Hump Day Meta Index for the mid-week of 4/18/11:
4.25 FIP for Reds' pitchers, 20th in the majors.
3.78 Team xFIP, 8th in the majors.
11.12 First-inning ERA for Reds' starters
6, 8, 13 HRs, SBs and Walks surrendered by Reds' pitching in 17 first innings (highest mark, by far, for any inning of the game)
WCPO has a "source" that says Mike Leake paid for those T-shirts
According to Dennis Janson, It suggests that "Leake somehow thought that he could affect [SIC] what is termed an 'even exchange' without benefit of a store employee presiding over the transaction." While Janson points out that this logic would violate the "dictates of common sense," it's about as believable Leake deliberately walking out of the store without paying for shirts, considering he had a lot of cash and credit on him when he was arrested and the thrill-jockey rating for stealing t-shirts is kinda low.
Big League Stew weighs in on the "attempted exchange" theory
and it doesn't smell right. Leake was previously thought to be trying to cleanse his record through a diversion program, suggesting he was conceding the theft. But now this desperate-sounding explanation emerges that Leake doesn't know how to exchange merchandise. BLS concludes that Leake is either guilty or a dumb-dumb. Everyone's prone to mental lapses. Maybe Leake always got exactly what he wanted for Christmas. I would hesitate to call anyone stupid, especially when it can so easily resemble legal opportunism or the fumbling of the justice system. But someone has some explaining to do for why Leak's place of business is listed as "Reds Stadium" and not Great American Ball Park in the official police report.
I promise this is the last of the police blotter: Dusty sez Reds' Leake will make next start
If he really wants to do community service, he'll toss a gem. Or at least get out of the first inning without getting shelled.
Sam LeCure was frustrated by the home run barrage
It was the kind of night where every fly ball looked like trouble. It's been that kind of season for a portion of the Reds' staff.
"Dusty knows best" is not just a good idea for a sit-com
It's a guiding principle in the Reds' clubhouse. Brandon Phillips returned to the lineup after four games out, trying to fib his way in earlier. But Dusty held firm. Phillips' comments pretty well sum up not only why he's such a magnetic player, despite his bombast but likely one of the key reasons Dusty has been a successful manager. And don't think Phillips' isn't self-aware:
"I’m playing the game I love. I’m the type of person I’m going to play hurt. I wish I would have been in there. But Dusty did the best thing and forced me not to play. He knew I would have probably hurt myself again. Like I did last year with my hand.
"I love Dusty. He’s a great manager. He knows what’s best for me. I don’t really know what’s best for me. I just know about playing ball. It made sense."
The team is definitely coming down to earth, dropping eighth of last 12
Mark Sheldon has some other bits of interest. Apart from the pitching showing some signs of bad luck, there have been some misfortune in runners stranded and rallies cut short for the offense - or failure to "be clutch," whichever you prefer. This team is much better than their last 12, though certainly not as good as their first 5.
Over at Beyond the Box Score
This question: "Which NL Central teams have revealed their true talent level?"