With an 8:00 game tonight, I thought some of you might want a place to chat during this fine Sunday, plus I had a couple of things that didn’t merit their own posts, so I decided to throw it all together here.
It’s Time to Plan for October
The Reds are now 8 games up on the Nats and D’backs. The Reds have 19 games to go, while the other teams each have 21. If the Reds went 9-10 during this last stretch, one of the other teams would have to go 19-2 to win the wild card outright.
Have the Reds clinched yet? Certainly not. However, the focus should now be on the division with the assumption that making the playoffs will take care of itself.
Speaking of October
A few days ago, Jayson Stark had an ESPN piece explaining how complicated the playoffs could be given that the Reds, Pirates, and Cardinals could all end up with the same record. It’s worth a read.
The Great Eight
It was really cool seeing the BRM reunited yesterday. I remember a while ago, people were wondering if anyone from this team would even crack that lineup. I went over the Baseball-Reference and looked at the numbers, and this is what I concluded: Joey Votto definitely would. Tony Perez was a great player, but Votto is much better (though, crazily, Votto would only have been the third best player on that team behind Morgan and Bench).
Cases can also be made for Jay Bruce and Shin-Soo Choo. Given how good his defense is, Bruce seems like a pretty easy call over Griffey to me. However, they bring different things to the table. With Choo vs. Geronimo, it’s all about defense versus offense. It also depends on how much you trust modern defensive numbers. If you do trust them, you take Geronimo in a squeaker. If you don’t and you think Choo has been okay in center, you take him for the offensive contribution.
But there is a reason they call it the Great Eight. The pitching staff was actually not very good. Certainly, you’d keep Don Gullet, but otherwise, you’d take the 2013 rotation with Latos, Bailey, Arroyo, Leake, and Cingrani all putting up better numbers than the second best starter (Nolan) on the BRM (note that you have to look beyond ERA here as the scoring level is different across eras).
The bullpen would probably be an even split with Chapman, Hoover, and LeCure sitting next to Eastwick, Carroll, and McEnaney.
And no, I’m not claiming this team is better than the BRM. That would be ridiculous. The BRM was great because of how many awesome players they had and just how awesome they were. Morgan had all-time great seasons with the Reds. So did Bench. This team doesn’t have anyone like that. But it is fun to look at our current group and realize that their are plenty of players on this squad who would have improved the BRM.