2013 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: What, me worry?

Let’s recap this afternoon’s titanic struggle…. rntitanic-copy

FINAL
Cincinnati 4
San Diego 1

W: H. Bailey (6-10)
L: J. Stults (8-10)
S: A. Chapman (25)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES

– Homer Bailey pitched an excellent 8.1 innings without giving up an earned run or walk. He had seven strikeouts. Joey Votto’s error in the ninth inning likely cost him a complete game shutout.

– Brandon Phillips broke out of his prolonged slump with a home run and two other singles. Joey Votto had two RBI. Chris Heisey had two hits and an RBI. Zack Cozart had his second consecutive two-hit game. The Reds finally broke through with some timely hitting.

– Heisey made a great play in left field.

– Our long (Redleg) national nightmare is over.

NEGATIVES

– Joey Votto’s twelfth error of the year. Get in front of the darned ground balls.

– Todd Frazier hasn’t had a hit since the Carter Administration. Well, OK, since the first game of the Dodgers series. Same thing.

– More base running blunders. Derrick Robinson out stealing third with no outs and Votto at the plate. Jay Bruce picked off first.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS

– Homer Bailey is the Reds’ best starting pitcher. If you’re a slave to win-loss records and ERA, you may not agree. But if you look at the stuff pitchers actually control, Homer is on top. Mat Latos is close behind, but if the Reds were in a one-game must-win situation, Homer is the pitcher I’d choose.

– That said, the Reds entire starting rotation has been real and spectacular.

– Depending on the outcome of the St. Louis/Pittsburgh game tonight, the Reds may be only 5 games out of first place. That’s a minor miracle considering The Horror of this week.

– Bring on the Cardinals.

TOP GAME THREAD COMMENTS

vegastypo: Reds interested in Javier Lopez of the Giants, per MLB Channel. I sure hope he can hit clean-up.

kywhi: The sad reality is that the only beat reporters who can get by with asking the types of questions we would all like answered work in mega markets like New York, Chicago, LA and a very few others. Though none would want to admit it, it’s a fact of life that reporters in small markets can be shut out to the point they lose their jobs by asking questions that bother the powers-that-be.

Baseclogger: On the bright side, the Reds broke their first-pitch slump today with Cozart’s bunt single. Proving that every 60th or 70th time the Reds swing at a first pitch, something good happens — as long as the “swing” is actually a bunt.

pinson343: 97 mph fastball followed by a slider for the K. Homer putting on a clinic. Hope he can go at least 8.

Redleg75: What’s with all the Reds running around the bases? The announcers are talking about these things called “runs”.

72 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: What, me worry?

  1. Sorry but I go with Latos then Bronson then maybe Homer. When ob he is good, problem is consistentcy with Homer.

    • @AnnapolisHoosier:
      I find myself automatically pulling for the Pirates over the Cardinals. That might not be the right outcome to root for right now unless you are conceding the division and hoping the Reds can catch the Cards for the top wildcard spot. Reds are 7 games back of the Pirates in the loss column.

    • @AnnapolisHoosier:
      This is the 3rd straight year this question has been asked in July,,,
      I cannot remember what happened in 2011 & 2012, but I am appalled that any true Reds fan could actually root for the WLB’s

  2. I am goona say it, I hope I am not banned from the site. The Pirates will win the NL Central. You dont win 4 straight games in a huge 5 game series like this and collapse.

    • @Larry1980: In 2010, if my memory serves correctly the Cards manhandled the Reds face to face a couple of times after the All Star break but then the Reds outplayed them against the rest of the league well enough to make as much or more than a lead that the Bucs have on the Cards right now.

      • @OhioJim:
        Despite the 5 game losing streak, they are 5 wins behind the Pirates and 5 wins up in the wild card race.
        Just curious who makes it over the Reds or Cards, Arizona?

        • @vicferrari: I don’t know it might be.

          There isn’t a lot of history to go by with two wild cards (per league) but there is certainly a boatload (with a single WC per league) of history of teams getting crazy hot in the last month and not only getting into the playoffs from nowhere but even doing quite well and at least in one case winning the whole enchilada. That is part of the reason we have the (IMO) insanity of having two WCs but putting them in against each other in a 1 game play in.

      • @OhioJim: The ESPN crew working last night’s Cards/Pirates game, would disagree. They had lots of very, very good things to say about the Pirates, Cards, and Reds.

    • @Larry1980: Not saying the Pirates will collapse. However, sometimes a team can run off a streak like this and then let up on the pedal just a little bit. Once it starts going the other way, it can be hard to stop. Time will tell.

      It’s all moot unless Ludwick can get back and be solid in that 4 hole.

  3. If the Reds don’t win the central….i would love for the reds/cards to be in a 1 game crap shoot.

    I like the chances with a 5 games series against pittsburgh more than i do against the cards. just me though.

  4. Dusty loads up the lineup with RH hitters (sans Mesoraco) against a LHP and the lineup finally produces the desired results.

    Robinson: 1-4 with BB
    Heisey: 2-5
    Phillips: 3-5 with HR
    Cozart: 2-4

    Throw in a good dose of Homer Bailey & Joey Votto for good measure and the Reds come awqay with a 4-2 victory.

    Bailey looked absolutely dominant on the mound, but the victory didn’t feel like a decisive win. Perhaps the Reds ran into some stiffer competition on this left coast road trip than anyone anticipated with both the Dodgers and Padres playing very good ball right now, but the Reds’ hitting really looked miserable.

    Good news…the Birds look worse and come to GABP on the heels of a drubbing by the Bucos and after am off day by the Reds. Time for the Reds to leap frog over the dang Birds and start taking a bead on the Bucos?

    • @Shchi Cossack: I hate to bring this up, but it has always seemed to me that when an excellent team (in this case the Cards) gets drubbed in a series, the team playing them next (in this case the Reds) is in for a rough series. Sure hope past is not prologue, or that I am imagining this whole thing.

  5. Regarding Baseclogger’s comment, I looked at the pitch-by-pitch on baseball-reference for the 5-game losing streak. During those five games, the Reds had 176 plate appearances. They swung at the first pitch 68 times for a 38.6% rate. 22 times the ball was put in play, 3 of which were hits, for a .136 batting average. The breakdown was 15 swinging strikes, 2 bunt strikes, 26 swinging foul balls, 3 bunt fouls, 8 grounders, 7 flyballs (including popups), 3 hits, 1 foul out, 1 lineout, and 2 grounders on bunts (I believe they were both successful sacrifices).

    The 38.6% rate does seem extremely high. The most recent data I can find suggests that the MLB average is about 27%.

    Despite this, for the season, we do have a .302 batting average on the first pitch, which is not great for a count you should be selective on, but nowhere near as bad as the recent run. I don’t know how to determine what percentage of the time we swung at the first pitch for the season (other than just counting them up, like I did for the five games).

    In looking at the stats, it seems we actually have more of a problem with making contact, then we do with plate discipline. 19 teams swing at more pitches out of the strike zone than the Reds. Only one team (San Diego) swings at more pitches in the strike zone than the Reds. But we are 25th in contact percentage outside the zone, and 26th in contact percentage inside the zone.

    • But we are 25th in contact percentage outside the zone, and 26th in contact percentage inside the zone.

      That is a scary thing to think about. Perhaps the lack of Ryan Hanigan has contributed to this, as he’s consistently one of the better contact guys in all of baseball. Can’t pin it all on one guy though. Looking up combined contact percentage (regardless of pitch location) it looks like the worst contact guys on the team are Bruce, Paul, and Frazier. Surprisingly, Cozart is very high up on the list. Clearly we need to look further into this, as Cozart is a worse hitter than Bruce despite the fact that he hits for contact 12.4% more frequently.

      Making contact is an issue, but I also agree that the first-pitch swinging has got to change. Looking past the .302 batting average the Reds have on the first pitch this season, there are many more advantages for the entire time if the whole lineup can work the count for at least a few pitches. Of course you can work up starters’ pitch counts, which can continue to pay dividends throughout the entire series. Allowing your teammates to see different pitches and tendencies during an at-bat can give them a better idea of how to reach base, even if you failed to do so in your at bat.

    • @MentalGuy: Interesting, thanks for looking it up. We definitely need to dig into these kind of stats more. One problem with aggregate data is that it’s biased by the two extremely selective hitters – Votto and Choo. They are severe outliers from how the rest of the team approaches at bats.

  6. The Pirates this year remind me a lot of the Reds in 10 and Brewers in 11. Teams that hadn’t won divisions in so long. They had the talent they got super hot and pulled away from everybody.

  7. Let me add my thanks to MentalGuy for turning my anecdotal observations/guesswork to actual stats. For what it’s worth, I think GABP contributes to the no-contact problem by putting the home run into everyone’s head. For example, when BP swings with no strikes or one strike, especially with the bases empty, he tends to take a HUGE swing, and either misses it, fouls it off, or flies out. His numbers are have been good with two strikes and/or with runners on base because he’s focusing on putting the ball in play instead of hitting it a mile. There are of course incentives to hit HRs all across baseball, and lots of players on lots of teams are trying to hit them, but I think the dimensions of GABP have made it especially tempting for Reds players to take big upper-cut swings and not bother trying to walk.

    The thing that troubles me about the first pitch swings isn’t so much the batting average, it’s the number of times the hitter puts himself into an 0-1 count when it could be 1-0. Obviously a lot of these swinging strikes would be called strikes, but we all know Reds hitters will sometimes swing at a first pitch a foot outside the strike zone. Those unnecessary 0-1 counts are undoubtedly lowering the batting averages on the second, third, and fourth pitches, as well as decreasing the number of walks. Add to this the fact that even when a Red manages to get a hit on the first pitch, the pitcher has only been forced to throw one pitch (and in some of those cases the same player would have gotten a hit on the fourth or fifth pitch if he’d been patient), and on outs it’s an absolute worst-case scenario because it’s 1/27 of the game on one pitch. Sure, it’s helpful to swing at an occasional first pitch to make sure the pitcher knows he can’t just groove one down the middle, but otherwise there’s almost no advantage whatsoever and it hurts far more than it helps.

    • @Baseclogger: Dan O’Brien used to have a mandate for the Reds’ low minors that players were not to swing at the first pitch. I didn’t like the idea because opposing pitchers knew it and players always seemed to be looking at an 0-1 count, after watching a cookie go by. While I didn’t like the mandate, I did like what O’Brien was trying to do.

      My philosophy is you are looking for a particular pitch, in a particular zone as long as you aren’t behind in the count or there isn’t 2 strikes. That pitch isn’t always in your sweet-spot, depending on the situation, but if you swing on that first pitch, it should be a pitch you were looking for. Of course sometimes guys just get fooled and they swing at a pitch they thought was one thing, and turned out to be another.

  8. “Homer Bailey is the Reds’ best starting pitcher. If you’re a slave to win-loss records and ERA, you may not agree. But if you look at the stuff pitchers actually control, Homer is on top. Mat Latos is close behind, but if the Reds were in a one-game must-win situation, Homer is the pitcher I’d choose.”

    Yes, he is the best starting pitcher on the Reds. It definitely makes me proud.

    Sandy Koufax did not become at ace until age 25 (18-13, 3.52) and his first dominant season came at age 26 (14-7, 2.54). Randy Johnson did not become an ace until age 26 (14-11, 3.65) and his dominant season was at age 29 (19-8, 3.24). Both of these guys’ had talent that was apparent at an early age but took time to develop. Bailey is 27 and his age 26 season compares to the two greats (13-10, 3.68)

    Is it too early to compare Bailey to Koufax and Johnson? For career records, yes it is. However, all have or had high ceilings with great stuff from the beginnings of their professional careers. The best is yet to come for Bailey. My big question is when will the Reds fans and media actually embrace him and encourage him to sign his extension?

    • @Steve Price: No question. If I had to lock up only one of Latos or Bailey, it would be Bailey. His game is just tighter, and I believe the health issues are a thing of the past. Bottom line though, we gotta lock up one of them or we’re screwed.

      • @Sultan of Swaff: Lock them both up. Easy for me to say, not my money, etc., but Homer has made a believer out of me. He’s not awesomely consistent yet, but when he’s on, he’s nearly unhittable, and he has shown that he is still able to learn and improve.

      • @Sultan of Swaff: I just don’t see Homer signing an extension unless he’s blown away by the money. Here’s why:

        He isn’t far from free-agency.
        He doesn’t really like pitching at GABP.
        Reds’ fans weren’t exactly kind to him during his struggles.
        He has a bad relationship with the Reds’ HoF announcer.
        700WLW’s BS after Bailey threw his 2nd no-hitter.

        Unless the money is great, why on earth would he want to pitch for the Reds? Bryan Price maybe? Dusty maybe?

        • @LWBlogger: I agree with this. It remains to be seen, of course, but the feeling I get is that Homer does not want to sign with Cincinnati. I say lock up Latos and Leake. Then you’ve got a 2015 rotation of Cueto, Latos, Leake, Cingrani and Stephenson.

          I would love to see Homer stay, but I don’t think it’s happening. In fact, I would try to move him this off-season and keep Arroyo around for another year.

    • @Steve Price: You can extend this out about power pitchers coming into their own later on with Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling too. Schilling even regressed and didn’t hit his real peak until he was 30.

      It wont happen, but it could be amazing if the Reds could somehow could get both Latos and Bailey signed on. That could be really amazing, especially considering some of the other youth on the staff.

  9. Big picture: after what feels like months of treading water we finally picked up a game and a half on the Cardinals. If you believe “confidence” translates directly into wins then the Pirates might go on a tear. But this is the same team that dropped two of three to the Marlins this weekend and two of three to us to open the second half. Between us and the Cardinals there are still plenty of opportunities to reel them in.

    Also big picture: the Cardinals didn’t get any pitching help at the deadline and the Pirates didn’t get a big bat.

    If it comes to it, I’d rather face the Pirates than the Black Magic Cardinals in a one game playoff. But I actually think the Pirates’ run helps our chances at the Division. Now, we just have to root for today’s Pirates-Cardinals game to go 23 innings, and for the Reds to kick the Cards while they’re down this weekend.

  10. I was encouraged by BP’s hitting yesterday. He took a very nice swing on the HR. Also they said he took a similar swing on Tuesday’s game, but the ball died on the warning track in the SD nite air. He had the day of rest on Monday, that’s helped him in the past.

    If BP can go on one of his hot streaks over the next 2 weeks, it could help tide the Reds over until Ludwick returns. And of course BP loves to stick it to the Cardinals, I think he might have a big series.

  11. The Pirates have a run differential of +64 so far this year. Not as good as the Reds or Cardinals, but much better than they had in 2011 and 2012. I don’t know why anyone would expect them to collapse.

  12. I am not so confident in Homer as others, depending on whom we are playing, I like my chances with Latos or Bronson over Homer.

    Also I think this weekends series vs the Cards will mean a lot, Cards tumbling, no Molina, No Wainwright and all 3 at home. A sweep is a must.

  13. I wonder if they purposely set up the rotation so Homer would miss the Cardinals, since he’s had some trouble with them. If not, then I guess it’s just an accident since he pitched the third game coming out of the All Star break. With three off days in the next week (thanks for the great scheduling, MLB! /sarcasm/) unless they skip Cingrani or push Leake back we’ll miss having our top two starters against the Cardinals but will have them on extra rest against an AL team. #itsthelittlethings

  14. I’m amazed the Pirates and Cardinals didn’t do more at the deadline. Both have glaring weaknesses at SS, both could use bullpen help, both have deep farm systems to deal from. Now they have to play chicken with the waiver wire guys. Who’s gonna blink first and take on a big contract?

  15. Cueto hasn’t picked up a baseball in a month. The trainers think he’s finally 100% healthy. So, assuming he has to start from scratch (playing catch, long toss, bullpens, live batting practice, rehab assignment), it raises a lot of questions.

    –How many starts could we realistically expect him to make?
    –Can we afford to let him ‘find himself’ if we’re in the middle of a tight race?
    –Will the sample size be big enough to determine whether he’s deserving of a starting role in a playoff series?

    • @Sultan of Swaff: Great questions. But don’t you feel that none of this will matter to Dusty Baker, who will want to demonstrate he’s best friends forever with one of his veteran pitchers? While I don’t think the Reds will rush Cueto back, especially if Tony Cingrani keeps pitching like he has, no way that if healthy, Cueto isn’t the first starter in the post-season (if the Reds make it).

      • @Steve Mancuso: The other element is that Cueto is cost controlled. Running homer or mat out there really changes the dynamic in advance of next off season’s arbitration or contract negotiations.

        Walt and Bob need JC healthy to convince one of mat or homer to take a little less money then they might otherwise get.

  16. The Reds have scored 11 (!) runs total in the 10 games that Homer has lost this year.

    As a thought experiment, if the Reds had scored just three runs in every game that Homer pitched this year, he would have at least 12 wins. If you assume that Homer won every game he has given up two or fewer runs, lost every game he has given up more than four runs, and had no decisions in games he gave up three or four runs, his 2013 record: 12-3, with seven no decisions.

    In six of Homer’s 22 starts this year, he’s given up no earned runs. And don’t forget that game where he gave up no earned hits, either.

    • @Steve Mancuso:

      However, in 8 of Homer’s 22 starts, he has given up 4 or more erned runs, more than any other starter on the team. Seems to be a pretty extreme swing, doesn’t it?

      Also, might Homer’s lack of run support have something to do with his refusal to throw to the Reds’ best offensive catcher? Maybe it wouldn’t make THAT much difference, but that certainly has to be a factor at least somewhat.

      • @CI3J: Five of those eight starts he gave up four runs, which I wouldn’t point to as evidence of “bad” anything or an extreme swing. So, three games of more than four runs. Latos has two of those. Not much difference. I’d take the greater upside, especially with his post-season performance in 2012.

      • @CI3J: There’s zero evidence that Homer “refuses” to throw to Mesoraco. In fact, he’s thrown to him four times this year, nearly 20% of his starts. He threw to him 22 times last season. Does he have a preference for Hanigan that has carried over to Corky Miller? Probably. But there is absolutely nothing in the record to show that Homer prefers Miller to Mesoraco.

        • @Steve Mancuso: When Devin has pitched to Devin, much of that can be it’s been because Hanigan’s been injured. Bailey has pitched to Corky more than he has Devin. 100% correlation, defintely not. But, there is a definite correlation that, at minimum, Homer and Devin don’t get matched up together often.

  17. Same thought experiment for:

    Mat Latos: 13-2, seven no decisions, two shutouts
    Mike Leake: 14-1, six no decisions, five shutouts
    Bronson Arroyo: 12-3, six no decisions, four shutouts

    The Reds SP has been fantastic this year.

    • @Steve Mancuso: Has it been confirmed that Homer refuses to pitch to Mez or is that just speculation? That doesn’t sit well with me if it’s true. Also, hypothetically, if we extended Homer and Mez became the guy at the plate we all want him to be, do we continue to just sit Mez for the next 5+ years when Homer pitches? Don’t get me wrong I love Homer (both on and off the field) but I’d really like to know what’s going on with the situation between him and Mez.

      • Can we officially confirm that we’re OK?

        We’ve been missing 1/3 of the Opening Day starting lineup (Cueto, Ludwick, Hanigan) plus our best reliever who’s allowed to pitch for most of the season and we still have the 4th best record in the NL, with a 4 game lead in the wild card.

        Hopefully getting a healthy Ludwick back in left will jump-start the offense.

        • Hopefully getting a healthy Ludwick back in left will jump-start the offense.

          Wishful thinking I’m afraid.

  18. The starting pitching has been superb during this losing streak. If the offense can be consistent and get runners in from scoring position, and the Reds can win series and at least split on the road, they should be in the running.

  19. Here’s one thing about Bailey that gets me and why I would not choose him in a 1 game playoff:

    Homer has 8 starts this year where he has given up 4 or more ER. Latos has 5. So it would stand to reason that Latos, based on track record, has a better chance to “keep his team in the game”, so to speak.

    Leake has 4 of those games, by the way, but I’m still not sold on him. Arroyo? Despite the “Good Bronson/Bad Bronson” meme, he only has 5 as well.

    Looks like it’d be more accurate to start a “Good Bailey/Bad Bailey” meme.

    • @CI3J: I would go with Leake, honestly. Has any of the starters been more consistently good than MLeake in the last 3 months? Doesn’t have the dominating stuff of Homer & Mat but seems to get it done start after start. With the added bonus that the guy can hit and run the bases, pluses that should not be overlooked with this particular Reds’ team.

      • @CharlotteNCRedsFan:

        Yeah, I can see that. I really got down on Leake after last year, where it seemed like he took a big step back. But Leake this year is proving that his phenom status when he came from out of nowhere and started winning might just be legit.

        And like you said, with Leake starting, it’s like adding another offensive player. Or, compared to Homer, 2, since Leake has no problem throwing to Mesoraco.

    • @CI3J: Honestly, it could just come down to who’s turn it is. There may not be a lot of choices. I like the Reds’ chances with any of the guys in the rotation though. They have been really, really good.

    • @CI3J: As I commented above, this is a little misleading. Of those eight games, five of them Homer gave up four runs, which you’re lumping together with worse games and saying that’s not keeping your team in it. Four runs isn’t exactly taking your team out of contention. The Reds average 4.3 runs per game.

      Homer has three games of more than four runs. Latos has two of those. Not much of a difference.

      Six shutouts for Homer vs. three “others” — I’d take the greater upside. Especially considering his start in last year’s NLDS.

      • @Steve Mancuso: Leake has 1 so what does this mean? Leake has only 4 games of 4 ERs and 2 of those were his first 2 starts. Give me Leake because he gives the team the best chance to win. Homer gives the team the best shot for a SHO but the win is the thing you really want.

        • Honestly, I could see most any of the starters being selected for the one-game playoff. So, it might depend upon who the other team is, what are the weather conditions, what kind of strategy one wants to play, etc. For me, I would probably choose, for a one-game playoff, Latos, given what CIJ3 talked of initially. Still, with the entire plan of, since Latos has difficulty going long, don’t hesitate with the bullpen, as it should be in the playoffs anyhow.

  20. This is definitely the most frustrating good Reds team I’ve ever seen. People have been talking all year about the Reds not having “It,” and while I don’t necessarily believe that It is a thing, it’s easy to see why people have been thinking that way.

    This team has just not been able to put the pieces together at the same time.

    The first time I noticed it was when Jay Bruce went on his absurd 7 game homerun stretch, and the Reds went 3 and 4.

    Then there was the end of June into July, where the Reds were dreadful as their bullpen threw 33 scoreless innings in a row.

    Now the Reds go 1 and 5 over a stretch where there starters had an ERA under 2.

    The Reds are already 5 games below their expected win-loss record based on run differential. I think some of that rests on our manager making bad decisions in game, but some of it is just our inability to get our pieces going in the same direction. Because we clearly have the pieces.

    The Reds seem to be their own worst enemy in 2013.

    • @al: That’s actually a good thing though isn’t it? I mean getting to the playoffs seems inevitable with this team. Once you get to the playoffs, it’s a roll of the dice for every team right? So I’d say if our worst enemy is ourselves than all we have to do is get it, put it together for a couple series and we’re good to go. We have killer pitching that will keep us in any game against any team. Just need the offense to have some good moments.

      • @Mwv: I can certainly hear that argument. The Reds are a better team on paper than their record, so maybe they will finally figure it out at just the right time and roll through some teams in the playoffs.

        It would be nice to see them do it before the playoffs.

  21. In reference to this about Homer…
    “He has a bad relationship with the Reds’ HoF announcer.
    700WLW’s BS after Bailey threw his 2nd no-hitter.”

    Are there any links or details about this?

    • @vicferrari: Don’t even need any links. Homer refused to talk to WLW after the no-hitter, and they decided to take exception and bashed him for a whole day (at least) directly following it. Literally, the very next day, they were talking about a “controversy” (which was a complete farce), and how Homer wasn’t mature, how the only reason he was able to pitch well was Hanigan, etc.

      • @rhayex: They even had that “Congratulations Ryan Hanigan on catching your 2nd no-hitter!” spot that they ran throughout the day. It was ridiculous.

  22. From a Trade Rumors website … I wonder if the unnamed team was the Pirates looking to get Rios …

    White Sox general manager Rick Hahn conceded to MLB.com’s Scott Merkin that he nearly pulled off a last-minute deadline deal before the other team suddenly changed its asking price. Hahn said he received a text message 45 minutes prior to the deadline and spent the next 35 minutes or so working on the specifics, and it got to the point where he informed chairman Jerry Reinsdorf that it was close to happening. Hahn did not specify which player(s) were on the table.

  23. You know, for the first two months of the season I kept saying “Man we must have the best #5 in baseball”. At what point does he quit being a #5 though? Right now it’s hard to say he’s even close to the #5 on this team considering how well he’s pitched over so many starts.

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