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Game 52: Reds @ Braves

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Cincinnati Reds
@ Atlanta Braves

Friday, May 27, 2011, 7:35 PM EDT
Turner Field

MLB Media Center


Mike Leake vs Tommy Hanson

Partly cloudy. Winds blowing out to center field at 5-15 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 75.

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There was a stretch, from April 20 to May 3 of this year, in which the Reds alternated a win and loss for every two game unit: W-L-W-L, etc. We got weary of that for some reason and there were requests that the Reds go on some kind of streak. A winning streak, preferably. Those chumps had their prayers answered in a most ironic way. From May 13 to May 22, the team won five in a row, then lost 5. But wth a win tonight, they're back into the familiar W-L Fibonacci sequence, which is only really a sequence, with very little Fibonacci about it. But damned if it isn't fun to say "Fibonacci."

Does all this add up to the Reds being essentially a .500 team? Anyone trying to write off the recent misery as strictly bad luck or statistical variance may have a touch of Stockhold Syndrome. And the current offense/pitching divide is characteristic of many mediocre teams. Still, I keep coming back to these mitigating facts:

  • 14 games without an off-day coming into tonight's game
  • Half of those games played against the two best teams in baseball
  • Two games in a row (May 22-23) in which starters went a combined 5.1 IP
  • Followed, one game later, by a 19-inning punishment
  • That, and freak-sounding injury, resulting in a AA call-up throwing 79 pitches against the Phillies

I didn't expect things to get this bad. But it's not altogether shocking. The pitching has been stretched beyond the breaking point. And Volquez and Chapman, who many had pencilled-in as the top talents in the rotation and bullpen respectively, are both in Louisville. Weighing the evidence, what do you expect? Not good things.

By popular demand and in light of the fact that it worked last time, I'm bringing baby back. The Reds have lost seven of their last eight and I wouldn't be at all surprised if it had something to do with the fact that I caught that baby smoking clove cigarettes.

** When you think of Mike Leake, just think of last year. First half.

2011 - Tommy Hanson 5-3 10 10 0 0 0 0 59.2 44 20 18 5 18 61 2.72 1.04