Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Back in the Saddle Again...

Sorry for my extended absence from the blog, I had out of town things to attend to over the weekend. Suddenly, the Reds are playing some pretty good baseball. They are 2 games above .500, have been clicking on offense, and the pitching has been stellar. Here's some thoughts from the weekend and last night:

  • Holy strike outs! Reds pitchers have been on fire the last 2 games, striking out 29 batters in the last two games alone. Strike outs are awesome, any high strike out rate for a pitching staff is going to not only mean a higher likelihood of winning ballgames, but also a high likelihood of sustainability. I'd like to see a higher strike out rate from staff ace Johnny Cueto, but I'm more than pleased with everyone not named Mike Leake. Speaking of Mike Leake, last year he had awesome run support, with his offense providing him with 5.13 runs per game. This year, the offense is only providing him with 3.06 runs per game. And that number is even inflated by an 8 run game, in his other 4 starts they've provided him with 1, 1, 2, and 4 runs. But hey, maybe he should work on giving up fewer runs too.....maybe?
  • Not only is Todd Frazier a great young baseball player and the possible future at 3rd base, he is also a master of air guitar.

  • The Reds have given up 101 runs so far this season, 3rd in Major League Baseball behind the Nationals (82), and the Cardinals (96). This would be great news if the offense didn't shit the bed in the first few weeks of the season, as their runs scored is only slightly above that at 111. But just last week the Reds had a negative run differential (runs scored minus runs allowed) and the further they move into the positive, the better the record will become.
  • The Reds face Yovani Gallardo tonight. Reds batters have fared well against him in the past.
    • Jay Bruce: 8-17, .471 AVG, 1 HR, 5 K's
    • Ryan Hanigan: 3-11, .273, 1 2B
    • Ryan Ludwick: 4-11, .364, 2 HR, 0 K's
    • Brandon Phillips: 7-25, .280, 2 2B, 1 HR, 3 K's
    • Scott Rolen: 7-13, .538, 2 2B, 1 HR, 3 K's
    • Drew Stubbs: 4-14, .286, 2 2B, 1 HR, 7 K's
    • Joey Votto: 7-21, .333, 3 2B, 1 HR, 1 K
  • On the Cole Hamels thing, I think that's bush league. And by "that" I mean the fact that he threw at Bryce Harper to begin with. There is this stupid mentality out there that just because things have always been done a certain way, that we should keep perpetuating that thing for "tradition" sake, without ever asking ourselves "is this dumb?" Baseball has always been at the forefront of change, despite the game remaining largely unchanged for the past 100+ years. Where would baseball be right now if Branch Rickey, who decided to take a chance and sign a great young player named Jackie Robinson, had said to himself "Well, it's baseball tradition to not allow black players on Major League teams, and I'm pretty old school so I think I'll pass on signing this Robinson kid." Not to hammer home this point, but chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a very real problem, as evidenced by former NFL players blowing their brains (or chests) out left and right. Baseball is not immune from this either. It has been argued that Lou Gehrig's ALS was perhaps brought on by a blow to the head from a pitched baseball. Being the iron man that he was, of course Gehrig never sat out any games after the blow to the head (or any games ever for that matter), and some modern researchers who study concussions in sports and CTE have concluded that either ALS can develop from repeated concussions, or simply that symptoms develop that mimic ALS. Enough research and rambling, the point is, its the 21st century and players shouldn't have to intentionally throw baseballs at one another to prove who is tougher or show some sense of respect for the "old school ways". It's as dumb and outdated as a practice as pitcher wins is as a statistic. Call me crazy, but anyone who would claim that cracking down on beaning batters is taking anything away from the game is a freaking 19th century neanderthal. Haven't we evolved to the point where "macho" is an archaic sexist stereotype? 
  • Thanks for reading again, sorry for the lull in blog updates, I'll try not to let life get in the way again! Music fans, check out Ohio band Red Wanting Blue this Saturday night at Bogart's!

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