Tuesday, May 15, 2012, 7:10 PM EDT
TV: MLB Network, FSO-HD, SS-HD; RADIO: WLW, WCNN; WEB: MLB.tv, Gameday Audio, Gameday
Mostly cloudy. Winds blowing from left to right field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 75.
A team doesn't have to string together lengthy winnings streaks to be successful. But good teams usually do anyway over the course of a long season. Back-to-back wins against good competition is encouraging. So is a 3-hit night from a left fielder.
While the team may not be able to pull even with the Cardinals before the end of the month, they can continue to demonstrate they're in it for the long haul. Nothing about their performance so far has been fluky:
- W-L in line Pythagorean record
- .500 in 1-run games
- Slightly better record at home than away
- In general, better records against worse teams
If there's room to grow, the question is how much better the offensive improvement will be than the bullpen regression. The bullpen is among the best, if not the best, in the National League. If it stays that way AND the bats come out to play, then this is a first-place-caliber team.
If you think the team we've seen so far is the "real" Reds, then they may be good enough for 2nd place in the NL Central. It may even be a little bit better by virtue of not playing the Nats and Cards over 1/3 of the time. But "just good enough for 2nd place in the Central" isn't shaping up to be good enough for the playoffs.
Although none of this really matters when Johnny Cueto is on the mound.
||ERA (ERA+)||4.50 (84)
|Reliever||5/10||5/11||5/12||5/13||5/14||5 day totals|
||1.0, 19p||1.0, 12p
||2.0 IP, 31 pitches|
||2.0, 33||0.2, 12p
||2.2 IP, 45 pitches
||1.0, 14p||0.2, 15p
||1.2 IP, 29 pitches
||2.0, 18p||1.0, 12p||3.0 IP, 30 pitches|
||1.0, 18p||1.2, 46p||2.2 IP, 64 pitches
||1.0, 12p||1.1, 22p||2.1 IP, 34 pitches
||2.0, 31p||2.0 IP, 31 pitches