BROOOOM BROOOOOOOM!!! LIKE A RACECAR!! Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE
The Reds are 31 games over .500 against the rest of the National League this season. With the sweep of the Pirates earlier this week, the Reds clinched a non-losing record against them for the season. With three games left to play in Pittsburgh at the end of September, the Reds are now 9-6 in the head-to-head. With series left against the Marlins, Dodgers, and Cardinals, the Reds have a chance to chalk up non-losing records against all but two National League teams this season. They are currently 6-6 against the Cardinals, 2-1 against the Marlins, and 1-2 against the Dodgers. They have already wrapped up play with the Phillies and Nationals, the only National League teams to best them thus far.
J.J. Hoover's ERA is the second-lowest in the Reds bullpen for the season among pitchers who have thrown more than 25 innings. Only Aroldis Chapman's 1.60 is lower. If the Reds are still planning on moving Chapman to the rotation for next season, Hoover gives them one more reason to do so. He clearly has closer-potential, and would likely make for a suitable replacement in case.
Quantity of Quality
The Reds have seven regular position players who have produced above-average fWAR for the season already. Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, Jay Bruce, Todd Frazier, Ryan Hanigan, Ryan Ludwick, and Zack Cozart are all above 2.0 fWAR. CF is the only position at which the Reds are below average, and Drew Stubbs is sitting at 1.3 right now. Chris Heisey is at 1.5, so if he continues blistering the ball and getting the starts, he has an outside shot at giving the Reds an entire starting lineup of better-than-average players for the season.
A Time Traveler and Bronson Arroyo
Grant Brisbee's latest piece over at the Mothership is well-worth a read. He imagines someone going back in time to exactly one year ago and then telling a fan of each team who their favorite team's starting pitcher is today. Bronson Arroyo climbs the bump for the Reds on Sept 14, 2012, and if you had told me that on Sept 14, 2011 I would have been none too pleased. On this day last year, Arroyo was coming off his worst outing of the season, having given up three homers and six runs to the Rockies and lasting only one inning just a few days before. His season line at that point was fungly: a 5.28 ERA and an even 40 honkers surrendered. If that Bronson Arroyo were still starting games for the Reds a year later, we would all probably be discussing the upcoming season premiere of Parks and Recreation instead of an impending Reds pennant. This year, BroYo is fo sho: a 3.66 ERA and a 4.11 FIP to go along with only 23 bleacher-denters.