WHEN WE HAD THE CHANCE!!!11
Viva El Birdos declares it "Adam Wainwright Day"
and I'm gonna puke. Not only is Wainer a terrific pitcher, but he has a career SLG% of .376. That's better than about 5 of our regular starters this season, including our clean-up hitter. I'm gonna puke again.
Bleed Cubbie Blue is looking to solve the team's bullpen woes
They want a new closer, as Carlos Marmol and John Grabow are off to rough starts. The three options discussed are Kerry Wood, Heath Bell, and Carlos Zambrano. I have to say, moving Zambrano to closer would be a bold and unorthodox move. I also have to say it would also be kinda dumb. Big Z is about as predictable as starters get, throwing 200 innings of roughly 3.5 WAR baseball every year. He's not an ace, but he's an enviable #2. Moving such a productive pitcher to the bullpen is foolish. That Chicken.
Craig Glaser at THT believes in the virture of patience
We saber-types are inclined to agree, but Craig is talking specifically about full counts. Here's a snippet:
"If batters were to swing a little less on 3-2, there would most likely not be much of a change in batting average or slugging percentage. There would, however, be a reliable increase in walks. There is more work to be done on the specifics, but I believe that these numbers begin to tell a very interesting story. Whether it is due to fear of striking out looking or undervaluing a walk, batters are too aggressive on full counts. Becoming more patient at the plate might cost the batter a few hits, but it will increase his overall productivity."