Well looky here. The Reds have a chance to split this road trip. Who'd a thunk it?
The offense appears to have a little life left in them after all. Then again, it helps that they aren't facing front-line starters this series. While that gets a big "no duh" from everyone, I think it is more than just the fact that they were facing a lesser pitcher. The Reds seemed to be much less aggressive early in the count last night. Sure they swung at some first pitches from time-to-time, but it seemed like it was much more frequent in Seattle. Maybe I just notice it more when they are struggling, but I get the impression that they are much more effective offensively when they work deeper into the count.
It's not a precise measurement, but when they start with a 1-0 count, the offense as a whole hits .280/.383/.461. However, when they either put the ball in play on the first pitch or start with an 0-1 count, they hit .270/.308/.434. Of course they can't control if a pitcher throws a ball in the strike zone on the first pitch, but I think it is safe to say there is very little reason to swing at a pitch outside of the strike zone on the first pitch. Might be something worth looking at further with pitch fx at a later date.
Johnny Cueto's trademark over his career has been inconsistency. I'm calling it right now though. He will be a dominant pitcher for the rest of the season. Then again, I'm usually wrong.
I think a Wednesday afternoon sweep sounds like a fine way to spend the day! Go Reds!
UPDATE: Today's game is on MLB Network, if you hadn't heard.