Let’s recap today’s Titanic Struggle…
W: J. Locke (9-2)
L: H. Bailey (5-9)
S: J. Grilli (30)
–Homer Bailey was mostly fantastic today. 12 strikeouts and only one walk. He lost it a bit in the sixth, but it’s pretty hard to complain about Homer today.
–The Bullpen was similarly excellent with Hoover and Partch combing to strikeout four in 2 2/3 innings.
–Shin-Soo Choo reached base three times.
–In the eight inning, with the bases loaded, Joey Votto grounded into a double play. A run scored, but it killed any potential rally and cost the Reds a chance to take the lead.
–The bats evaporated today.
–A series win against the Pirates is a good way to start the second half, though they were achingly close to a sweep and that would have been spectacular.
–There’s been a lot of discussion about Votto’s performance in clutch situations lately, so I want to spend a minute on the concept of “clutch” hitting, RISP, etc. Every year, there are some players who hit really well in important situations. It happens and no one should deny that it happens. But it isn’t a skill any more than guessing right on a coin flip is a skill. I say that because it isn’t consistent from year to year. That is, a player may be great in the clutch one year and terrible the next while his overall numbers remain consistent. It’s just a sample size thing. If it was really a skill to hitting with RISP (or whatever your preferred clutch stat), there would be some level of consistency from year to year. Instead, players almost always end up with career clutch numbers that look like their overall career numbers. Has Joey Votto been good in the clutch this year? Not especially (at least not for him). Does this tell us anything useful about him? No, it does not.
–San Francisco tomorrow. Let’s hope they pick up where they left off against the Giants last time.