Reds Series Post Mortem

There aren’t a whole lot of conclusions that can reasonably be drawn from the first three games of the season, so I am not going to draw any.  Most players are shaking off the cobwebs from the offseason and a  Spring Training that really does nothing more than get you physically ready for a new season.  Those first few games or even weeks of regular season competition take some re-acclimation, and understandably players are not generally at their best.

So what I am going to do is make observations, not conclusions.  My observations are not going to be the same as those others might make, as mine are based on those things on which I tend to focus more.  I will also admit to some bias, as I am a human being and all human beings are biased.  If you think you are not, then you are either not human or you are lying to yourself.  So being the biased human being that I am, my observations may slant more in one direction than another.  Just follow along as best you can.

 

Monday, March 31—–Cards 1 Reds 0

Adam Wainwright looked like Adam Wainwright for the most part.  I wasn’t thrilled with all the walks, even if two of them were on purpose (one intentional, one unintentionally intentional).  I am going to expect that to get better.  Relief pitching was lights out, except for the brief Pat Neshek period.  I will talk more about Neshek later in the post.

The defense was very much in shake off the cobwebs mode.  The Bourjos error was more or less just a fluke, a function of having the ball hit the wrong part of the glove.  That he got to the ball at all and got a glove on it was more than Jon Jay would ever be able to do (see, this is where my bias is rearing it’s ugly head).  The error by Wong, well he should have made that play, but I am going to give him a break seeing as it was the first game.  The error by Adams, I don’t know what to make of that one.  I just hope he never does it again.

The offense didn’t quite make it to the party.  I always like Yadier Molina home runs.  I especially like Yadier Molina home runs in Great American Ball Park, in front of booing Reds fans who couldn’t find their butts with both hands and a road map.  The rest of the offense needed NoDoz.

The Cardinals won this one with pitching and Molina.  The rest of the team just watched.

 

Wednesday, April 2—-Cards 0 Reds 1

Rain delay to start.

Monday’s game looked at in the mirror.  Pitching again was great, but no Molina dinger this time.   Martinez was a little sloppy, but that will happen once in a while.  Once again there was no offense.  This was unfortunately a pattern last season; I hope we aren’t going to see a repeat performance this season.  Too many strike outs.  Only three hits.  Not the offense’s best effort.

But Michael Wacha was terrific.  He just excites me so much I can’t contain myself.

 

Thursday, April 3—Cards 7 Reds 6

Another freaking rain delay.

There was more offense today.  Unfortunately there was more offense by the Reds, also.  In addition, the pitching wasn’t so great this time.  Now before I say what I am about to say, let me make it clear that I am not a Lance Lynn hater.  I think Lance has terrific stuff, and if he ever gets to the point where he can put it all together more consistently, look out major league baseball.  But he just has this tendency that I can’t put my finger on.  The sabermetric community frowns at putting the dreaded “psychological” label on it.  You can’t quantify psychological, so they prefer to pretend it doesn’t exist instead, or just chalk it up to bad luck for the nth time.  How can one guy have so much bad luck and still be alive?

I don’t care much for the sabermetric community’s pychophobia, I am pretty much my own gal and go my own way.  I think Lance Lynn—-ducks——-loses focus sometimes when things don’t go his way.  His mechanics start to stray and he throws across his body, or he grooves fastballs down the middle of the plate in frustration.   I don’t think he is a “head case”, a term used by the intellectually lazy.  I think he just gets frustrated a little too easily, and hasn’t yet figured out a way to control his frustration.  But yet he still manages to win ball games, a confounding thing (I don’t put a whole lot of stock in the “win” as a pitching stat, but that’s another post).

Anyhoo, Lynn wasn’t very good, but the offense got him through it, as they often do.  For a while there I thought this was going to be an easy win, but then the bullpen happened.  Kevin Siegrist, usually a given, faltered.  It was bound to happen sooner or later.  Then came Pat Neshek.  I am not too sure about the Cardinals’ newest bullpen member.  Maybe he will grow on me.  But there is a reason Neshek couldn’t find a major league job (there usually is) and had to come in through the minor league back door.  So he came in and gave up a 3 run home run, and crushed my hopes of an easy and painless win.  Trevor Rosenthal had to come in and pull his savior routine.

There were more errors.  That mini collision in the outfield between Holliday and Jay didn’t need to happen.  Jay received the error, more than likely because he was the center fielder and it was his job to direct traffic.  I think it was both their faults, but you can’t split the baby with errors.

The offense was much better.  Every one of the starting 9 except Lynn got a hit.  That’s progress.

 

So the series was won and it’s on to Pittsburgh.  The pitching match ups look interesting, especially the Wainwright/Volquez one on Sunday.  Hey Pittsburgh, are you sure you want to do that?

 

Thank you for reading.

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. blingboy

     /  April 4, 2014

    I get tired of the “luck” thing too, whenever anything does not fit neatly within the current
    SABRwonk repertoire. Claims of season long good or bad luck to explain some percieved BABIP aberration are especially annoying. Luck that doesn’t even out pretty quickly is not luck. I am kind of surprised that statistically oriented folks seem to resist that bit of reality.

    But anyway, on the subject of Lynn getting rattled, I have noted that he falls off to the 1st base side, sometimes far worse than other times. Sometimes spinning practically around with his back to the plate. I wonder if that might correlate to his frustration level. It could be a sign that his concentration level is not what it should be and his mechanics are getting sloppy. I think I will try to pay attention to that.

    But as they say, just win baby.

    Marilyn, your ‘post mortem’ on the series was splendid. An enjoyable read.

    Like

    Reply
    • Thanks Bling.

      As for the “luck” thing, it is a statistical reality and it doesn’t necessarily even out over a short period of time, in fact it is often the opposite. Statistical regression can take months or even an entire season in some cases. We will have to disagree on that point. But as to Lynn, I can’t see explaining every case of poor performance over the past two seasons as bad luck. I think that at some point there has to be the realization that there is more to it than that.

      Like

      Reply

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