John Erardi again attempts to educate the public in today’s article in the Enquirer:

Amazing the amount of attention paid to the fact that the Reds were 0-for-15 with runners in scoring position in the recently completed three-game series at Wrigley Field.

Granted, a hit or two more in those situations and the Reds probably would have left town having won two of three, instead of only one.

But the Cubs weren’t exactly gangbusters in the three games with runners in scoring position (4-for-27).

The biggest problem with the Reds is not that they went 0-for-15 with runners in scoring position.

The biggest problem with the Reds is that they put only 20 men on base total – for all three games.

Granted, the Cubs put only nine more men on base.

Those nine additional base runners in a three-game series might not seem like a lot.

But they are.

Three extra runners per game is exactly the margin of difference between the Cubs and the Reds this year.

Going into Friday’s games, the Cubs had 2,432 plate appearances in 127 games with runners on base – an average of about 19 per game. The Reds had 2,081 plate appearances with runners on base in 128 games, or about 16 per game.

Those three extra runners per game add up over the course of the season.

That’s the Reds offensive problems this season in a nutshell.

The Cubs lead the league easily in runs scored (681); they average 5.4 runs per game with a league-leading on-base average of .358.

The Reds rank 13th in runs per game with 4.2, with a miserable .318 on-base average. They rank fourth in the league in home runs with 148, just ahead of the Cubs’ 146.

The biggest culprit in the Reds averaging 1.2 fewer runs per game than the Cubs is that the Reds are 40 points behind the Cubs in getting men on base.

The rest of the article highlights how the Reds biggest problem is getting runners on base, not hitting with runners in scoring position.

Erardi again shows why he’s the best ssportswriter in the area.

19 Responses

  1. Y-City Jim

    It never fails to surprise me how fans, even when it is explained in such detail, fail to grasp how important it is too get runners on base.

    I blame it on the demise of the U.S. public education system. 😀

  2. justcorbly

    Stats are only stats. Not to be facetious, but the Reds biggest problem is scoring fewer runs than the other team. Last night they scored 6 runs and lost. You score 6 runs, you should win. In my book, anytime you score at least 4 runs, you should win. Yes, the offense sucks. Pretty much everyone on the field sucks.

  3. John of Muncie

    …and how does one score runs, justcorbly? You get guys on base. Preferably more than the other team. And you don’t strand more than the other team. Do those things, and most of the time you’ll score more runs than the other team.

  4. Mark T

    Give it time. The team is young and was thrown a curve with the trades of Griffey and Dunn. Before they had big egos and no leadership. Now they are a team of young kids who are finding their way.

    Last night’s loss to Colorado was propelled by Bako – the kids did their job.

  5. Matt Steele

    I still have to take issue with people pyschoanalyzing the team. How do you know that Dunn and Griffey had big egos and no leadership?

    As for a team of young kids, nearly everyone who is playing is 26 or older. Our OBP is terrible and we traded away the guy who was by far the best on our team at getting on base. I don’t know how people can expect to score more runs with our very bad team.

    Since trading Dunn

    Team batting avg = .238
    Team OBP = .281
    Runs scored = 45

  6. justcorbly

    John, I don’t obsess about stats and have little interest in individual stats.. Of course, you need to put people on to score. But you don’t guarantee victory by assembling nine individuals with great stats.

    My point was pretty obvious: Unless the pitching improves, the Reds will need to score more than its reasonably possible to expect to win consistently. Always fix pitching first.

    Here’s the deal: The best fans can expect from this team, located in a small and shrinking city, is a lot of losing seasons sprinkled with occasional one to two year spurts of making runs in the playoffs. The players will always be a mix of youngsters and older players on the downslope of their careers. While the team may choose to retain a few players with repeated long-term contracts, all other quality players will sign for more money elsewhere after 3-5 years here. Good players migrate to good money.

  7. Dan

    How do you win? Score more than the other team.

    Run production – has more to do with OBP than most any other stat.

    Run prevention – combo of pitching and defense.

    Pitching – focus on low HR, low BB, high K rates.

    Defense – ??? I don’t know how you rate players defense, but I hope there are some in the Reds front office who are working hard on it!

    Statistically, the Reds team defense is ATROCIOUS, and it makes the pitching seem to be worse than it actually is.

    The Reds are 30th – dead last – in team defensive efficiency this year. When the opponent puts the ball in play (not a HR, BB, or K), the Reds turn it into an out 67.7% of the time. (League average is about 70% it looks like. Tampa is the best in baseball at 71.7%.)

    Tampa Bay, by the way, managed somehow to go from the WORST in baseball just last year (66.2%) to BEST in baseball now (71.7%). In one year. Wow. That is beyond impressive.

  8. Phill

    Matt, I agree. I’m sick of people making up personas and bullcrap of players to try and justify why somebody was bad or how they made everything bad. I’m going to go out on a limb and say nobody on here knows these guys personally, has hung out with them, has spoken in depth with them, has seen their interaction with the teammates in the clubhouse. If we don’t know these guys personally why do people use personal attacks on their mentality?

  9. Mr. Redlegs

    A great article? Hardly. Did Erardi tell us anything that wasn’t common sense? Of course not.

    Okay, maybe this:

    “The point: Do not get all caught up with what the Reds are hitting with runners in scoring position; beware those who do.

    “Pay more attention to how many runners the Reds are getting on base.”

    Really? So what Erardi is saying is clog up ’em bases but getting a hit to drive them home is less important.


  10. Y-City Jim

    My point was pretty obvious: Unless the pitching improves, the Reds will need to score more than its reasonably possible to expect to win consistently. Always fix pitching first.

    The pitching is improved. It’s not where it needs to be but it is improved. Unfortunately the run differential has gotten worse due to a less productive offense

  11. Y-City Jim

    Really? So what Erardi is saying is clog up ‘em bases but getting a hit to drive them home is less important.

    Define “less important.”

  12. Mark T

    This team is far more exciting to watch ow than four weeks ago. They were listless, rudderless, too accustomed to losing, and the people that should have been riding their asses about lackluster play, not hitting to advance runners, etc., were busy hitting into the shift.

  13. Mr. Redlegs

    Mark, this team is far more exciting to watch from night to night because you never know what new ways they will invent to completely ef-up a ball game. Today set a pretty high threshold for that entertainment value.

  14. david

    Phil and Matt – You both are being awfully hypocritical. Whether you say Dunn and Jr. were leaders or others say they were not, it is all speculation, or at best, an educated guess. There are about 40 guys privy to who is and is not the leader of that clubhouse. Just throwing it out there, but affection and respect are different things.

    By the way, everything is not life before or after a trade (Chad if you are listening). Yes, the team was better before they traded Dunn. Yes, the team had a better OBP and scored more runs. That isn’t why the trade was made, so let’s move on people. I hope by next year we let that go.

    And Justcorbly, don’t give me that. Oakland is crippled as a city. How many people you know dying to live in Minneapolis where it is -10? There are a number of teams in small markets that remain competitive because they managed their talent well. The biggest cause for concern was the Reds’ AWFUL – strike that – BROKEN minor league system that is only now improving.

  15. Phill

    I’m not being hypocritical. I never said Dunn was a stand up guy I am just sick of people saying unfounded things to slander players. Any time I talk about a player’s personality I say things like “I perceive” or at least say why I think like that.

  16. justcorbly

    David, you’re right about the farm system. However, both Oakland and Minneapolis are larger cities than Cincinnati and both are located on larger, more prosperous and more dynamic metro areas. (And, Oakland is in the Bay area, while the Twin Cities have a reputation as an vibrant and interesting place to live.) Those teams are better because they’ve had better front-office management for much longer than the Reds. Their track records are what this team can reasonably aspire to given more years of competent ownership and management. However, fans who expect one big trade or one big departure to turn things around will be disappointed.

    (But, I really do think being in Cincinnati does not help this team. Sorry. If the town did not have a club, it would never be in contention for an expansion team.)

  17. GregD

    The Reds had 15 ABs w/RISP. The Cubs 27. That’s a problem, Redlegs. It’s not going to matter if the Reds’s Avg w/RISP is .300 and the others is .200 if they continue to give themselves only half the opportunities.

  18. Matt Steele

    Hell I have no idea if Griffey and/or Dunn were leaders or had big egos or didn’t care etc etc. I would just never post otherwise.

    I was pointing out that people love to give their psychological opinion about guys on the team when they have absolutely no idea.

  19. Chris

    It’s hard to accept that getting on base is, by far, the most important component of scoring runs. But remember it’s also the lack of something – making outs.

    The RBI single, as the last link in the run-scoring chain, is easier to credit. But yeah, base-clogging is the way to go. It may be counter-intuitive, and it’s definitely contrary to the Wisdom of Grande, but the math is unassailable — teams with high OBP score a lot of runs.