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Reds Starters Are Getting More Credit Than Ever

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Cincinnati Reds starting pitchers are 16-11 so far this season.  While that is definitely a good record, the more significant point is that the starting pitchers have 27 of the 31 decisions for the pitching staff so far this year - and they are winning more than losing.  Through 31 games, no team in the league has fewer no decisions from the starting staff, and the Rays (5) are the only other team with fewer than 7 no decisions. 

No Reds team in the last 50 years has had more decisions go to the starters in the first 31 games.  More importantly, only the 1970 (19) and 1967 (17) teams have seen more wins by their starters in the first 31 games.  They have been credited with the most wins in the Majors so far this year.

All of these decisions are going for the starters for a couple of reasons.  First, the Reds' starters lead in the NL in innings pitched per start (6.16 IP/GS).  They also have the most games in the Majors (13) where they have pitched 7+ innings while allowing 3 runs or fewer runs.  Going late into games and holding the other team down will go a long way toward adding your name in the winning pitcher column.

A second reason for the starters are getting so many decisions is the bullpen.  While the bullpen has a respectable 4.03 ERA, they are fourth in the Majors with scoreless appearances in 75% of their games.  They have only given up runs in 4 wins this season, and not once has a starting pitcher left the game with a lead only to end up with a no decision (twice they've left the game in line for the loss but were taken off the hook).  So kudos to Dusty Baker for his handling of the bullpen and the pitchers themselves for not ruining any games for the starters so far this year.

One last reason the starters have gotten so many decisions is the offense.  The Reds have just 5 come from behind victories so far this year - only the Pirates and Rockies have fewer.  So, with so few comebacks and so few blown leads, you can pretty much leave the game once the first run is scored because there is a pretty good likelihood that the team that scored is going to win on that day. 

Come to think of it, Reds baseball is fairly boring and predictable, isn't it?