Hm. Um... The Reds are a team with a heart of gold... BAD. One run games have really... No, I've already beaten that into the ground. .500 is kind of like kissing your sister - or is that just tying? SCRAP. "So close, yet so far..." pretty cliche. But it fits. The Reds are only 3 games out of first, but in fourth place. They get a masterful pitching performance, but still look like they wouldn't have won the game 9 times out of ten. The offense is good, but streaky and not good enough when it really counts. This kind of baseballing describes countless mediocre teams, but also more than a handful of playoff teams who "put it all together" in the second half and surged to a pennant. With Wood and Willis in the clip, it's hard to see Walt springing for an arm. But history suggests he's going to do something. It's becoming more likely that he'll have to pull something off for the Reds to have playoff dreams of any kind.
Shutouts always turn the cannons on the offense. I know it's frustrating to watch Drew Stubbs strikeout, but other than a slight dip in power, he's doing exactly what his major league line in '09 and '10 would suggest. I keep coming back to Scott Rolen and Jay Bruce. Rolen has a seen a steep regression over his 2010. Bruce, meanwhile, isn't far off his 2010 pace, but has had such a brutal downturn since May that it may have had more impact on the team's fortunes than would a less schizoid rate of production. More importantly, it raises the question of when exactly he's going to get well. Over the last 30 days, Jay Bruce has the third-worst wOBA of any NL outfielder, after posting overwhelmingly the best mark in that cohort during May - .481, a good 70 points over the CarGo's second-best mark. If there's been a more violent reversal of fortunes in recent history among Reds hitters, I'd like to hear about.
ALSO: In some miracle of modern science and poor fortune for the Reds, Pujols may be back in the lineup tonight or tomorrow.
Lineup after the jump.
|2011 - Edinson Volquez||5-3||16||15||0||0||0||0||79.2||77||52||50||12||53||82||5.65||1.63|
|2011 - Jaime Garcia||7-3||17||17||2||2||0||0||105.1||106||51||39||7||27||91||3.33||1.26|