It's not really much fun to keep talking about how the Reds can't string wins together. Or how they continue to come up short in close games, while underperforming their win differential and 3rd-order wins percentage. It's enough, at this point, just to mutter "starting pitching" under your breath as you pace up and down the psych ward. The team's difficulties are a little more subtle than that. But not much.
Novelty is a good distraction at this point in the season. At least that's the thinking behind the All Star Game. The Reds debuts of Cozart and Willis are a welcome injection of fresh blood. Willis, who will start Sunday, should be a fun presence on the team, for however long it lasts. He's a fun player to watch and a font of enthusiasm who just might be able to inject some positivity into the clubhouse and give Brandon Phillips some much-need support in his cheerleading duties.
Tonight it's Mike Leake. While it's an awfully low bar for entry, Leake currently ranks as the Reds #2 starter. He's having a pretty good sophomore season, with peripherals and an inning count that suggest he can keep it up. Leake vs. Greinke looks, on a gut level, to be a mismatch. But Greinke has been a prime example this year for why partial (or even full) strikeout and walk rates can be deceiving. Leake's numbers don't make it a cinch for him to continue pitching around 3.50-4.00 ERA ball, but he's been keeping a lid on hits, more importantly HRs. Greinke has not.
|2011 - Mike Leake||8-4||20||14||0||0||0||0||89.1||83||40||40||9||23||66||4.03||1.19|
|2011 - Zack Greinke||7-3||12||12||0||0||0||0||68.1||71||47||43||10||14||89||5.66||1.24|
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