Friday vs. Cardinals

Friday lineup vs STL

Cabrera 6
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Gomes 7
Bruce 9
Stubbs 8
Hanigan 2
Harang 1

*For those who are curious, this is Albert Pujols’ split vs. the Reds this season:

.409/.519/.773 with two home runs, nine RBIs, five walks (incl. two intentional), five strikeouts.

A writer in St. Louis during the last series pointed out that Dusty Baker managed teams have intentionally walked Pujols 20 times over his career.

Question of the day: When is it OK for the Reds to pitch to Pujols this weekend (besides when there is no one on)?

*Asked about the importance of the series with the Cardinals, Baker did not play the ‘it’s early’ card.

“It’s never too early when you’re facing somebody in your division, especially a perennial-type foe that’s usually near the top somewhere. You figure it’s three less games you’re going to play them at some point in time whether you’re trying to pad the lead or cut the lead.

“This is a good test for us. It’s a good test for our young players to be in a pressure situation.  It’s an invaluable learning experience to be in a pennant race.”

Some numbers:

The Reds lead the NL with a .988 fielding percentage and come into Friday without an error in eight games. They haven’t gone at least nine games without an error since 1997. Of course, fielding percentage can be a little misleading because it’s only about balls gotten to.

Over the last seven days, the Reds lead the Majors with a .318 team average, ahead of the Twins .299 and the Phillies and Nationals — which were batting .298.

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only pitch to him when you’re going to throw pitches that are difficult to drive. Sinkers down and away, cutters up and in, breaking pitches in the dirt! I know Pujols is a monster but it is still hard to hit the ball. Make him hit our pitch not his! Go Reds!

when there is only one runner on and at least one out.. preferably two outs.

i would have said only when nobody is on, but that wasnt an option.

This example is one of the reasons that fielding percentage is such an incomplete statistic to measure defense. We all saw the two plays Orlando Cabrera missed in the Pirates game. It was only due to the “generosity” of the hometown scorer that we didn’t get charged with two errors. Other defensive stats, like UZR, measure qualities such as range, arm etc. and take into account all the plays that should be made. The Reds do play some good defense at certain positions, but Cabrera is a giant sucking hole in the middle of our defense — and no amount of old-school statistics can change that fact.

Cabrera does have defensive shortcomings, no doubt. But if you recall, he wasn’t signed as much for his glove. The Reds wanted his bat and have to live with what they get or don’t from him defensively.

Well, Cabrera’s OBP is back below .300 — which isn’t that far out of line with his career number. So his bat isn’t that great, either. Tonight, his defense cost us a lot, even though he didn’t get credited with an error. Right before Pujols hit his home run, a pretty routine ground ball from Ludwick was “just out of the reach” of Cabrera, so Ludwick was on base for Pujols’ home run. That Cabrera-run proved to be the difference in the game. Could Paul Janish really be that much worse of a hitter than Cabrera? His defense is stellar.

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