Cincinnati Reds: How They Got in the Playoffs

James Lang-US PRESSWIRE

I’ve begun many a blog with the sentence of how well the Cincinnati Reds are playing and how much fun it has been to witness winning again in the Queen City.  This blog is no exception.  However, now I want to focus on the two major reasons that the Cincinnati Reds are in the playoffs – defense and pitching.

Now I know that the Reds rank up in the top half in all meaningful categories at the plate, but truth be told, they have been very spotty or streaky on offense all season.  It was their pitching and defense that kept them winning.

Defensively, I’d take the Cincinnati Reds over any other team in the league.  They have only committed 83 errors for the year.  Their fielding percentage is a very impressive .985, which puts them in second place in that category.  All around their infield, they are solid.  The pitchers are even great fielders off the mound.  You cannot judge, really, how many runs are saved or wins notched by defense, but it can easily be said that saving a run is just as important as scoring a run.  If you throw in the legs and arms of the outfield, and you have yourself a winner in the field.

On the mound, the Cincinnati Reds have been, well, tremendous.  The pitching overall has an ERA of 3.40 (second in the league), 11 shutouts (1st in the league) and for the starting pitching, they have an average of 6.3 innings per start.  That shows you are winning and that saves your relief pitching from wear and tear too.   Keep in mind half the games came in GABP – a hitters paradise.

Speaking of relief pitching, the Reds are consistently the best in the league in many important categories there too.  I am just going to take up two here today.  If you look at ERA, they rank second with a 3.70.  More importantly, I think, is the percent runners inherited that score.  In that category, the Cincinnati Reds are first with a rockbottom 23%.

You put those two areas together and you have a winner.  More importantly, you have the recipe for a winner in the post-season.  That is why I believe that these Reds will not be like the 2010 Reds (the ones swept and no hit by the Philadelphia Phillies).  These Reds have the pitching and the defense that team did not.  That is what you need to win in October.

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