Everyone knows it. Me, Chad, The Nation, everybody. The Reds need to obtain a veteran starting pitcher who can reliably show up on the mound every fifth day, give them (dare I say?) 180 innings of work and anchor the pitching staff. Given that the Reds are a small market team, getting one through free […]

The Big Red Machine is the greatest team in Reds history (thanks, Captain Obvious) and nearly every key contributor from that era has been honored with induction into the Reds Hall of Fame.  With the induction of Pete Rose last year, the entire Great 8 is in.  The manager is in.  The general manager is […]

The Cincinnati Reds landscape is littered with pitchers who have contended with injuries. Are we living in a unique period, with fragile pitchers and unsure management? It’s worth remembering that even our most respected and beloved managers — including Fred Hutchinson, Dave Bristol. Sparky Anderson, Davey Johnson and Lou Piniella — have been as perplexed […]

Jackson Stephens’ major league debut wasn’t brilliant, but it was memorable. And it brought back memories for me and other Reds fans. Jackson got the win against the Cubs, thanks to his two-run single, a presence on the mound, eight strikeouts and some great pitching from the bullpen. The fact that it came against Chicago […]

All the speculation on whether Bryan Price would return to the Reds as their manager has now concluded. He will be back next year for sure, with an option year included. To most involved with Redleg Nation, we see that as eminently fair. Price hasn’t had the benefit of really playing with a full deck […]

Even some longtime Reds fans have forgotten over time about the big one that got away from wearing a Cincinnati uniform — Vida Blue. That’s right, Vida Blue. In one of his final moves as the Reds General Manager, Bob Howsam traded for the star lefthanded pitcher of the Oakland A’s in December of 1977. […]

The phone rang tonight just as the Reds were about to start a game. I answered it and an authoritative voice said, “Bristol here.” It was Dave Bristol calling me. I can only imagine how a young Tony Perez or Johnny Bench would have responded to that voice during the 1967 season at their early […]

We all know that Johnny Cueto was fantastic last year. He finished as the runner-up in the Cy Young Award balloting. Cueto’s season line of 20 Wins, 9 Losses, 2.25 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 242 strikeouts in 243.2 innings was not good enough to win the award in 2014, but it was plenty good enough to win the Cy Young most seasons. Unfortunately Cueto suffered the bad luck of running into the Dodgers buzzsaw named Clayton Kershaw who produced a 21-3 record, 1.77 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 239 strikeouts in 198 innings.

It is not the first great season Cueto has had. I thought he should have won the Cy Young in 2012, which was the year knuckleballer R.A. Dickey of the Mets took home the hardware. Cueto’s stats that year (19-9, 2.78 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 170 Ks in 217 innings) were not quite as good as Dickey’s (20-6, 2.73 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 230 Ks in 233.2 innings) but Cueto faced the disadvantage of pitching half his games in a ballpark that is much less friendly to pitchers than Dickey’s home field. That notion was reflected in their ERA+ scores, which is a form of ERA that is adjusted for the pitcher’s league and ballpark. 100 is a league average ERA+ with higher scores being better. Dickey’s ERA+ in 2012 was 139 while Cueto’s was 148 — a clear advantage for our guy. Cueto actually came in 4th in the balloting that year behind Dickey, Kershaw and Gio Gonzalez of the Nationals. For the record, Cueto’s ERA+ last year was even better at 160 but Kershaw’s was a whopping 197!

I thought it would be interesting to compare Cueto’s fantastic 2014 season to the best seasons in franchise history. I would like to know just how historic Cueto’s epic season was among the well over 100 years of Cincinnati baseball. So let’s dig into some numbers to find out… Continue reading

Nick Doran writes for The Dynasty Guru, Fake Teams, Redleg Nation and Blazing Fastball and can be found on Twitter @BlazingFastba11.

Billy McCool. Now you have to admit, that’s a cool name. Billy McCool was a relief pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds. He had good stuff. He was lefthanded. And he had the cool name. He broke in with the Reds in the 1964 season. Fred Hutchinson saw something in the 19-year old McCool he liked. […]

(Editor’s note: As regular readers of RN will know, John is our correspondent from Afghanistan. This piece was written by John, and originally published in The Zephyr, a weekly newspaper in Galesburg, Illinois.)

It was 12:34 in the morning at Fenway Park in Boston when Pat Darcy took the mound to enter his third inning of work. Game 6 of the 1975 World Series, which had been delayed for three days because of rain in New England, had started four hours earlier between Darcy’s Cincinnati Reds and the Boston Red Sox.

Darcy had faced six Red Sox batters in the 10th and 11th innings and retired them all. The Reds and Boston were tied 6-6 in the 12th inning. Pat Darcy was the eighth Cincinnati pitcher that Sparky Anderson had used that night. Aside from Darcy, he had only two left. Don Gullett was being held for Game 7 if the Reds, who were leading the Series 3-2, were to lose. The only other pitcher left besides Darcy in the razor-thin Reds bullpen was Clay Kirby.

Pat Darcy was a 25-year old rookie pitcher during that 1975 season. He’d had a good year; an 11-5 record, a 3.38 earned run average and Sparky had used him primarily as a starter (22 starts) and long relief pitcher. That’s worth about $4 million a year by today’s standards. But Darcy pulled in $17,500 in 1975.

Darcy was always ready and there was always work with Sparky. Lots of work. After Gullett’s thumb was broken by a line drive in June and the Reds nursing a 3 and ½ game lead over the Dodgers in the National League Western Division, Sparky bragged to a close friend that his genius would really be seen by one and all now. It was. Sparky’s extensive use of the bullpen changed the landscape of baseball.

Anderson’s answer to young Don Gullett’s injury was to swarm the mound with relievers, pulling starters at the first sign of weakness. The Reds disowned complete games. Fresh arms ruled. In fact, it was Pat Darcy who stopped a consecutive streak of 54 incomplete games when he went the distance against the San Francisco Giants in August.

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Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

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 […]

2013 is looking good so far. Despite injuries to their #1 starter, starting leftfielder and cleanup hitter and catcher, the Reds are thick in the race for the Division as Memorial Day awaits. Their MVP is a Boy Named Choo, Votto is hitting like Votto and Bruce looks like he is in the beginning of […]