Sunday, June 26, 2011

Ludwick Acquisition Needs To Happen

Many Reds' fans may think our offense is fine because of the 378 runs scored, which is third in all of MLB, but this offense could be improved without using critical trade pieces in the minors. My target has been Ryan Ludwick, and has been for a while - I've been tweeting about him for at least a month saying he would fill the inconsistent gap in LF and be an imposing hitter in the 2 hole/4hole in front of or behind Votto.

One rip on Ludwick is that he is doing awful this year with his .254 AVG and his lowest SLG since '04, but I can almost guarantee this decline is due to Petco Park and the Padres weak lineup. Just take a look at his 2011 splits where Ludwick bats .231 with only a .367 SLG% at Petco Park, but away from Petco his average is all the way up to .280 and a .050 point increase in his SLG to .417.

Ludwick has spent much of his career at SD being sandwiched in between guys like Cameron Maybin and Chase Headley, and as a result of that he's only seen 45% of pitches thrown to him in the strike zone. When Ludwick was in STL sandwiched in-between star hitters like Pujols, Holliday and co. he saw over 50% strikes over the 3.5 yrs he was there. In '08, his best year, he saw over 52% of pitches in the strike zone, which can be attributed to the strengths around him - and Ludwick capitalized on those pitches. Check out Ludwick's stats in the 2 hole and the 4 hole which is where he alternated in the lineup with the Cardinals:
  • 2 hole: 421 Plate Appearances w/ .314 AVG, .390 OBP, .564 SLG, 17hr
  • 4 hole: 970 Plate Appearances w/ .260 AVG, .330 OBP, .466 SLG, 44hr
I think he'd be a great addition to the Reds' lineup in the 2 hole, or anywhere else really - just have to make sure he's in the top 5 of the lineup in between bruce/votto/rolen/phillips/stubbs and not down with catchers/shortstops.

Pitchers are no longer forced to pitch to Ludwick because there aren't any threats around him in the lineup, which can be shown through some stats that I've been looking at from FanGraphs. Ludwick's O- Contact % (Contact made with pitches outside of the zone) is at a career high of 66%, which is great (great, but also shows he is reaching for too many pitches - O-zone % being high also leads to a lot of outs because of bad contact w/ ball), but his Z-Contact % (Contact made with pitches inside the zone) is at 80.3%, which is the same % he had in his rookie year with the Rangers and his lowest since '05. His O-Swing % (Swinging % of pitches that are outside of the zone) is at a career high of 30.8 %, which really shows he isn't getting the pitches inside the zone that he is used to seeing and is being forced to chase bad pitches.

A change of scenery would be huge for Ludwick, and any competing team with a decently sized ballpark will get a steal if they can acquire him from the Padres where his team and ballpark are both detriments to the type of player he is. He could be a huge guy to add to the middle of a lineup and because of his current production he could be acquired cheaply. I have no idea what it'd take to get Ludwick and his 6.7m contract (FA after year), but I'd imagine it wouldn't take as much as a SS that would make a similar impact.

I'm starting to get a little redundant now, so I want to hear what you guys think about a move like this! IMO it's a big enough upgrade to make the move to have a day in and day out starter in LF and a solid addition to the middle of the lineup who will improve with small ballpark, chance to win, and better players around him. Let me know what you think in the comments section or @EricLilly7

Thursday, May 19, 2011

5/19 Pirates @ Reds

Hey all! Sorry about the long absence, but I've been busy working at the Florence Freedom, applying for an incredible Under Armour internship (like them on Facebook it may help me out!), writing this article, school, and I could go on and on....well back to the Reds! The Under Armour internship is an incredible opportunity, but they only select 2 applicants (from the original 1,200+ applicants) as the actual interns. The first cut was made a few days ago down to 100 people remaining, and it is an honor to be in that 100. I'll keep you guys updated on that, but now onto the game! The Pirates and the Reds face off today at 12:35 pm for the finale of a 7 game homestand for the Reds, then they will head up north to face MLB's "best", the Cleveland Indians. So far on this homestand the Reds are 5-1, and if they win this game the tickets for the next Cubs series in the field box level would go all the way down to $10 from $34 because of the $4 off per win this homestand. We have Johnny Cueto (2-0, 0.00) facing off vs James McDonald (2-3, 6.20) in this finale at Great American Ball Park.

We'll start with Johnny Cueto vs the Pirates, who has a pretty successful career vs them.
  • Only two players that have solid success vs Cueto are McCutchen (.273 w. 3 HR in 22 AB) and Ronny Cedeno who is 5-16 (.313) with a home run.
  • Doumit also has a home run, but has a .235 Avg.
  • The team batting average vs Cueto is .218.
  • Cueto is 8-11 with a 3.20 ERA in day games, which is much better than his 4.62 in night games.
  • 17-12 at GABP with a 4.17 ERA.
  • Pirates have a lefty heavy lineup, and Cueto has performed much better vs LHB in his career with a .244 AVG vs. .271 for RHB.
Pick to Click: Ronny Cedeno
Now, onto James McDonald vs the Reds. In his last start on May 13th, he gave up 5 runs on 6 hits in 4 IP. In his last start vs the Reds, on April 16th, he gave up 6 earned runs (7 total) on 9 hits in 4.1IP
  • Ramon Hernandez (3-3) and Jonny Gomes (1-3) both have home runs vs McDonald.
  • Very small sample size, but only Reds with more than one hit vs him are Votto (2-5), Hernandez (3-3), and Phillips (2-3).
  • He is AWFUL on the road with a 5-10 record and a 5.65 ERA, while at home he is 6-4 with a 3.17 ERA.
  • No signs of differences in his day/night splits, but only has 4 day starts.
  • 14 of the 17 home runs he's given up in his career are vs RHB.
  • RHB bat .279, while LHB bat .235.
  • As mentioned in the previous post back in April with James McDonald, he has a very strong curveball and does not give up many home runs.
Pick to Click: Ramon Hernandez

Looks like a win for the Redlegs today, and it would be a big one to go into inter-league play up on the Cardinals. The only way to guarantee the .5 game lead is to win again tomorrow. Sorry again for the lack of posts, I will do them as I have time, but I expect to be busy - so look for Twitter (@EricLilly7) and Facebook updates!

Friday, May 6, 2011

5/6 Reds @ Cubs

Behind some solid starting pitching, the Reds have finally gotten a win streak and it was the first time since April 12th vs the Padres where the Reds won 2 games in a row. Today will also be the third straight day game for the Reds, who will play 5 day games in a row - this has to be some kind of record in the modern era for the Reds? I can't remember anything like that, but I'm only 20. Matt Garza (1-3, 3.96) will be facing off vs Edinson Volquez (2-1, 5.67) at 2:20pm today from Wrigley Field.

We'll start with Garza, who very few Reds have experience vs. because he's from the AL Tampa Bay Rays. His last start was very impressive where he went 8 innings and gave up 3 runs on 6 hits with 10K's in a win vs the D'Backs. Here are his stats vs the 4 Reds who have faced him.
  • Garza has interesting splits, because LHB only bat .239 while RHB are at .268.
  • To make it even more confusing, because of his tendency to walk LHB, they have a higher OBP than RHB. He has a 2.90 K/BB ratio vs RHB, and only a 2.00 vs LHB which leads to a .321 OBP for LHB and a .317 vs RHB. Very weird to see such an average discrepancy being cancelled out by walks.
  • An interesting note on Garza: he has given up 0 home runs this year, and is a fly ball pitcher...last year he gave up 28 home runs.
  • His highest inning ERA is 5.37 in the 3rd inning, so he may have trouble with batters adjusting.
  • 12-15 with a 3.61 ERA - he's better in day games.
  • 0-1 with a 1.89 ERA at Wrigley.
Pick to Click: Drew Stubbs

Now, onto Volquez..who went 5 innings last time out vs the Marlins only giving up 1 run on 2 hits. I'd love for him to go 6-7 IP, but after his early struggles I'll take the 5 innings of 1 run at this point. Here are his stats vs the Cubs.
  • .300 team average, 12-40, only one homer which belongs to Jeff Baker.
  • If you've read this blog before, you know Volquez is just as good vs righties as he is vs lefties.
  • May is Volquez's month, where he is a lifetime 2.44 ERA with a 4-2 record.
  • 2-0 with a 0.96 ERA vs Cubs lifetime.
  • 10-4 during day games in his career with a 4.54 ERA.
  • 1-0 with a 1.54 ERA at Wrigley Field
Pick to Click: Jeff Baker (5 career hrs vs Reds)

Looks to be a fairly even matchup, but the Reds are riding some momentum so let's get another quality start and get Volquez some runs because the wind is blowing out to right field!

-Just one cool thing I found here, how cool is this beat writer for the Royals?


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

5/3 Astros @ Reds

Hopefully it doesn't rain tonight and we can get this game in, or else the schedule will really get messed up. Tonight we have the lefty JA Happ (1-4, 6.35) vs Mike Leake (3-0, 4.40) at 7:10.

In his last start, Happ went 5 innings and gave up 2 runs on 5 hits vs the Cardinals. Here are Happ's #s vs the Reds. Some notables:
  • Brandon Phillips is 4-5 with 2 hrs.
  • Heisey, Hermida and Phillips each have 3 rbi.
  • Hermida is 3-7 and Votto is 2-5.
  • Happ has nearly the exact same K/BB rate vs LHB and RHB, but as you're about to see there are differences in the other statistics.
  • RHB bat .253 vs Happ while LHB bat .215.
  • 33 of his 39 home runs given up in his career have been given up vs RHB.
  • 0-1 with a 15.75 ERA @GABP.
Pick to Click: Brandon Phillips

In Leake's last start he went 7 innings and gave up 2 runs on 7 hits vs the Brewers. His ERA went from 4.94 to 4.40. Here are his career #s vs the Astros. Some other tidbits on Leake:
  • Only Bourne and Pence have multiple hits vs Leake.
  • Chris Johnson and Hunter Pence have home runs.
  • 11-55 as a team, for a .200 avg.
  • LHB are just a little better than RHB vs Leake (.289 to. 277), and the Astros are only starting 2 LHB - Bourn and Wallace.
  • Leake is 8-2 at GABP.
  • 2-1 with a 2.49 ERA vs the Astros in his career.
Pick to Click: Brett Wallace

Sorry it was a pretty short write-up, but I have to get to class. GO REDS! Hopefully the rain goes away, because the Reds have a pretty good career vs Happ, especially Phillips.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

5/1 Marlins @ Reds

May is FINALLY here, hopefully all this rain stops. Last night was a huge win for the Reds to stay above .500, which despite popular belief, isn't too bad considering all the injuries. Today is the rubber match of the 3 game series at 4:10pm with Bronson Arroyo (3-2, 3.64) facing off vs Ricky Nolasco (2-0, 3.24). The reason for the weird 4:10 start time is because of the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati.

We'll start with Arroyo vs the Marlins. Here are his stats vs them, and now for some analysis:
  • Omar Infante has 4 doubles out of his 5 hits vs Arroyo, but is only batting .263.
  • In 54 at bats, none of the Marlins have home runs.
  • LHB do much better vs Arroyo (.285 compared to .240 for RHB), and the Marlins lineup is a little different today and we'll see more LHB. Dobbs is at 3b, Coghlan at CF, Bonafacio is in LF. One thing to note is Bonafacio is starting in place of a LHB LF (Cousins) and is a switch hitter who is actually better as a RHB.
  • Arroyo is 36-28 with a 3.50 ERA at GABP in his career.
Pick to Click: Hanley Ramirez

Now, onto Ricky Nolasco vs the Reds. Some notables:
  • Edgar Renteria is 0-18 vs him, but is not starting, Janish is 0-3.
  • Votto, Stubbs and Hanigan have home runs vs him.
  • Team is 12-67 with a .179 batting average.
  • Taking out the guys who will not start vs Nolasco the team is 11-43 which is a .255 batting average and is much more respectable.
  • LHB bat .270, while RHB bat .256.
  • He's also much more comfortable vs RHB, with a 5.86 K/BB ratio (compared to 2.75) which is a ridiculous rate. Note: He gets a solid amount of K's, but he is very well known for his control and has only 4 walks in 33.1 IP this year.
  • May is his worse month by far, where hitters have a .304 average and he has a 5.59 ERA. If you took out May (10-11 record), Nolasco would have a .500 or better record in every month.
  • He's given up 26 home runs in the first pitch of a count, next highest is 18 in the 1-0 count. Home runs account for 21% of the total hits he's given up in the first pitch of a count.
  • He doesn't appear to be comfortable pitching in any situation, unless there are 2 strikes on the hitter. 0-2, 2-2, and 1-2 are the only counts where batters are hitting below .300 vs him, meanwhile every other count is easily over .300 some even over .400. This will be a fun trend to watch during the game.
  • He's 1-0 with a 4.34 era at GABP in 4 career starts
My Pick to Click: Chris Valaika

Can't really tell who will win this one, but I can't wait to watch this game to follow Nolasco's trends. This would be a huge win for the Reds and it'd be nice to get a little win streak here at home. Follow me on Twitter @EricLilly7 , I may have some analysis on the trend that I mentioned above.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

4/30 Marlins @ Reds

Sadly, I have to skip today's post as well, I just got off work and I don't have time. I've been very busy with work, school, writing the monthly review and some other stuff - I hope to get in a rhythm here again very shortly.

Here are Josh Johnson's stats vs the Reds though.

Go Reds!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

4/29 Marlins @ Reds

There will be no post today, I have to sleep early tonight because I have scheduling early in the AM then I work till 5 then I'm heading out to GABP!! GO REDS!

4/28 Off day!

You know it's an off day when the whole team shows up at Passage the night before..rumor has it Coco cordero was breaking it down.

Just wanted to let everyone know that the owner of has contacted me and wants me to write a monthly review for the Reds on his website, I'll give you all the link once it's ready to be published!

Thanks for the support...looking forward to this big weekend series vs the hot Marlins.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

4/27 Reds @ Brewers

The rubber match of this three game series will be played at 1:10pm today, and that was just made aware to me by my mom 5 minutes ago. So, even though I promised a long post today, that probably won't happen because I forgot to look at the schedule. We have Yovani Gallardo (2-1, 4.88) vs Sam LeCure (0-1, 4.15) for today's game. At first glance it seems like we have no shot in this game, but once you finish reading this post you should have a little more confidence!

We'll start with Gallardo today, who in his last start went 6 innings and gave up 4 runs on 8 hits vs the Astros. Surprisingly, Gallardo doesn't have a very good career vs the are his numbers vs the current Reds. Some notables:
  • Phillips, Gomes, Bruce and Stubbs all have a home run vs Gallardo.
  • The only Reds' starters who bat below .300 vs Gallardo are Hanigan and Gomes.
  • The team is 37-111 vs Gallardo, which is a .333 average.
  • Gallardo has very interesting splits, because RHB only bat .233 vs him, while LHB bat .252, but the RHB have much more power. RHB have 31 homers to the lefty's 16, while having nearly the same amount of career hits vs him.
  • LHB draw many more walks than RHB (127 to 97, over less AB)
  • Gallardo has a history of bad 4th innings, where he has given up 14 home runs, which double the next highest inning.
  • He's also bad in 1st and 6th innings, with a 4.66 and 5.37 ERA respectively. Every other inning is near 3.0.
  • The Reds have the most career hr vs Gallardo with 6 and a career 5.26 ERA (2-3).
  • 9-14 during day games (29-11 night), pretty big difference there.
  • 22-13 with a 3.33 ERA at Miller Park.
Pick to Click: Stubbs

Now, onto are his stats vs the Brewers. His last start (4/19) he went 5.1 innings and gave up 5 runs on 9 hits (4 home runs) vs the D'Backs. Some other tidbits:
  • Casey McGehee and Corey Hart each have one hit, everyone else (not including Randy Wolf) is 0-14 vs LeCure.
  • Team batting average of .167, 3-18.
  • Some more good news is LeCure does very good vs Righties, and as I've mentioned in the previous 2 posts the Brewers have a RHB saturated lineup normally - with 7 RHB.
  • RHB bat .245 compared to LHB .274.
  • K/BB ratio is much better vs RHB as well with a 2.75 compared to 1.24 vs LHB.
  • 0-1 with a 3.45 ERA during day games.
  • Interesting stat here, even though it doesn't relate to the game. LeCure's ERA with Hanigan is 3.29, and with Hernandez it is 5.28.
Pick to Click: Corey Hart

Feel better about the game? Obviously it's not a given, especially with LeCure's small sample size vs the Brewers, but I feel much better about this game after looking into it. It'd be huge to come back to Cincy with a win, especially considering the Marlins are 15-7 and it doesn't look like they will ever lose again...and they'll be in their natural habitat with all this rain. One more note....HALA MADRID! If you're not a soccer fan, you won't get big deal. Go Reds!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

4/26 Reds @ Brewers

Great to see the bats come alive last night, and I'm very surprised Dusty switched lineups so quick. Usually it takes him a while to adjust with things like that, I'm very impressed. I was actually going to do a little write - up on how I thought the lineup should be something like Sappelt/Heisey in LF while moving BP to 2 or 4, and Stubbs to 2 or 4. Sappelt, Stubbs, Votto, Phillips, Bruce is how I'd like to see it, but I like the changes he made. Today I was going to try to rush a post before my exam at 6pm, but when I found out Mike Leake has no stats vs the Brewers and Marco Estrada had no stats vs the Reds in starts, I decided to just not make a post for today.

Mike Leake is 3-0 with a 4.94 ERA, but had a great start last time out.
-Also a note, RHB are batting .170 this year vs Leake with more K's (12) than hits (8), this should be good news as the Brewers only have 2 LHB starters (Kotsay, Fielder) as stated in yesterday's blog post.

Marco Estrada has 2 starts and 2 relief appearances and is 1-0 with a 3.21 ERA, with his last start coming 9 days ago vs the Nationals where he went 6 innings and gave up 1 run on 5 hits. His out pitch, and his best pitch, is the curveball. He also has a fastball, cutter, and change.

Off topic:
-Some quotes from after the Cards' series, Pujols' praise for Volquez, and a cool new nickname for Travis Wood.

-Buster Olney on Brandon Phillips in the 4 spot and his tweeting.

Sorry, about the short post, I'll be back at it tomorrow for LeCure who has a GREAT history vs the Brewers.

Monday, April 25, 2011

4/25 Reds @ Brewers

Tough way to end that series last night, it seems like the Reds read my blog and swung at early pitches vs Westbrook, but all we could get was walks and pop-ups. I'm just going off what I heard, I was at my Grandparent's house for Easter and they don't have cable! This'll be a quick post because I have to leave for class in 20 minutes, I apologize. Tonight we have Bronson Arroyo (2-2, 4.24) vs Chris Narveson (1-0, 2.19) at Miller Park.

We'll start with the lefty Narveson, who through 4 starts only has one decision, that being a win vs the Chicago Cubs. His last start he went 6 IP vs the Phillies and gave up 3 runs on 4 hits. Here are the Reds stats vs Narveson. Now, some tidbits:
  • Joey Votto is the only Reds' player to have a home run, and the only with over 2 hits. He is 4-7 lifetime vs Narveson.
  • Gomes is 0-6 with 4K vs the lefty Narveson.
  • Reds are 9-45 lifetime vs Narveson.
  • Over the past three years LHB are batting .245 vs Narveson, but he's doing even better this year at a .158 clip.
  • LHB have 3 home runs vs Narveson over the past 3 years, 25 for RHB. (One of those LHB homers was Votto)
  • RHB have done much better than LHB over the same time frame, at a .267 clip.
  • ERA at GABP is 1.42.
Pick to Click: Drew Stubbs

Now, onto Arroyo. Arroyo's last start was a 6.1IP start vs the D'backs where he gave up 3 runs on 5 hits. We have a much bigger sample size here of Arroyo vs the Brewers. Notables:
  • 6 Brewers have 10 or more appearances vs Arroyo, Of those 6, 2 have above a .300 average. Those 2 guys are Mark Kotsay and Craig Counsell (Counsell will most likely not start, Kotsay starts in RF).
  • McGehee is 2-10, Fielder is 9-38, Braun is 8-32, and Weeks is 5-29 with an astounding 12 maybe Counsell will start at 2B over Weeks?
  • LHB bat .292 against Arroyo the past 3 years, and the Brewers only have 2 LHB starting in Fielder and Kotsay.
  • Great news here is Arroyo, in the past 3 years, has had 4 starts at Miller Park and is 1-1 with a 1.59 ERA.
Pick to Click: Prince Fielder

Sounds like we have a pretty good shot to win, but I thought we were going to win last night for sure. One other thing to note is Yuniesky Betancourt is the worst defensive SS in the Majors, and he is starting for the Brewers. No off-topic tonight, because I'm going to be late for class. Sorry and GO REDS!

PS. Don't judge me if there are typos!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

4/24 Reds @ Cardinals - Easter Sunday!

Huge win for the Reds yesterday. Thank you all for continuing to visit my blog, we've just reached 1,000 views over 18 posts which is much higher than I thought I'd ever get! Now onto last night's Twitter timeline was full of Reds' fans who had given up hope in the 4th inning down 2-0, just because the team has played bad lately. They forgot that this team has the will to win, and that it's baseball. People are so quick to write a team off that was in the playoffs last year, and has the talent to win the NL Central. Stop treating this team like the Bengals, who deserve to be doubted when they are down. Anyways, we've got a huge game tonight on Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN. We know that Jake Westbrook will start for the Cardinals, but the Reds starter is still up for grabs. Sam LeCure is the listed starter, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Volquez start and then push LeCure back a day because Volquez missed his start on Friday. For Volquez info vs Cardinals, check the post on 4/22/2011.

Sam LeCure has one career start vs the Cardinals, here is the game log. To see the stats of current Cardinals vs LeCure, check out this link. Now, a little analysis:
  • LeCure only has given up 2 hits versus current Cardinals, one to Molina and one to Pujols.
  • It's worth noting that LeCure had 4 walks in that game in 5.1 innings, but that is very un-LeCure like. He has 4 walks all year, so I doubt we see that again unless he can't handle the ESPN and Sunday Night pressure at Busch Stadium.
  • The Cards have a lot of RHB, and LeCure holds RHB to .245 in his career, compared to .274 vs LHB.
  • His K/BB ratio is 2.75 vs RHB, and 1.24 vs LHB, that's a huge difference and shows his confidence vs RHB. He has more walks vs LHB (17 to 12) while pitching to RHB much more often (170 to 114 Plate Appearances).
Pick to Click: Lance Berkman

Now, onto Jake Westbrook who is 1-2 with a 9.82 ERA. His last start he went 3 innings and gave up 7 runs on 7 hits vs the Washington Nationals. Here are his stats vs the Reds. Onto some of the other stuff:
  • Westbrook has thrown more walks than strikeouts this year. He's walked 13 while only striking out 9 in 18.1 innings. He's also given up 30 hits in 18.1 innings.
  • Gomes and Rolen have homers vs Westbrook, Rolen will most likely not start again tonight.
  • The team as a whole has batted 16-53 (.302), and the only batter to really struggle vs him is Bruce at a 0-3 clip.
  • Splits on avg are .276/.277, so there is no advantage there for RHB or LHB. Homers, hits, doubles, etc are all nearly the exact same as well.
  • One difference in the splits is K/BB ratio, where vs RHB he has a huge advantage 2.88 to 1.21 for LHB.
  • He has a 4.79 ERA at Busch Stadium, but has only given up 2 home runs there in 47 IP.
  • One other thing to watch out on is pay extra attention on 0-1 and 1-0 pitch counts, as Westbrook gives up most of his hits in these pitch counts. I thought it was an interesting stat so I looked up a few other pitchers to see if there was a trend, and the guys I looked up gave up most of their hits on 1-1, 2-1, and 1-2 counts. He's given up 342 hits in those counts, which is 25% of the hits he's given up in his career. Pretty weird statistic considering this stat tracks every count from 0-0, 0-1, 1-0, 1-1, 2-1, 1-2, 2-2, and 3-2. All of those possibilities, but 25% of his hits are from 0-1, I'm going to try to pay extra attention to that tonight and see what happens.
  • Also worth noting that he gives up a lot of hits on the first pitch, 42% of hits given up occur in the 0-0, 1-0, or 0-1 count.
Pick to Click: Jay Bruce

I think the Reds finally take a series at Busch Stadium tonight, as Jake Westbrook has been pitching awful lately and I think LeCure or Volquez will both pitch good enough for the Reds to win. It would be a huge series win heading into Milwaukee, so let's see if we can do it!

No off topic today, but please vote in the poll, because I'm considering creating a website not on blogspot. I just want to know if you guys would consistently visit a website that had more permanent content like a profile for each Reds' player with their tendencies, as well as the current blog and maybe some other things. If you have any comments on it feel free to comment on it, email me at, or hit me up on Twitter @EricLilly7.

Friday, April 22, 2011

4/23 Reds @ Cardinals

First of all, I'd like to thank mother nature for messing with my blog post yesterday and having Maloney start instead of Volquez. After last night's loss the Reds optioned Maloney to AAA and brought up Carlos Fisher just to give the bullpen another healthy arm. The Reds and Cards meet up at Busch Stadium for the second game of this three game series with Travis Wood (1-2, 5.73) facing off vs Chris Carpenter (0-2, 4.13).

Carpenter's last start was a 7 inning, 5 hit beauty vs. the Dodgers. It was the first time this year that he hasn't given up a run in a start. Let's check out his stats vs the Reds here, and as expected there is a pretty strong sample size presented.
  • Out of the 10 players with 10+ AB vs Carpenter, only one is batting over .300, Joey Votto. Votto is 7-20 (.350) with a few walks and a home run. The only other player with a home run is Scott Rolen, but I'm pretty sure he will not play today.
  • The team combined is 41-203 for a .202 average.
  • 5 of the Reds expected starters bat below .200 vs Carpenter in their careers: Hanigan, Phillips, Janish, Gomes, and Bruce.
  • Carpenter's splits are fairly even over the past three years as LHB bat .237 compared to .238 for RHB.
  • Not much else you need to know about Carpenter other than this and he has a great Fastball and Curveball that he will throw 77% of the time, the other 23% of the time is his Slider and Changeup.
  • In the last 3 years, Carpenter has 63.1 IP vs the Reds, with a 1.56 ERA.
  • In 32 career starts at the new Busch Stadium he has an exceptional 2.63 ERA.

Pick to Click: Jay Bruce

Wood had a tough start last time out vs the Pirates where he went 3.1 innings and gave up 6 runs on 8 hits. Travis Wood has only faced 5 Cardinals over career, and here are his results vs them. Some tidbits:
  • In Wood's only start at Busch Stadium he went 7 innings and gave up no runs on 5 hits. The reason the sample size is only 5 players is because some of those players aren't on the Cardinals anymore.
  • Rasmus and Descalso will be the only LHB for Wood to pick apart, as LHB bat .136 vs Wood.
  • RHB bat .240 vs Wood, and he'll get a heavy dose of power hitting RHB with Berkman (switch, but will bat R vs Wood), Pujols and Holliday.
Pick to Click: Reds Killer Berkman

This wouldn't seem like a terrible matchup, but Wood hasn't pitched well lately. Meanwhile, Carpenter seems to be turning it up just in time to face the Reds. Hopefully we win, and can say "I wonder how Chris Carpenter will explain this to his son", but history tells us the Reds will probably lose today's game. The Reds best chance of winning a game this series is tomorrow vs Jake Westbrook who will face LeCure or Volquez, that has yet to be announced.

Off topic:
-Votto is batting under .400 for the first time this year after last night's effort.

-I am now famous, as my tweet was published on

-It has now been 6 straight games for the Reds giving up a run in the 1st inning.

-Check out this crazy picture of a truck hanging on the side of a parking garage in StL.

-Check out a link @DFArlington found of the KKK formally asking for a KKK day at the Reds ballpark in 1924. Absolutely crazy how much things have changed in 87 years.

Follow me on Twitter @EricLilly

4/22 Reds @ Cardinals Emergency Post!

Miguel Batista was just named StL's new starter because of the expected rain, so I'm going to analyze him really quick. Also, a shoutout to mother nature for wasting an hour or so of my time analyzing Kyle McClellan last night...although he may come in for relief after a rain delay?

Miguel Batista is a reliever for the Cards, but is just making this spot start for the Cards because of the rain. Here are his stats vs the Reds.
  • Edgar Renteria is 9-34 (.265), but has 10 rbi.
  • Cairo starting over Rolen (hurt) may be a blessing in disguise, as he is 4-8 vs Batista compared to Rolen's 4-25.
  • Gomes is 5-10, Stubbs is 2-2, and BP is 4-5.
  • In the past 3 years LHB have batted .292, while RHB have batted .259. Also worth noting LHB have .416 OBP compared to a .310 for RHB...aka he is uncomfortable facing LHB as well.
Go Reds! Hopefully everyone stays safe from the Tornado that is nearly to St L.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

4/22 Reds @ Cardinals

The most anticipated series so far this season starts today vs the Cardinals, even more anticipated than the opening series vs the Brewers in my opinion. The Cardinals hate the Reds, and the Reds hate the Cards. Cards' fans are especially pissed because we knocked them off their thrown last year, and we are here to stay! Trash talking is at an all time high, just check out Brandon Phillips' twitter page. Here's a few tidbits from @datdudebp:
  • @RasmusGirl sent "You are such a HATER" to BP, his response was "Yes I am, but you just mad cuz Colby (Colby Rasmus) doesn't love you back! Change your twitter name lady"
  • Brandon tweeted "Just landed in St. Louis! Sad face... But these wins will make me happy! On our way 2 the hotel & I hope its not Hilton at the BallPark! Lol"
  • and "My teammates ask me if I knew where some good places 2 eat at in St. Louis! I said, "Yea, come with me 2 the store 2 get some Lunchables!""
  • And lastly a pic that BP tweeted of him and Nelly is pretty cool right here.
Now back to the usual shenanigans.. in the series opener we have Edinson Volquez (2-0, 6.75) vs Kyle McClellan (2-0, 1.89) facing off at 8:15pm at Busch Stadium. It was huge to win the finale vs D'backs and maybe get some momentum for this exciting series. Forecast has some thunderstorms in it, but I'm too lazy to look up how bad it looks, and last time I predicted a rain out it got in with no delays. For all weather updates I'm sure you can check out @stormchasernick on Twitter who is also a huge Reds' fan.

First, we'll check out Kyle McClellan, here are his stats vs the Reds. In his last start he went 7IP vs the Dodgers and only gave up 1 run on 6 hits to defeat Clayton Kershaw. Some notables on McClellan:
  • Brandon Phillips is 0-9 with 4k, so with all the smack he's talking hopefully this changes! It probably will be a tough night for BP, as you'll see in a little with McClellan's strong curveball.
  • Ramon Hernandez and Joey Votto have home runs.
  • Only players w/ more than one hit vs McClellan are Hernandez (3-7) and Renteria (2-2). I expect a Renteria start as he is playing his former team.
  • He has done exceptional this year vs LHB who are batting .222 (.263 OBP) and have the only HR vs him.
  • RHB have hit him well at .324 and he also has a tendency to walk RHB and they have a .410 OBP.
  • He gives up a HR every 40.75 AB, mainly due to his tendency to throw breaking pitches.
  • He has a 2.77 career ERA at Busch Stadium.
Now a little FanGraphs analysis on McClellan and his changes from last year to this year:
  • This year his Changeup has been his most effective pitch (3.3 wCH rating). Remember wCH stands for "Changeups above average" or how much more effective his changeup is compared to the rest of the league.
  • So I decided to look into why his Changeup has been his best pitch this year, because his Curve, Cutter, and Fastball were better than it last year..and not only has he improved it (Thanks to Dave Duncan probably), but he has thrown it 11.3% of the time compared to 5.9% last year.
  • His Curveball (which is nasty) has only been thrown at a 13.1% rate this year, compared to 22.6% last year which is where the extra changeups are coming from.
  • He's also throwing his cutter a little more than last year 11%-->15%
  • Looking at Plate Disclipline stats you can see a correlation between them and the change in pitch selection. For example, batters swing % on balls is down to 19.7% from 27.1%, which can be explained by the lower amount of curveballs which McClellan likes to throw a little below the zone to get batters to chase.
  • The strike zone swing % has also gone up 6% from 57 to 63, which can be attributed to more changeups and less curveballs.
  • He's throwing more strikes (54.8% up from 48.6%), more first pitch strikes (59.9% to 62.8%), and batters are making more contact (86.9% from 82.2%) which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
  • His Ground Ball to Fly Ball ratio is 1.20 compared to his career average of 1.50, and this has gone up because he's throwing less curveballs
  • As I mentioned before all of his pitches are strong, and the only pitch he's had issues with in the past is his Cutter (-5.0 wCT last year), but it has improved this year so it's hard to tell if it's sample size or if he improved on that as well, I tend to think there is an improvement because he's also throwing it more this year.
  • IMO, this is bad news for the Reds because a lot of our hitters have extreme flaws vs certain pitches, I.e BP and Stubbs vs Curveballs. With his strong arsenal of 4-5 pitches, he should be able to hold the Reds to 2-3 runs over 7IP.
Cards closer, Trever Miller (just replaced Franklin I believe), has a good history vs all the Reds except Renteria and Rolen. Stubbs and BP are also 1-2, BP has a home run and Stubbs has a triple. Check 'em out here.

Pick to Click: Joey Votto

Now, onto Volquez...can the first inning woes end?! Here are his stats vs current Cards:
  • Pujols is only player with a home run vs Volquez, and he has 2 and is 3-7 vs him.
  • Cards bat .342 in their careers vs Volquez if you subtract Lohse's 0-5.
  • Holliday and Berkman are 2-6 (berkman also has 4 bb), while Rasmus and Theriot are 2-4 each.
  • RHB and LHB have the same averages this year vs Volquez, but he has given up 5 of his 6 homers and 13 of his 16 runs up vs RHB, but tends to walk LHB a lot more.
  • This is bad news because the Cards are stacked from the right side, minus Colby Rasmus and Berkman (switch hitter).
Cordero has had a great career vs all the Cards players except Pujols (3-10) and Rasmus (4-6), most notably Berkman is 0-12 with 5K. Check the others out here.

Pick to Click: Matt Holliday

It doesn't look great for the Reds tonight, but there will be a lot of passion in this game and anything can happen. There will be a playoff type atmosphere at Busch Stadium, and it should be a fun game to watch/listen to. I think the Cards pull it off by a run or two. No fun off topic stuff today because I've been so busy and out of the loop that I have no idea what is going on in the world of sports. Go Reds! Follow me on Twitter @EricLilly7

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

4/21 D'Backs at Reds

Business Day Special to close out this 3 game series with the Diamondbacks at 12:35pm tomorrow, with Mike Leake (2-0, 5.40) facing off vs Daniel Hudson (0-3, 4.26). Let's try to steal the series finale vs the D'backs with Leake on the mound. No pun intended!

Hudson faced the Reds back on April 9th, and had a 7 inning start while only giving up 2 runs.
  • If you recall from the last post on Hudson, his splits are fairly even, but RHB bat .233 to LHB .200 this season.
  • In one career start at GABP he went 8IP and gave up 4 hits without giving up a run.
  • 8 of his 13 home runs given up have been in the first 15 pitches of the game, so we will get an idea early on if he'll have a good start or not.
  • Two players for the Reds bat .300 or above vs Hudson and they are Rolen who bats .375 (3-8) and Janish .600 (3-5), everyone else is .200 or below.
Pick to Click: Brandon Phillips

Now we'll try to look at Leake without analyzing the off-field antics! D'backs bat .409 vs Leake, check it out here.
  • Leake's ERA @ GABP this year (2 starts) is 3.00, and 11.57 away from home (1 start).
  • RHB are still not doing well vs Leake w. a .212 Avg while LHB are sitting comfortably at .310. This isn't good news with the LHB lineup.
  • Leake's 11.57 away ERA of course came in Phoenix, and if you recall Ryan Roberts (future Reds Killer) had a three run home run vs Leake and Stephen Drew had 2 rbi.
  • I fully expect to see the lefties Parra, Drew, Miranda, Montero and Johnson starting to load up vs Leake. If Leake does get through these lefties successfully I love match-ups like this for our bullpen where we can bring in Bray or Chapman (probably Bray because of Chapman's two IP tonight) and take advantage of a loaded LHB lineup.
Pick to Click: Drew

Doesn't look good for the Reds, but the past 5 games the match-ups have looked pretty we'll have to wait and see. I just post stats, and try to do a little predicting, but the main thing with stats is you can't completely rely on them or use them to predict baseball. I say the Reds win tomorrow, and it's not because of any match-up, it's because I can't see us losing 6 of 7 to the Pirates and D'backs.

Off topic stuff:
-Josh Johnson has carried a no hitter to the fourth inning in all four of his starts this year

-Billy Hamilton had an inside the park home run yesterday, his third career home run, 2 of them being inside the parkers.

-For your sport managers/marketers, you'll appreciate this idea that is being implemented at Petco Park. Great marketing, IMO. Here's a video of it.

-Former Red Aaron Harang is now 4-0 with a 1.88 ERA. Petco Park is ridiculous, but congrats to Aaron.

4/20 D'Backs @ Reds

No post today, I apologize again...just got out of class and he normally lets us out very early.

Tomorrow's post will be up tonight..

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

4/19 D'backs at Reds

Didn't get a chance to watch the game last night because I was in my Sociology of Sport class, but I can't say I regret not seeing it. I apologize for the slacking lately, which has run into today because it is now within an hour of first pitch and I'm just starting this. I'll be back on track in a bit, just a few night classes combined with work have knocked me off balance.

Great news for Reds fans tonight! Sam LeCure is pitching, and most likely (cross your fingers) there will not be too many walks. 14 K to 4 BB this year for LeCure, which is incredible compared to Volquez and Leake. LeCure has easily been our second best pitcher this year behind Arroyo, so let's hope he does well again tonight because we need it. Of course, you'll see later on in the blog why this LeCure start may not be good news..The other great news is Brandon Phillips is returning!

Tonights game is Armando Gallaraga (2-0, 6.75) vs Sam LeCure (0-0, 2.25) at 7:10pm at GABP.

LeCure has barely faced any D'backs, but they are 0-8 vs him in their careers:
  • If you recall correctly from my old D'backs posts, you'll remember they are a lefty loaded lineup, which is bad news for the Reds tonight. LeCure hasn't done very well vs LHB in his career as they have batted .304 vs him and in 17 IP they have 21 hits, 15 walks, and 3 home runs.
  • Earlier I said LeCure was good news for the Reds because of his lack of walks, but notice LeCure has a tendency to walk LHB. He only has 10 BB in 30IP vs RHB, but 15 BB in 17 IP vs LHB.
  • 5 LHB are starting for the D'backs: Parra, Montero, Miranda, Johnson and Drew...doesn't look good for LeCure.
  • One more good note, because I don't want to end the write-up on a bad note like that: LeCure is 2-3 with a 3.19 ERA and 18 BB in 31 IP.
Reds are 6-21 with an RBI vs JJ Putz (D'backs closer)
Pick to Click: Gerardo Parra

Now, onto Armando Gallaraga, who has no appearances vs the Reds as he was a former American Leaguer. If you recall, he was the Detroit Tiger who got screwed out of a perfect game by Jim Joyce. Hermida and Hernandez each have a hit off him as members of different teams. Now, onto the important stuff...:
  • Last start he gave up 5 runs in 5IP vs the Cardinals.
  • Gallaraga is much better vs RHB and has a 2.5 K/BB ratio vs them compared to a 1.05 vs LHB. This clearly shows how confident he is vs RHB.
  • Gallaraga has a great slider that he likes to throw vs RHB.
  • After a quick check-up on FanGraphs the only two Reds who are garbage vs good sliders are Gomes and Phillips...a huge positive is that the rest of the usual starters do very well vs Sliders and Stubbs is the best vs them.
D'backs 6-45 vs Cordero.
Pick to Click: Jay Bruce

It doesn't look good both ways IMO, could see a lot of runs tonight. I think the Reds win a close one, but the bullpen has to pitch well tonight and we need a quality start from LeCure to get the Reds back rolling. I really like the Reds matchups vs Gallaraga's out pitch, the slider. Let's go Reds! @EricLilly7

Short off topic coming up, but check out this article:
-Incredible article on Joey Votto here, a must read.

-Half of Jonny Gomes 12 hits are home runs. Can he keep it up? Remember it's a contract year.

-Note: Everyone who isn't a fan of the NBA, please try to find a way to watch a game or two of the playoffs this year, they are incredible. I guarantee you'll be converted.

Monday, April 18, 2011

4/18 Pirates @ Reds

I don't have time to make a post today as I had to work all day and now I have class in an hour, sorry! We do have Travis Wood facing Kevin Correia.

Here is some info that I can give you real quick...

Also, Mike Leake was arrested for theft, details will come later...

I have heard from a first hand source that Chapman had a great bullpen session today w/ Price watching and there was no team doctor present, it was a long session so I doubt we'll see him tonight but we should see him next series.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

4/17 Pirates @ Reds

Great win for the Reds today, as they clobbered the Pirates 11-2. Nice to see some hitting with men on base for a change. I thought the Reds would win big, and they did, but it wasn't because of my pick to click Bruce. Jay had another tough day at the plate, but did get a hit late in the game so he didn't go o-fer. My pick to click for the Bucco's was Garrett Jones and he was 2-3 with an rbi.

Sunday's matchup is Jeff Karstens(1-0, 0.00) vs Edinson Volquez (2-0, 5.82). This is Karstens first start of the year, he has had 3 relief appearances. As many of you know, Volquez has a very good history vs the Pirates, so I'm going to talk about that first. The last time Volquez faced the Pirates he went 7 innings, while only giving up 1 hit and had 10 strike outs. The link I usually use to find how players do vs teams in their career never works for Volquez, but from what I can tell he is 1-0 vs them in his career over 5 or so starts with no bad starts. Check out the stats here, and here are some notes:
  • The only player who has more than 5 AB's vs Volquez is Doumit and he is 5-13 for a .385 average.
  • Everyone else is 2-39 with 15ks.
  • Volquez has a 6.75 ERA vs righties, but they are only batting .238 vs him. Out of the 10 hits in 12 IP vs them, 3 of them have been home runs.
I think Volquez is going to turn a corner tomorrow and have a solid 6 inning quality start (with a good first inning as well). I think he's starting to get more loose this year and should have better control tomorrow. This is just a prediction, not based on any quantitative analysis.

Pick to Click: Andrew McCutchen

Jeff Karstens vs the Reds. As you can see, the Reds have a very good history vs Karstens. Here are some of the notables:
  • Ramon Hernandez (.250) and Jay Bruce (.273) are the only two batters to bat lower than .300 vs Karstens out of Reds who have more than 1 plate appearance vs him.
  • The team bats .425 vs Karstens, 31-73 with 8 doubles and 4 home runs. The home runs are from Brandon Phillips, Jay Bruce, Drew Stubbs, and Chris Heisey.
  • Joey Votto bats .714, 5-7 with 3 doubles, and also has an .800 OBP with 3 walks.
  • Phillips is 6-15 with a HR and 5 rbi.
  • Jonny Gomes is 4-7.
  • LHB destroy Karstens over the past three years they bat .306 and have 18 home runs in 50 innings and a 6.93 ERA.
Pick to Click: Hard to pick one...but I'm going with my gut here Drew Stubbs. (Joey Votto seems too easy of a pick..)

I think the Reds win big again on Sunday, as all of the numbers show. I wouldn't be surprised to see Dusty sit Phillips one more day because of our past success vs Karstens, but I'd like to see him start.

Off topic shenanigans:
-The 7 runs scored in the 5th inning yesterday were the most we've scored in an inning all year.

-Interesting stat I ran into...Denard Span has 49 steals in his last 63 attempts. Very solid ratio, until you consider he's been picked off 21 times during the same time span!

-FanGraphs talks about Bruce's slow start.

-Bass fishing is now a high school sport in Illinois. Never thought I'd see the day..sounds pretty cool though.

Didn't have time to try all the in depth FanGraphs for Sunday's game, maybe tomorrow. Follow me on Twitter @EricLilly7

Friday, April 15, 2011

4/16 Pirates @ Reds

That was a tough one to watch last night, and I'd like to remind everyone that is why they play the games! It looked like we had clear advantage with statistics, but with Morton's off-season improvement and Arroyo's lack of bite on his curve the exact opposite happened. I'm hoping Arroyo's ineffectiveness can be blamed to the weather or just being off, and hopefully he turns it around for his next start vs Arizona on Wednesday. I was 1 for 2 in my "pick to clicks" last night as Rolen was 1-4 and I believe he left 4 on base while Jose Tabata had 4 hits.

Today we have a 1:10 pm start and Mike Leake (1-0, 6.75) will face off vs James McDonald (0-0, 5.45) at GABP. Mike Leake switched spots in the rotation with Edinson Volquez (who will start on Sunday) because Volquez has a stiff neck. Now, let's check out the matchups and tendencies:

The Pirates have had 55 plate appearances vs Leake, they have no home runs vs him, but have had no troubles hitting him as they bat .340 (17-50, 5bb). In three starts vs the Pirates in his career Leake is 0-1 with a 1.86 ERA over 19.1 IP. In his one start vs the Pirates at Great American he went 7.1 IP and only gave up 1 run, but they had 10 hits...different story at PNC Park where he gave up 10 total runs. Here's the baseball reference link, and here are some of the main points:
  • Neil Walker is 3-7 with 5 rbi and 2 doubles.
  • Cedeno is 4-8 and McCutchen is 3-8.
  • Out of their 17 hits, only 2 have been extra base hits (Walker's two doubles).
  • LHB are batting .353 this year vs Leake, so expect to see Jones, Walker, Alvarez and Overbay to start. I'm also predicting Doumit to start over Snyder because he is a switch hitter that is more successful from the left side. Doumit is only 1-6 vs Leake, but it's a small sample size and the lefty matchup gives him some hope..
Pick to Click: Garret Jones

Now, onto James McDonald, who has only faced 6 Reds. Last start he gave up 5 runs in 6.2 innings vs the Rockies. Nothing notable from those #s as the sample size is just too small, so let's look at some tendencies:
  • He's only given up 10 home runs in 140 IP in his career, 8 of those have come vs RHB.
  • RHB bat .283, while LHB bat .227
  • His ERA is a whole point higher on the road. (4.39 compared to 3.36)
  • McDonald has a strong curveball, and averages just under a strikeout per inning, so expect a few Drew Stubbs strike outs.
  • Hitters need to be patient as he has a tendency to give up walks..over his career he's averaging one walk per 2 innings, to put that in perspective Leake is averaging one walk per 3 innings.
  • Using FanGraphs, I can why McDonald's K ratio has gone down this year. Granted, it has only been two starts, but hitters are obviously seeing his curveball better. Notice the batters swinging at pitches out of the zone is at 11%, which is 15% lower than his career average, and 90% of those pitches that are outside of the zone are met with contact (compared to 65% career avg.) Only 3.7% of pitches in the strike zone were swung at and missed, compared to his 8.7% career average.

My Pick to Click: Jay Bruce. LHB don't have great success, but I think he's about to get hot and he is the Reds 2nd best curveball hitter (Rolen is #1 w/ a 6.0 in '10). If he can work the count he'll get some curveballs to hit. FanGraphs had him at a 4.3 wCB (curveball runs above average) rating. To put that into perspective Votto had a 0.9 last year and Phillips had a -0.5.

I'm going to try to start using more stats like this when I have time, but it'll take a little time for me to get a grasp on what league averages are in each of these crazy statistics. In my free time I've been reading up on some of these stats, so it shouldn't take too long. I'll also do my best explaining the stats I use..:

-wCB is the curveball runs above average, so basically the league average is 0.0 and anything higher means the batter hits that type of pitch better (i.e wFB is for fastballs). There is also wCB/C which has a # based on 100 pitches so you can get a better idea of how many of that type of pitch the batter has seen.

Note: This in depth analysis is purely experimental and I may be off base, but I figured it'd be fun for me to do.

Also, a new feature, I'm now going to make predictions for each game, no scores though just a team and a few thoughts on it: Reds bats come alive and they win big.

Off topic stuff:
-Phil Hughes goes on the 15 day DL for a dead arm, and here I thought that was a career ending injury....

-Hopefully Lance Berkman cools off before the Reds play the Cards, he has 6 home runs on their road trip in 27 at bats, and last year for the Yankees he had 1 home run in 106 abs all year.

-Former Red Aaron Harang is now 3-0 and has gone 6IP and 1 ER all 3 starts this year.

-There may be a new rule in college football next year where teams can lose points for taunting penalties, are you kidding me? I can't think of a sport where you can lose points after you got them for a penalty.

Follow me on Twitter @EricLilly7

4/15 Pirates @ Reds

The Reds are back, I used to hate off days, but it was relieving to not have to make a blog post! The Reds start a 4 game series at GABP vs the Pirates starting tonight at 7:10pm. Tonight we have Charlie Morton (1-0, 2.08) vs Bronson Arroyo (2-0, 2.08). Yeah, they both have the same ERA, giving up 3 runs in 14 innings. Weird. We're expecting a lot of rain in Cincinnati and from what I'm looking at right now it looks like at least 60% chance of rain till 10pm and we're expecting 2 inches of rain by Sunday...I'll do a quick write-up because most likely it's not going to happen according to my meteorologist Eric. I also predicted about 5 snow days this year, and I was 0-5, so take the rain info for what it's worth. For real weather updates follow a Reds' fan and weather expert on twitter @stormchasernick. He should be on top of that stuff today, I don't want to put any pressure on him though.

Morton vs the Reds, and some notes:
  • Gomes, Phillips, Rolen and Stubbs all bat over .300 with 10+ plate appearances.
  • Votto has struggled and is 1-10.
  • Bruce & Rolen have home runs.
  • As a team the Reds bat .316 (30-95) in their career vs Morton.
  • 13IP this year, 9 IP vs righties and they are batting .077 vs him.
  • Awful vs lefties, in 4IP he has given up 8 BB, 3 runs and they are batting .375.
Reds bat .258 (16-62) vs Pirates' closer Joel Hanrahan, with 3 home runs from BP, Bruce and Heisey. Check out the rest of the stats here. Also note, because Blogger is very moody I can not unbold these sentences no matter how hard I try. I hate when technology conquers me.

Pick to Click: Rolen

Arroyo vs the Pirates, and some notes:
  • Over the past 3 years, Arroyo is 5-1 vs the Pirates with a 1.93 ERA.
  • Out of the top 6 players in terms of plate appearances vs Arroyo, the best one is Ronny Cedeno, who is batting .217.
  • Three current Pirates bat over .300 vs Arroyo, and they are 2-6, 1-3, and 1-3. Not much you can tell from those #s, the only players with a examinable sample size have done awful vs Arroyo.
  • Arroyo hasn't given up a run while a lefty was batting this season, and the Pirates lefties are their best run creators, Neil Walker and Lyle Overbay.
Francisco Cordero isn't too good vs the current Pirates, who have a .313 avg (14-44). Check it out for yourself here.

Pick to Click: Jose Tabata

Other things going on in the world:
-It's going to rain in Cincinnati this weekend, a lot.

-Janish gets a cool piece on him from CBS Sports. His new nickname is "Soft J".

-Have you heard of Trackman for golf? They are coming for baseball as well...stuff like this amazes me. Some of you may not like the physics and big numbers behind baseball, but I love it so I'll keep posting it.

-Derrick Williams has declared for the NBA draft, I think he goes #1 over Kyrie Irving.

-Hot Wheels in real life? No way.

-Jeff Ruby hosted a roast with local celebrities, check out some of the quotes here. Hilarious stuff from guys like Brennaman, Marvin Lewis, and Brian Kelly.

-Dustin Mosely of the Padres is 0-3 with a 1.82 ERA. He has gotten 0 runs of support this season. Sounds kind of like Aaron Harang for the Reds the last few years, except much worse.

-This is one tough dude, I guess that's why he is playing hockey. Make sure you read the poll and vote.

Thanks for reading, and remember I will now be tweeting little stat tidbits (i.e. This dude bats .095 in a 0-1 count, or this reliever has given up 3 home runs to this guy..) during games so be sure to follow me at @EricLilly7

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

4/14 Off day! Masset tidbits

Finally some rest, but I am here to rescue you from the "CUT MASSET" thoughts. I like to think positively, so here it goes!

Also, fun fact of the night: Masset was trending worldwide on Twitter, he's now the third Red this year to accomplish such a feat in addition to Rolen and Hernandez.

Most Reds' fans have short term I'll try to help you guys out here, last year:

After April: 11.32 ERA
After May: 7.25 ERA
After June: 5.88 ERA
After July: 4.34 ERA
Starting to notice a trend??
After August: 3.34 ERA
After September/October: 3.40 ERA

One earned run in July, One earned run in August, five earned runs in Sept/Oct (4 came in one game vs Pirates that we won). Strong finish, very strong finish. He was our best reliever last year, give him some time and he will come around and be an asset.

Don't believe me? Baseball-reference doesn't lie.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

4/13 Reds @ Padres

The finale of this 3 game series in San Diego is going to take place at 6:35PM, which is a very weird start time on a Wednesday especially considering they are playing in California. We have Travis Wood (1-1, 5.25) facing off vs Tim Stauffer (0-1, 5.06) at Petco Park.

First, let's start with Stauffer's matchup vs the Reds. Last start Stauffer went 4.2 IP vs the Giants at Petco and gave up 4 runs on 8 hits. Again, like many of the pitchers we've faced this year, there isn't much of a sample size of Stauffer vs the Reds. No one has more than 6 plate appearances vs him. You can see the stats here, and I'll talk about some tendencies here:
  • BP is the only Reds player to have an RBI vs Stauffer and is 2-4.
  • Votto and BP only players to have anything more than a single, both have doubles
  • 2.54 ERA @ Petco Park.
  • LHB .219 vs him with 55k in 37ip..3 homers.
  • RHB .256 vs him with 53k in 45ip..8 homers. Obvious power advantage for RHB
Stauffer has pitched in relief, and is now a starter, so hopefully he is still getting used to it. Judging by his #s so far this year, I'd say he is having issues. He's only given up 1 homer in 10 innings this year, but has given up 17 hits.

Pick to Click: Stubbs

Now, onto Wood vs the Padres. Even a smaller sample size, but Venable does have a solo home run vs him. The stats are here.
  • Wood has a start @Petco in his career and went 7 IP and gave up 3 runs.
  • LHB bat .136 and has given up 2 hr in 19IP. 9 hits in 19IP
  • RHB bat .240 and has given up 7 hr in 83 IP. 76 hits in 83IP
Even though he's given up more home runs vs righties, the ratio from hr to IP shows LHB have a slight advantage to hitting hr vs Wood. Not a big deal though, because I don't see any home runs being hit tomorrow @Petco Park. That will bring us to hits, and RHB nearly have a hit per inning, while LHB get one hit per 2 innings. Expect a lineup saturated with RHB tomorrow..maybe a Denorfia start over Venable? Cantu over Hawpe?

Pick to Click: Ludwick

Onto the stupid stuff:
-Check out Mike Leake's wart.

-Arizona State's new uniforms are sweet.

-GREAT article on Joey Votto from FanGraphs, a sweet website.

-Detroit reliever Brayan Villarreal pitched 0.1 of an inning without throwing a pitch, by coming in and picking off a runner at first.

-UC baseball defeats Xavier 6-5, just how it should be!

-Lowest crowd in Turner Field history for the Braves was last night, 13, 856.

-Devin Mesoraco hit a walk off home run in the second game of a double header for Louisville.

-Steve Blake has chicken pox. That's a new one for a professional athlete..not as bad as teammate Andrew Bynum's hyper-extended knee, though.

-Logan Ondrusek is now 7-0 in his career after last night's win.

-Brandon Phillips play was #8 in SC top 10.

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @EricLilly7

4/12 Reds @ Padres

This is going to be a real quick post because I just got back from work and I have to get to class in 30 minutes! So forgive me for any errors and for the lack of information. I'll still do my best to get the main points across.

Sam LeCure has never faced the Padres, but he has faced Ludwick and Ryan is 1-3 vs him. LeCure is bad vs lefties as they bat .296 vs him, while righties bat .241. LeCure is bad on the road, where he is 0-2 in his career with a 6.88 ERA (3.19 at home). One thing to note about this is his BB and K rates are the exact same on the road as they are at home, but he has given up 3 hr in 17 IP away while only 3 hr in 31IP at home. Petco Park should easily cancel out that trend, expect a quality start from Mr. LeCure.

Pick to Click: Orlando Hudson

Clayton Richard has faced most of the Reds, I'll point out some of the trends I see:
  • On the cover it looks like Rolen struggles at a 2-10 clip, but both hits are home runs.
  • Renteria, Gomes, Votto and Phillips all also have home runs vs Richard. Renteria is 2-9, Gomes is 3-7, Phillips is 3-6, and Votto is 2-4. All of these players also have doubles vs Richard except Phillips.
  • Bruce is 3-5 with 2 doubles.
  • Hanigan, Heisey and Cairo also have doubles in just a few plate appearances, and Heisey has 3 rbi as well.
  • Team batting average vs Richard is .349 (22-63), .414 OBP, and an impressive .762 slugging percentage over 70 plate appearances.
  • One bad thing for the Reds is Richard is very solid at home, with a 2.86 ERA over 141.2 innings.
  • 2 of the Reds three games vs Richard have taken place at Great American, where he has a 6.48 ERA over two starts. His ERA vs Cincy as a total is 8.10 so we beat up on him last time we faced him @Petco.
  • Richard allows RHB to bat .285 and 33 homers, while lefties only have 5 homers with a .237 average.
Looks really good for the Reds IMO, except Richard is very comfortable at home, but we also have destroyed him there in the past.

Pick to Click: BP

A few quick extras since I have 20 min till class starts!

-Dusty got his 250th win with the Reds last night.

-Aaron Harang is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA for the Padres, but we will "dodge" him this go-around.

-Votto is the only 1B in ML history to have 3 home runs and a steal in the same game.

-Perry Jones of Baylor is staying, weakening an already weak draft class. Lockout incoming?

-Dayton Dragons were no hit by 3 Lake County pitchers last night

-If I don't leave now I will be late for a very important class, Music of the Beatles.

Have a good one everybody! I apologize for any errors. Follow me on twitter @EricLilly7 or email me at

Sunday, April 10, 2011

4/11 Reds @ Padres

Tough loss today for the Reds, let's try not to dwell on that one for long. I still think we have an above average bullpen, but when Masset isn't pitching well it definitely seems like it is below average. I'm hoping Petco helps the pitchers turn it around, especially Volquez. This will be a shorter post because there isn't much content and I have to get some homework done!

Monday night's matchup will start at 10:05pm and the pitchers will be Volquez (1-0, 7.36) vs Mat Latos who will be making his first start of the year after coming off the DL from a shoulder injury. Latos was great last year with an 18-15 record and a 3.29 ERA.

  • Latos has only faced four Reds, and they are 0-12 with 3Ks vs him.
  • He is also 5-4 at Petco in his career with a 2.59 ERA. This will be a tough one to stop a losing streak, unless Latos shows any lingering effects from his shoulder injury.
  • Lefties bat .220 , while righties bat .214 vs him, although ERA vs righties is 3.46 compared to 2.37 vs lefties.
  • With similar innings pitched, righties have 4 more home runs (10 to 6) and a ton more walks (32 to 18) compared to lefties, which explains the ERA discrepancy.
  • Had a very slow start last year with a 6.20 ERA in April
Cordero has done well vs the Padres as they are 8-37 lifetime with 0 home runs. Jorge Cantu is the only at .300 or above, at 3-9 from the plate vs Coco.

My Pick to Click: BP
^^That bullet point won't go away, thank you blog spot for making me look like an idiot.

Volquez has done pretty well vs the two guys on SD that have 9 plate appearances vs him, Cantu and Hawpe. Combined 3-16 with 2 bb. Nothing big at all, but you can check out the other 3 guys here.
  • Volquez has done terrible vs RHB this year. In 8.1 innings he's given up 3 hr, 8 ER and 10 hits
  • This should probably pose a problem because SD has a few big righties in Ludwick (Borderline Reds killer..), Cantu (Reds killer..) and Cameron Maybin.
  • Petco park is the hardest park to hit home runs in, so Volquez may do well if the OF defense is solid. I'd really like to see Heisey Stubbs Bruce 2 games in this series.
  • SD also has a fair amount of lefties in Orlando Hudson, Will Venable, and Brad Hawpe.
  • Also worth noting that SD has had a lot of trouble hitting this year and is in the 20-30 range in all the major statistics and have a .225 average (25th).
  • Volquez has pitched at Petco twice and had solid quality starts both times in his career.
Heath Bell (Closer) has done very well vs all Reds, except Edgar Renteria. We probably won't see Renteria this series, though. I'll do a little writeup on the closer of each team at the start of each series just in case they come in for the save and we may be able to find a guy or two that does very well vs that certain closer.

My Pick to Click: Cameron Maybin

This game is really a toss-up to me, a number of things could happen. It's much harder to predict a game when a guy comes back from injury, and Latos was a stud last year for a big part of the season so he could show up like that, or when he was doing bad. I'm not sure if you all recall, but he was a Cy Young candidate for a decent amount of time last year. It's also worth noting that the Padres have a pretty good bullpen, so we don't wanna fall behind in this one.

Other stuff:

-Anyone notice Bronson has 0 walks this year?

-Reds SS have batted 18-37 (.486) this year, and this position was one of the biggest concerns this year.

-MVP Joey Votto is batting .455 (2nd), OBP .548, OPS 1.275 and has scored 12 runs (1st).

-Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto both lead the league in runs scored with 12.

-Reds are third in the new power rankings from ESPN.

4/10 Reds @ D'Backs

Big win for the Reds last night, what an outing by Mr. Arroyo. I think the most important part of the game was getting that quick 2 runs off of Hudson. Yesterday's blog showed that Hudson very rarely loses if he starts out hot, and the Reds got to him early. Arroyo helped his cause by starting out very well and ended up going 6 while only giving up one run. My "pick-to-clicks" didn't do as well last night, but Janish had 2 hits. Kelly Johnson went 1-4 with 2ks so I'd say that was a bad pick, but no one did really well for the D'backs.

The rubber match for this series will be played at 4:10pm tomorrow with Mike Leake (1-0, 3.00 ERA) vs. Joe Saunders (0-1, 3.00 ERA). It'd be a huge win and would give the Reds another series win to go undefeated 3-0 in series this year.

Now we'll look at the lefty, Saunders, and how he matches up vs the Reds. His last start he went 6 innings at Wrigley Field and gave up 2 runs in a 3-1 loss vs the Cubs. Most Reds have seen him, but the sample size is pretty small. Check out the match ups here on baseball reference. I'll discuss a few notables here:
  • Ramon Hernandez is 7-17 with a hr and 6 rbi.
  • Votto and Phillips both haven't done well at 1-6 and 1-8 respectively.
  • Gomes, Stubbs, Bruce, Renteria and Rolen have had pretty solid #s vs. Saunders, but there isn't enough sample size to determine if it was a good day or if they see the ball well vs Saunders. Bruce and Stubbs have HRs.
Now for some tendencies/notes on Saunders..:
  • In 7 starts at Chase Field he has a 3-2 record with a 3.12 ERA.
  • He is AWFUL vs righties..especially in the power department. Righties bat .280 vs him and have 63 home runs over 150 innings pitched. To put that in perspective lefties bat .259 and have 12 home runs in 53 innings. To put that in perspective, if the innings were the same for RHB/LHB, there would be ~35 homers vs lefties with 63 for righties.
  • Also worth mentioning he tends to walk a lot of batters, nearly 1 per inning. Quantitatively, 43BB to 53 innings vs LHB, 138BB to 150IP vs RHB.
Pick to Click: Drew Stubbs

Now onto the Mike Leake matchup, he has never faced the D'backs. I think this definitely goes to the Reds advantage because we saw last year that teams had issues with him especially in their first matchup versus him.
  • Leake performs better on the road, with a 3.82 ERA compared to a 4.56 at home. He has never pitched at Chase Field.
  • Leake hasn't pitched at Chase, but he has pitched 3 times on west coast trips, once at Oakland, once at SF and once at Dodger Stadium. He went 0.1 IP vs SF and gave up 6 runs with an ERA higher than the amount of views I'll get on this post, only 2.1 IP at Dodger stadium, and 6IP 1R in Oakland. Overall, not too good out west, but I really think the fact that the D'Backs haven't seen Leake will be an advantage.
  • I'm very happy that I looked at Leake's splits...this stuff is interesting and really makes me scratch my head. I'm hoping someone has something to add to these numbers because they make NO SENSE. Warning: You're about to find out why no matter how long you can look at numbers, baseball can never be accurately predicted. Leake's avg splits vs RHB and LHB is .292 to .291. The IP are within 15 of each other, so are the hits, home runs, and walks ..but his ERA vs RHB is 2.93 and vs LHB it is 5.71. Someone help me out here...I'm no sabermetrician (that may be a new word I just invented) so maybe I'm overlooking something here? Comment on this or tweet @EricLilly7 if you can find anything on this..I'm always trying to learn. I'll be sure to give you a shoutout on tomorrow's blog post as well.
Pick to Click: Miguel Montero (If he doesn't start I'm going for Kelly Johnson...again)

After looking at all stats from both teams I think the Reds have a pretty good shot today to win this. Not only do the Reds have decent success vs Saunders, but I also think Leake does well vs teams that haven't seen him. He performed pretty well last start and it would be huge if he did well again today as Bailey and Cueto are coming back soon and he needs to make a strong case to stay in Cincinnati. I could also see things going wrong for Leake because it is out west and the D'Backs will be loaded with lefties. The Reds will counter with a bunch of righties + Votto/Bruce..wouldn't be surprised to see some big time power from our righties tomorrow as Saunders tends to give up the long ball to righties.
Some other useless stuff:

-Seattle is putting some of their vendors at Safeco on Twitter, and fans can actually request service via Twitter. I'd love to see the Reds do this. #goodidea

-Votto's 7 game hit streak ended today, but he had 3 walks and 2 runs scored to up his OBP to over .500......ridiculous.

-These will look good with that red C on them next year.

-The Reds are the only team in the NL Central to have a positive run differential even though the Pirates have a winning record.

-I am watching "40 Sexiest Videos" as I write this blog tonight, and I just realized that there are 2 girls other than Beyonce in this video. Lady Gaga sexiest video? Good one...

-My mom is going to read this and get mad that I included that sexiest video comment, so please defend me in the comment section. I do it for you guys.

-Ty Lawson went 10-11 from 3 last night, and started out 10-10. Wow.

-Manny Ramirez retired. I'd talk about it, but ESPN already reached the quota of 50 hours of coverage on this subject. Yes, I'm counting.

-Ladies and Gentlemen, George Hill. For the record, I'm not sure why the announcer is talking about "ooey pooey", or how he will keep his job after saying that on TV.

-The tweet of the day is a good one, and it's from a funny dude, Mo Egger. It's actually two tweets, but I decided to combine them both because they are both funny and related:
"After watching Bronson Arroyo's last two starts, I have decided that I want mono. Hell, maybe they should have Arroyo make out with Volquez before his next start." Good stuff. I just hope none of them have what I have because it's killing me.

Everyone have a good Sunday, enjoy the beautiful weather, and get ready for the work week! Let's win this series!