April 16, 2007

Title? What Title? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Title! :-)

I tried posting this while forgetting to enter a title, but the blog software here at Red Hot Mama promptly (and, I suppose, quite properly) scolded me for it. And so with apologies to The Blues Brothers, here's a contribution from the Crack Hard Facts Staff that some of you may find interesting…or maybe not:

1. The Reds pitching staff currently leads the major leagues with 91 strikeouts. The closest NL competitor is the D-Backs with 90.

2. Reds pitchers have allowed only 29 walks. Only the Brewers have issued fewer free passes among NL clubs.

3. Reds pitchers have plunked only one batter in 12 games, tying the Giants for the fewest in the majors - although the Giants have played ten games to twelve for the Reds. The Phillies seem like a notorious bunch of headhunters by comparison, they've plunked eight in 11 games.

4. The Reds' staff team ERA of 2.93 is the third-lowest in the major leagues. Only the Mets (2.69) and Red Sox (2.79) have lower team ERAs.

Unfortunately, the picture for the hitters isn't quite as rosy. On the positive side, Reds hitters have taken a walk 50 times, more than any team in the majors except the Phillies (69) and Braves (51). But:

1. The Reds' team BA of .226 is the NL's worst.

2. Only two NL teams have a lower team slugging percentage than the Reds' .344 mark - the Giants and the Nationals.

3. Reds hitters have struck out 86 times. There are only three NL teams with more (Rockies, Phillies, Braves).

4. The Reds have 13 doubles, fewer than any other team in the NL.

Yet they lead the division? Imagine what it would be like if these guys could hit!

While taking the self-guided tour of the sortable team stats on mlb.com that produced the above tidbits, I noticed that amazingly, only one stolen base has been attempted against the Brewers so far this season! That figures to change when they visit Cincinnati tonight and Tuesday. The Reds are currently tied with the Dodgers for the major league lead in stolen bases with 13.


6 comments to “Title? What Title? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Title! :-)”

  1. Red Hot Mama says:

    Just goes to show that pitching’s more important, I reckon. Personally, I’d like to have both.

    So, what do you attribute the pitching success to, HMZ? Dick Pole seems like the obvious choice to me, but there are those who want to give the credit to David Ross, apparently because his suckitude at the plate balances out the pitching, karma-wise.

  2. KC2HMZ says:

    I go and post that, and Monday night Coffey plunks two guys, loads the sacks with none out, and gives up a grand salami to a guy in a 1-for-22 slump. The hitters finally put up some runs, the pitchers get smacked around. Did I mention Sunday somewhere here on RHM that baseball’s a funny game?

    Tonight’s debacle aside, RHM, I think much of it has to do with personnel. Last year’s Reds started the season with two guys in the rotation who pitched themselves plum out of town. Lohse and Belisle haven’t struggled like Claussen and Williams did while they were here. That not only helps the rotation, it has a domino effect on the pen, which isn’t being overexposed by having starters chased in the early innings.

    Did somebody just say bullpen? You don’t judge pitchers solely by the ERA, but an ERA that’s 6.00, 7.00, 8.00, worse? That’s an obscenity for a reliever. And that’s where Hammond, White, Burns, Shackelford, Majewski were last year. None of them are in the Reds’ pen right now.

    Dick Pole…Remember the game Jared Burton threw 16 pitches, including 12 balls and a wild pitch? When Burton came out of that game, Pole was right there to start talking to him – when’s the last time we saw that happen with the Reds? I don’t think even Saint Sebastian could salvage Milton, but I will be watching Lohse, who came to the Reds at the trade deadline and was above league average overall, but had problems with consistency. If he has a consistent year where you pretty much know what you’re going to get from him every time he goes out there, that’s something I’d be inclined to chalk up to the influence of Pole.

    Ross – well, the pitchers are better off with him behind the dish than Jason LaRue, but that’s a bit like saying you’re better off trying to put out a fire with a bucket of water than a bucket of gasoline.

    I guess the guy I give the most credit to is Kriv-Dawg.

    Last year this team was so desperate for pitching help, he was calling every GM from Tampa to Tokyo looking for arms.

    By the end of this year, the Reds might have seven starting pitchers of at least league average quality – Harang, Arroyo, Belisle, Lohse, Saarloos, Bailey, and Livingston.

    Other GMs will be calling Kriv-Dawg to beg for pitching help.

    Imagine how ridiculous that thought would have seemed in May or June of last year.

  3. BubbaFan says:

    Down in Louisville, Love Shack is now the proud owner of a 19.64 ERA.

    Is there any way to see a team’s left-right splits? As a team, not individually.

  4. KC2HMZ says:

    Sure is. You can do it from sortable player stats on mlb.com – on the left of the screen select either “Hitting Stats” or “Pitching Stats” as desired. You can then use the pull-down menu for “Splits” right below that to select either “vs. Left” or “vs. Right” and you can do this for all AL teams, all NL teams, or all major league teams by putting a dot in the appropriate circle in the selection area for that, which you’ll see right above the other two items. After that, just click the “GO” button.

    I just did this for the Reds’ hitting stats this season against left-handed pitchers to verify that it actually works. The Reds are currently hitting .201 off lefties, fourth-worst in the NL. The team that currently sets the NL standard for futility against lefties is the Cubs, who are batting .133 as a team against them. By comparison, the Marlins are currently scorching southpaws to the tune of .347.


  5. BubbaFan says:

    For some reason, I couldn’t get it to work. The L/R option didn’t come up.

    But I managed to do it at ESPN.com. The Reds really are hitting a lot better against righties. Which I guess is better than the reverse, since most pitchers are righties.

  6. KC2HMZ says:

    I had to try it a few times on mlb.com myself to get it to work right. It’s cantankerous, wants to return to the default settings.

    As a backup, I just realized a couple of days ago how to get the same information from Baseball-Reference.com :

    Go to the “Teams” section, pick the team, and bring up the franchise idex page for that team. team page. Click on “2007” under the “Year” column (Yes, this is new for this year, Sean has the site displaying the current season’s stats now. The Internet’s very best site for baseball stats just got better. Good job, Sean!). In the line that begins with the words “Franchise Index” there’s an option for “Splits: Bat/Pitch” and you can click either link and it’ll show you a page that includes team platoon splits, home/away splits, and several other situational splits as well.

    The data runs from 1957 to present. Last night’s game against the Phillies was already included in the stats I saw this morning at 10:55 NY time.