The Cincinnati Reds are 25 games into the 2014 season, and what they’ve shown fans is not terrifically surprising to me. They sit in third place, behind the Milwaukee Brewers and the St. Louis Cardinals, with a record of 11-14. The team has shown excellent starting pitching, above-average defense, and an embarrassing lack of offense.
The pitching has allowed an average of 3.3 runs per game. If they keep that up for the whole year, that’s going to make for some mighty fine pitching stats. As a point of comparison, that would be just a little better than the Atlanta Braves’ staff was last season. It’s certainly good enough pitching to win plenty of games, so long as the team scores some runs.
Unfortunately, the Reds aren’t. The team is averaging 3.8 runs per game which is down from 4.3 runs per game last year. No one who realized the offensive impact of Shin-Soo Choo should be surprised by that. Considering his disappearance since signing Choo, I’m guessing the Reds’ ineffective General Manager Walt Jocketty is one of those surprised.
Even with that anemic offense, the Reds can still be expected to contend. A difference of 0.5 between runs scored and runs allowed over the course of 162 games should have the Reds with a record around 89-73. That run differential adds up to 81, which in general averages out to a record eight games above .500.
I’m not sure the pitching can keep up its pace, but considering it’s doing it so far without Mat Latos and Aroldis Chapman, maybe it can. It will make for a different kind of season as a fan. The Reds are historically a high scoring team. I’m not sure I know how to watch a team that doesn’t.