As we noted before, Aaron Harang will be starting today for Eric Milton, who will be going on the DL. We’ll have official confirmation of the corresponding roster move as it is announced, but as noted below, it’s looking like Elizardo Ramirez.

Keep your fingers crossed as Harang starts on just three days rest. Then uncross your fingers so you can type a comment below…because you know it’s more fun to watch the game while discussing it with everyone at Redleg Nation.

152 Responses

  1. Jim McCullough

    A little laziness on Eddie’s part there defensively.

  2. Jim McCullough

    Phillips could go into a 0 for 50 slump and stay in the line-up with that glove!

  3. DevilsAdvocate

    Good clutch hit by Kearns results in a 1-0 lead through 2. Harang seems okay – not great, is definitely allowing some well-hit balls, but he’s getting outs so far. A couple of nice plays by Encarnacion and Philips have also helped.

  4. Joe

    Why is McCracken leading off? With the way Phillips has been swinging it, why not let him lead off if you’re going to sit Freel?

  5. Jim McCullough

    Phillips never draws a walk (19 for his career). Throwing him into the leadoff might screw up his head.

    Maybe Narron should have put Dunn in the leadoff.


  6. Jim McCullough

    There is seems to be some speculation that Milton’s career is hinging on this knee surgery.

  7. Jim McCullough

    Guy walks four straight hitters and he is only down 2-0.

    Dunn just about committed a baserunning blunder.

  8. Chad

    I’m away from tv and radio, and I’m posting this from my Blackberry. Surely McCracken isn’t really leading off?


  9. DevilsAdvocate

    Bill Hall is Babe Ruth at the plate and Brooks Robinson in the field. At least, he is when the Reds are around. I guess he turns back into a pumpkin against the rest of the league.

  10. Jim McCullough

    McCracken is a management favorite.

  11. DevilsAdvocate

    So Quinton is the Krivsky equivalent of Jason Romano?

    Another very good play by our 3b.

  12. Jim McCullough

    The way Davis is dishing out the BB, anyone could bat leadoff today.

    Hey! Hall made a mistake!!

  13. Jim McCullough

    If we don’t score here…

  14. DevilsAdvocate

    7 walks in 3+ innings, and just two runs so far for the Reds. Wow.

  15. Jim McCullough

    Have the Reds even hit a ball to the warning track since Thursday?

  16. DevilsAdvocate

    Holy cow. Milwaukee’s defense is on fire. Only mistake has been by their pitcher.

  17. Jeff

    Not worried about McCracken leading off, in fact he just made a good contribution, seems like a well-timed sac bunt (scratch that plan). Amazing to me is that Womack is not leading off with Freel sitting. We’ve gone beyond writing on the wall, seems to be blazed across the sky like Batman’s beacon.

  18. DevilsAdvocate

    That was probably a rhetorical question, but until you mentioned it I hadn’t even noticed that the Reds have hit only one flyball today. Felipe López Jr. flied out in the first, to the warning track in center.

    Another good play by EdE. I’ll lose count pretty soon.

  19. DevilsAdvocate

    Aurilia saves a wild throw by EE and converts it to an out. He’s been decent at first, hasn’t he? It’d be nicer to have a big target like Dunn, but there don’t seem to be any complaints about Rich.

  20. Jeff

    Glad to see comments on good defense, with only gameday and internet stories (to say nothing of the statistics) the negative is accentuated. Thanks for the positive spin.

  21. Jim McCullough

    Somebody needs to tell George Grande that Ramirez’ ML ERA is 8.00+.

  22. Jim McCullough

    You knew Phillips wasn’t going to walk.

  23. Boston Redleg

    Hey all… Just managed to wrestle the remote away from my fiance and change the channel from watching Nick Lachey’s “What’s left of me” for the 17th time to the game… looks good so far (not to jinx)

  24. Jeff

    I guess if Davis was supposed to be trouble you have to like the pitch count. I’ll take four innings against anyone’s bullpen. Two runs on nine walks and 2 hits is interesting though, are the batters wearing flak jackets yet?

  25. Jim McCullough

    and with that .143 BA, you know Larue isn’t going to get a hit!

  26. Boston Redleg

    always good to see a steal turn into a run

  27. Jim McCullough

    Larue just jumped the BA to .250

  28. daedalus

    that guy needs to be kicked out of the ballpark. he just reached in and grabbed a ball in play and took away a run from the reds.

  29. daedalus

    houston’s well up on the bucs. I really hope Clemens decides to pitch in Boston or Arlington instead.

  30. Boston Redleg

    although I’m quite sure Berry would have sent him, I don’t think edwin scores on that play

  31. Boston Redleg

    I hope he goes to Boston too. This city is a lot easier to deal with and everything moves smoother when the sox are doing well.

  32. Jim McCullough

    Maybe Clemens will sign with Pittsburgh


  33. DevilsAdvocate

    Jeff – sorry to lead you on but by and large the Reds’ defense is pretty bad. Encarnacion is good at third base, and if he can gain control of his throwing arm, could be great. Kearns is very good in right field. Brandon Philips has a sterling reputation with the glove, and is delivering so far. The catchers are probably about average. Everyone else in the starting 9 that we have a read on is below average or downright poor. Aurilia doesn’t have a track record at first, but he hasn’t made any glaring errors of judgement or anything.

    Oh, and Freel is a decent outfielder, with the speed to make up for any mistakes in reading the ball. At second base he’s a little spastic.

  34. Boston Redleg

    I’m sorry.. That was phillips and not edwin… Your right he probably would have scored. I was wrong

  35. Jim McCullough

    How many chances does Eddie have today? Everthing is going to either him or Phillips.

  36. daedalus

    I like the Sox, esp. since they are the antithesis of Yankee. It would be a fitting ending to Clemens’ career and would pretty much make it easy to decide what hat he wears to the Hall.

    Can’t we convince him to go to the Reds? 😉 I promise Krivsky if he coughs up the dough, I’ll buy season tickets and move back to Cincy ASAP!

  37. Jim McCullough

    Devil, you forgot about Lopez.

  38. DevilsAdvocate

    Through five, Encarnacion has seven assists. He also had a groundball he dived for, but it caromed off his glove for a double.

  39. Jim McCullough

    Can you imagine what Clemens would do for attendance in Cincy? Great pitchers bring fans to the ballpark.

  40. Boston Redleg

    How old is Mccracken at this point? I feel like I’ve been playing him in video games since RBI baseball for NES.

  41. Jim McCullough

    Who generated that Reds-Marlins trade rumor that the paper shot down today?

  42. DevilsAdvocate

    Actually, I didn’t forget Felipe Jr. According to most of the fielding ratings systems I’ve seen, he is the worst fielding SS in the league by a goodly margin. This comes from the low number of double plays, some errors, and a lack of range.

  43. Jim McCullough

    Did he bat leadoff in the NES game? Was Tuffy Rhodes batting clean-up?


  44. DevilsAdvocate

    I think Julio Franco and Roger Clemens are the last players from RBI Baseball still in the majors.

  45. Jim McCullough

    Lopez? Based on last years numbers?

  46. DevilsAdvocate

    That’s the original RBI for NES. I guess there was a sequel or two.

  47. Jim McCullough

    Julio Franco was probably playing in ATARI baseball!

  48. DevilsAdvocate

    Jim – yes, that’s at least through last year’s numbers. I’ll find a link – The Hardball Times had a series of articles about defense that stick out in my mind.

  49. DevilsAdvocate

    Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA predictions this year listed Methusela as a comparable for Julio Franco. Also Minnie Minoso, who played a game in his 60’s (I think) as a publicity stunt.

  50. Jim McCullough

    But it includes Lopez’s numbers prior to last year as well. Those pre-2005 numbers would drag him down a lot.

  51. Jeff

    DA – thanks for the update, I wasn’t really misled, just looking for glimmers of hope. Sort of like 62 pitches through 5 shut-out innings; not a Maddux 89-pitch complete game but pretty good for the Reds. But keep practicing the bunt, Aaron.

    Kind of wish you had volunteered that Lopez is light-years ahead of two years ago, but I expect he is still a work in progress. Keep at it Bucky.

  52. Jim McCullough

    Let’s see Eddie go down that 3B line.

  53. Boston Redleg

    HA, Julio franco was in strato-matic

  54. Mike

    Let’s hope the hand isn’t broken!

  55. Boston Redleg

    Had to happen at some point today, I’m glad it was edwin to break it open.

  56. DevilsAdvocate

    Encarnacion with a bases-clearing double after Kearns takes a HBP with the bases loaded. Excellent. 7-0.

    Make that 8-0 – double by Philips to follow.

  57. Jeff

    Guess we don’t need four innings against the bullpen, one-third will do nicely. I vote for 12-0 final.

  58. Boston Redleg

    good bunt by harang… Little things like that add up through-out the seaon.

  59. Matt

    I’m glad Prince Fielder only plays first base. If he were a left fielder, I feel he’d probably bust a whole right through the outfield wall while chasing down a ball. Kid is built like a tank.

  60. Jeff

    Good call on the bunt, he must have been in the clubhouse between innings practicing.

  61. JinAZ

    Hey – watching game via webcast. I just saw Adam Dunn get intentionally walked — with men already on first and second with one out — after they got to 2-1 on him. Is that right? What the heck? That’s Barry Bonds-esque respect. I love Dunn, but even that seems way overboard to me.

  62. Jim McCullough

    It’s not a payback until we hit five HR’s in an inning.

    Is Kearns staying in the game?

  63. Jim McCullough

    Harang- 62 pitches through five.

    I hope he didn’t sit too long during the top of the inning.

  64. Boston Redleg

    Is anybody else a little nervous that there is still 4 full innings, Harang is on short rest and they could be headed to the bullpen soon? 8-0 could end up being very close.

  65. Mike

    Nice inning turn after a walk to start

  66. Jim McCullough

    Could be worse? It could be Cleveland’s bullpen.

  67. Jim McCullough

    This is like “Tommy John” Harang today.

  68. daedalus

    at least milwaukee’s pen is about as bad. good for us throughout the season.

  69. Mike

    Does anyone konw who the player to be named in thade with Cleveland for Phillips is? Don’t they set up two or three names for Clev. to choose from?

  70. Boston Redleg

    Does anyone konw who the player to be named in thade with Cleveland for Phillips is? Don’t they set up two or three names for Clev. to choose from?

    Comment by Mike — 4/23/2006 @ 4:22 pm

    DA’s incredibly detailed and accurate response in 5,4,3,2,1……

  71. Mike

    Kearns is going to be black and blue after his next at bat at this pace

  72. daedalus

    all of that beer, sausages, and german dancing makes me want to see a game in milwaukee sometime soon.

  73. DevilsAdvocate

    DA’s incredibly detailed and accurate response in 5,4,3,2,1……

    Great – I’ve got a reputation. And more to come, when I get back to Felipe Lopez’s fielding.

  74. Boston Redleg

    noooo…. Lost an epic battle for the remote. Looks like I’ll be watching the game through gamecast ( not working right for me today) while I enjoy yet another painful hour of 8th and Ocean or Laguna Beach or insert insufferable show title from mtv here.

  75. daedalus

    sounds like you have a looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong married life ahead of you. :wink::wink::wink:

  76. DevilsAdvocate

    Does anyone know who the player to be named in the trade with Cleveland for Phillips is? Don’t they set up two or three names for Clev. to choose from?

    I think they set up “player-to-be-named trades” that way. A short list and then the other team picks who they want.

    Sometimes they do these PTBNL trades as a way to trade a player drafted the previous year. Teams are not allowed to trade a player picked in the amateur draft until they have been signed for at least one year. So the PTBNL allows the team to make a trade before the year is up, then send the guy away once the year is officially up. In the trade that sent Scott Williamson to Boston a couple years back, the Reds got Tyler Pelland this way.

    There’s your detail.

  77. DevilsAdvocate

    I lost track of the game for a bit there, not much going on – which is a good thing. But do I see Harang batting for himself in the eighth inning? On short rest, at that? This guy’s a horse.

  78. DevilsAdvocate

    I know – 90 pitches through seven.

  79. Boston Redleg

    sounds like you have a looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong married life ahead of you. 😉 😉 😉

    Comment by daedalus — 4/23/2006 @ 4:41 pm

    haha, I can’t really complain. she let me watch ~20+ hours of the NFL Draft last year…. on our anniversary…. during a romatic getaway to the mountains

  80. DevilsAdvocate

    Double play induced on the 100th pitch. Go Harang!

  81. DevilsAdvocate

    But the bullpen needs work! 🙂

    Seriously, they’ll need to be rested for The Lizard tomorrow. I agree, see if Harang can finish.

  82. Boston Redleg

    i second the notion. Give him the opportunity to get the shutout.. When is the last time a reds’s pitcher threw a shutout?

  83. Mike

    Send out Aaron for the 9th Get some body warm, but sent out Harang

  84. DevilsAdvocate

    Ahhh, the game’s not even close. Warm somebody up if he gets in trouble.

    Good job by the lineup to give Harang a little more time to rest before the bottom of the 9th.

  85. daedalus

    Livan has been giving up homers like Claussen. hopefully he’ll continue to do so tomorrow.

  86. Chris

    Where’s the love for Harang here? He’s looking great, on short rest too. Very impressive. It looks like he’s focused on being efficient today.

  87. DevilsAdvocate

    Remember that last 1-0 win that the Reds had before this year, which was Harang v. Carpenter in Aug. 2004? It looks like that was the last complete-game shutout by a Reds pitcher.

  88. DevilsAdvocate

    I guess Bill H is in Milwaukee for today’s game – he definitely picked a good one to go to. Looking forward to hearing his first-hand thoughts on seeing the Reds’ defense, which seems to have been very good today.

  89. daedalus

    um…there’s something called a complete game shut out. what is that? i don’t understand!

    i’ll be at the next three games in DC. looking forward to it!

  90. DevilsAdvocate

    Awesome. My brother is skipping work on Wednesday to go to that one.

  91. Bill

    115 pitches on 3 days rest…way too many pitches. There is no reason for him to be in there with an 11 run lead.

  92. DevilsAdvocate

    Whew – long out from Carlos Lee. Speed in CF helped on that one.

  93. DevilsAdvocate

    If Harang has any sense, he’s taking a cue from Livan and throwing at about 70% effort.

  94. Boston Redleg

    come on harang…. (got the remote back)

  95. Boston Redleg

    niiiice.. Lets just pitch arroyo tommorow and then harang after that… 2 man rotation for the rest of the year with rubber arm and horse

  96. Chad

    Well, just got home. I’ve missed a good one, though I listened to part of it on XM while I was out.

    This does seem like a strange time to be pushing Harang, just for a CG. We’ll see how he responds in his next start.

    No question, though…great game by Harang. Every once in a while, he really looks like an ace.

  97. daedalus


    it’s a nice way to rebound. can’t wait to see the game live tomorrow!

  98. Chad

    Arroyo and Harang, then pray for rain.

  99. Chad

    3 out of 4 from the Brewers, on the road, is pretty good. They’re not a bad team at all.

    I’m cautiously optimistic about this team.

  100. DevilsAdvocate

    I liked the Pirates’ version of that: “Duke and Maholm, and three in the loss column.”

  101. Boston Redleg

    haha, that was a cute little ryme there. should market it for a battle cry for the season

  102. DevilsAdvocate

    Just to follow up on before, some info on Felipe Jr.’s fielding as I depart:

    2005 Gold Gloves (according to a Hardball Times system, RAA)
    Lopez got a “Lead Glove” at shortstop. Griffey got one in CF. This was a new rating system and has some kinks to work out (Alex Rodriguez with a Lead Glove?)

    Here’s another system, PMR, which rated Felipe Jr. as 35th of 38 SS in the majors last year.

    López also had a lower rate of Fielding Win Shares than 20 other National League SS in 2005, as comparing the fielding component to the amount expected based on playing time.

    This is a pretty rough frontier for sabermetrics. But the more agreement there is between these various ideas for systems, the more we can have confidence in ranking fielding ability.

    And if JinAZ is reading this, I for one would really like to see some more on this topic when you & Red Hot Mama profile our shortstop in the “Better Know A Red” series.

  103. daedalus

    so would you rather have an offensive shortstop with little range or a defensive, no-hit shortstop?

    i could get used to this winning stuff.

  104. Tom

    Probably hasn’t happened too often in the past. You get beat 11-0 and the next day you win 11-0. That shuts them up in BrewTown for the time being!

  105. Chris

    I’m not sure it was a good idea to push Harang today, but he was throwing really free and easy.

  106. DevilsAdvocate

    Flanked by EE and Philips, both good fielders, I would definitely rather have López in there than, say, a Juan Castro or Jack Wilson. There’s a lot more to gain from a good hitter than there is to lose with a bad fielder, that’s for sure. Felipe Jr. makes up for his minus-fielding with his plus-hitting, about four times over.

  107. Glenn

    I didn’t get to listen to the game today, but taking 3 out of 4, on the road against the Brewers is more than I could have hoped for. This is especiallly true after being blown out the night before. The team still has major pitching problems, but I’ll have to say the Reds showed a good bit of team character this weekend.

  108. Boston Redleg

    Offensive shortstops with little range usually don’t make it too far before they are turned into corner infielders… defense is a must at that position

  109. daedalus

    I think I’m in agreement with DA. With Ed-E and King Phillips, FeLo’s bat is more than enough to make up for his lack of range.

  110. daedalus

    hey, the Nats are looking for a catcher. The Nats have some decent pitchers in their bullpen – perhaps a trade is in order?

  111. DevilsAdvocate

    Well, technically DC is looking for an emergency catcher…meaning someone crazy enough to strap on the tools of ignorance as a last resort if the top two catchers are out of the game. Freel was the emergency catcher for the Reds last year. I guess nobody on the Nationals ever wants to change positions, huh?

    Still, if Jim Bowden is still in charge, who knows what you can sell him on? Call him up late on Saturday night after hes had a few and offer him Ross for Cordero. Ross is a proven major-leaguer at a tough defensive position, and pitchers are a dime a dozen – heck, Cordero was only drafted the year-before-last and barely has any experience! Looks like a no-brainer.

  112. daedalus

    LeCroy, the backup catcher, isn’t a real catcher. They signed him and made him into one.

    The nats won’t give up Cordero. More like Joey Eischen or Gary Majewski. Even Mike Stanton, whom we definitely don’t want. Jon Rauch would be a good match – he’s been doing quite well in relief.

  113. Jim McCullough

    daedalus – During Wednesday’s game, if you see a group of about 90 eighth graders in the cheap seats at RFK (JFK or whichever dead Kennedy it’s named after) I’ll be with that group.

  114. DevilsAdvocate

    Ah – didn’t know that about LeCroy. And I know that Cordero isn’t going anywhere – I should have added a [/sarcasm] tag to that one.

    I’ve not even heard of Majewski or Rauch – I wonder if they’re creations of RFK, i.e. likely to blow up if they go to Great American.

    BTW, The Dead Kennedys were a punk band, right? What a great name for punk.

  115. Chris

    Majewski was on Team USA in the WBC. Send them Hatteberg, he’s an emergency catcher.

    Oh, and while Lopez isn’t that great defensively, I’m not sure I’d say he has no range. We’re not talking Cal Ripkin, circa 1997 here.

  116. Bill Hansing

    What a great game today.

    Harang looked on right from the start. My only concern was him losing it going on just three days rest — but he wasn’t at all affected by it.

    I know that Narron wanted to get Harang a CG, shutout. He is trying to get Aaron to think like an “ace” — and with the 1-0 victory over Carpenter a week or so ago and now this game — he is well on his way.

    Phillips continued his hot-hitting. I just hope he doesn’t start thinking he’s a home run hitter — that’s what was his downfall in Cleveland. Right now he is doing what the coaches in Cincy are encouraging him to do.

    I’m not going to recap the whole game — you guys watched or listened to it.

    Brewer Park is a very nice stadium — but on sunny days when (for whatever reason) they keep the roof closed — there are shadows in the late afternoon that really make it hard to see. I couldn’t imagine trying to hit a 90 MPH pitch in that park. The ball is tough to pick up defensively as well.

    I’ve been to maybe 10 games at Brewer Park — both day and night — and the day games are noticably tougher.

    Other than that — it is a very nice Park — on a par with GABP.

  117. redlegs

    Nothing makes you feel better after losing 11-0 than winning 11-0 the next day!

  118. GregD of Indy

    Maholm has a 7.40 ERA and a WHIP near 2.0. The Pirates are getting pitching from no one.

    Diamond Mind Baseball has Lopez’s range as “Average” based on his 2005 play.

    Does Miller Park’s roof work now? I think they were having problems with it last year.

    I have no problem with one 120 pitch game, especially given the short outing last time and the expectation of 5 days rest before his next appearance.

  119. Bill

    I always hate 120 pitch games…and 4 days after an 85 pitch game with an 11-0 lead makes no sense.

    This one was for Harang to build up his stats for arbitration, nothing more.

  120. Bill Hansing

    I always hate 120 pitch games…and 4 days after an 85 pitch game with an 11-0 lead makes no sense.

    This one was for Harang to build up his stats for arbitration, nothing more.

    Comment by Bill — 4/24/2006 @ 10:37 am

    I’m with Bill L. on this — ask Cubs’ fans about Mark Prior and/or Kerry Wood and occasional 120 pitch games.

    I do believe that Narron was trying to instill “ace” kind of confidence in Harang though and not to pad his stats for arbitration. I think Narron wants Harang believing that he is on a par with the Chris Carpenter’s of the league.

  121. Brian B.

    Harang threw almost all fastballs and didn’t labor all day. 120 pitches like that is nothing.

    Wood and Prior can do that all day as well with their efective heat. The problem is they throw way too many breaking pitches when they don’t have to. They have some of the craziest knee-benders, but they shouldn’t be throwing so many.

  122. teb7

    120 over 9 innings is fine–that’s about 13 pitches an inning. It’s the 30-pitch innings when a pitcher starts to tire, which causes his mechanics to erode, which is what leads to injuries. Harang was in cruise control for the entire game, and the difference between 100 and 120 pitches when you’re on cruise control isn’t all that much.

  123. Bill

    But my point is, it was pointless. If the game had been on the line, maybe I could see it, but when you’ve got an 11-0 lead, what’s the point? If you measure the possible positives vs the possible negatives, it makes no sense.

  124. GregD of Indy

    In 2003, Prior was OVER 120 pitches 9 times and over 130 3 times. That’s more than occassional as almost all the other games were over 110.

    2004, Kerry Wood throws 131 pitches vs the Reds on April 17th (his third start of the year) blowing the game himself in the 9th inning. He then pitches 3 consecutive starts at over 110 pitches before getting DL’d for two months. He came back, though, for more abuse with some 120 pitch games in Aug/Sept.

    I agree that we shouldn’t see this repeated outing after outing, but an occasional outing like this is OK.

    I think you are comparing possible positives to perceived negatives.

  125. Pinski

    Lest we not forget about Harang’s usage last year. And his usage this year.

    He was fourth in abuse points last year
    With a stress level of 25.

    He also has already thrown 3 games with more than 110 pitches.

    Look once the Reds were winning 8-0 there was no need whatsover to keep running Harang out there. I know our bullpen is bad, but if Harang gets hurt by this sort of stupidity what’s left? Arroyo and pray for rain.

  126. Chris

    I agree with everyone. Harang’s 120 was a lot less taxing than most such outings. He was very relaxed, in control, and efficient. I agree that by-inning counts can be as important as total pitch counts.

    All that said, I agree with the Bills that there wasn’t really any upside here. I suppose Harang’s mindset could change to being “A True Stopper,” but (1) I have serious doubts as to whether that concept is real; or (2) that Harang really needs to change his approch.

  127. JinAZ

    Hey DevilsAdvocate,

    I was just parusing this. Lopez is coming up, but was ranked via random sort pretty far down the list. But since you’re interested, I’m happy to move him up a bit–I’ll have to run it by Red Hot Mama, but I don’t see why she’d care.

    Quickly, and off the top of my head (procrastinating at work): Lopez hasn’t performed terribly well with most range stats. Gassko’s fielding stats are really tough on him. I’m partial to the fielding bible approach, and there Lopez actually broke even last year after being below average in previous years. As I remember, he’s better on balls hit toward second than toward third.. Improvement in his first full year as a starter is a good thing, and I’m optimistic that he’ll continue to improve. I doubt he’ll ever be any better than competant, however. -jinaz

  128. Chris

    My perception was that Lopez is better going into the hole than up the middle. Shows what I know.

  129. JinAZ

    Here’s the actual numbers from the fielding bible:
    Over the past three years, Lopez is rated at -19(!) plays on balls to his right (toward 3B), +5 plays on balls hit straight on, and +6 plays on balls hit to his left (toward 2B). Looking at last year’s stats alone, he was -6 to his right, +4 straight on, and +6 to his left. If you just look at Fielding Bible stats, it looks like Lopez made substantial strides in his defense last year. Not all the other stats agree with that, unfortunately. -j