Our buddy David Schoenfield over at the SweetSpot blog has a post up about the fact that the Reds are breathing down the neck of the Cardinals. It’s a good read. This particular portion made my head hurt, though:
The four solo shots do highlight a big problem with the Reds’ offense, however. Outside of Joey Votto this lineup is completely hacktastic — working the count is not exactly a disease that has spread from Votto to everyone else. Even with Votto’s MLB-leading 40 walks, the Reds rank just 11th in the NL in free passes, and despite playing in a hitter-friendly home park, their .697 team OPS is tied for 10th in the league. After Votto, Jay Bruce is second on the team with 12 walks — quadruple that total and you have a guy on pace for 48. Home run boys Cozart and Stubbs can flip the occasional long ball, but they’ve combined for just 22 walks and 86 strikeouts. Brandon Phillips has just eight walks. Votto gets walked a lot because he often comes up with nobody on base. (Memo to Dusty Baker: Try moving Bruce in front of Votto. Just consider it, please.)
Somewhere, Joe Morgan cringes.
Indeed. (And nice use of “hacktastic.”)
Ultimately, I agree with the general thrust of Schoenfield’s piece. It is shaping up to be a fun summer in the NL Central. If only the Reds can get the offense on track. If only…
*Note to self: try to figure out how this offense has dropped so quickly from the best offense in 2010, and the 2nd-best in 2011 — to an anemic offense in 2012. The personnel hasn’t changed that much, has it? What’s the problem?