June 7, 2012

Daily Brief: Consistency in Pitching

Last Game
The Reds pulled the series even yesterday by beating the Pirates 4-5. Johnny Cueto got the win and Brandon Phillips redeemed himself a little with a 2-for-4 night that included a home run. He’d gone 0-fer and left 7 on base the day before.

Next Game
Tonight is the rubber match, with Mike Leake (2-5, 4.95 ERA) defending against Kevin Correia (2-5, 4.19 ERA). Don’t let the record fool you: Correia has been a hard-luck loser. His team has won only one of his six quality starts this season.

A Consistent Rotation
In the past, Dusty Baker has talked about needing consistency, but that’s just translated into seeing the same crappy performance day after day. But now, just as the Earth rotates predictably through the vacuum, the Reds have rotated predictably through the rotation all season long.

Through these first 55 games, the Reds have used only five starting pitchers: Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Bronson Arroyo, Homer Bailey, and Mike Leake. That’s the longest streak of using only five starters to begin a season since they went 79 games in 1992.

And unless someone gets hurt, it’s probably going to stay this way. These guys aren’t perfect, but the bullpen damn near is, so there’s not really the laser focus on the pitching for a change. More urgent is keeping the Reds’ power flowing.

What to Say to Sound Smart at the Water Cooler
The Reds are 23-6 in games where they hit at least one home run.

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