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  1. Big.Red.Machine.

    Comment by thomas — June 4, 2010 @ 10:32 am

  2. the cards are good but i wouldnt say as good as the 75 reds…

    Comment by Sean — June 4, 2010 @ 10:52 am

  3. It’s about time for a season ending injury to Carpenter, no?

    Comment by Eddie — June 4, 2010 @ 11:05 am

  4. The Reds can’t possibly keep pace the rest of the way. Not with the Cardinals and I seriously doubt for the Wild Card. The only hot hitter that’s playing according to his ability is Votto (and possibly Rolen, if he’s truly healthy for the first time in years). Rolen, however, hasn’t hit like this since 2004-05, which was right before his shoulder went downhill again in 06. Jonny Gomes will wake up and realize he’s a .242 hitter with only SLG % to offer and he doesn’t belong leading the NL in BA with RISP. He’s hitting way over his head; so is Hernandez, who’s a career .263 hitter.

    The same can be said for the pitching staff, with the exception of possibly Leake because we just don’t know enough about him yet to say he’s not legit. With the exception of Leake, there isn’t a single starter with an ERA under 4.00, and this is after a hot month for the staff.

    Basically every part of the team (except the bullpen) got red hot for a month at the same time that the Cardinals took a huge swan dive and they are tied for the Central. When the fireworks stop (and they will), the Reds will be left with Votto, Phillips, and bad defense, a terrible pitching staff, and a bad bullpen. What’s changed?

    Comment by Will — June 4, 2010 @ 11:05 am

  5. Isn’t this pretty much how division “standings” should go?

    The only times there is really “news” in the standings is one team’s big winning streak coincides with another team’s horrific losing streak.

    If teams are pretty much consistent, the day-2-day standings race is boring.

    Time is ticking away, but 108 games is still a lot to play. If Chris carpenter wasn’t due for his regularly scheduled season-ending injury, I’d feel better.

    Meanwhile Volquez returns to CIN in July.

    There were no other teams in the NLC expected to compete for the division title. Only the foggiest of Cubs’ fans expected to compete.

    It was StL-CIN before the season, and it still is. I would imagine that the “stagnant” trend illustrated in this thread continues throughout much of the season.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — June 4, 2010 @ 11:13 am

  6. I felt the Reds would be very good. I thought their pitching was solid, I thought Votto would return to peak form, Rolem would be solid, and Bruce would improve.

    Meanwhile, I thought the Cards would simply rid the Big 4 to a division title by a narrow margin.

    I didn’t consider the Cubs, because well, they’re the Cubs, they’re aging quickly, and I think Lou is a poor manger. I thought the Cubs and Brewers would alternate 3rd place week-by-week.

    The Reds scare me because of their youth and the potential to play over their head. I keep waiting for Baker to run the pitchers into the ground, but getting Volquez back in July is going to be like a FA signing in terms of a jolt to their talent.

    Comment by Circlechange11 — June 4, 2010 @ 1:02 pm

  7. There’s actually been a huge change. The North Siders went from Chicago National to Chicago Cubs.

    Comment by Jay — June 4, 2010 @ 2:00 pm

  8. I don’t expect the Reds to win the wild card or the division. But this type of reasoning simply ignores the rest of their roster.

    Bruce and Stubbs are both young players who are highly thought of prospects. Their game could improve. Volquez will return, and we’ll see if he’s any help. At some point this season, Chapman might join the roster. While there are players who will regress to a negative mean, there are also players who will regress positively and have the possibility to “put it all together.”

    Comment by Reuben — June 5, 2010 @ 5:59 am

  9. I mostly heard Cardinals then Brewers, not Cubs or Reds. I considered the Reds to be a significant step ahead of the Cubs, Astros, and Pirates. Seems as though I was wrong about the Brewers though.

    Comment by Reuben — June 5, 2010 @ 6:01 am

  10. Stubbs has possibility but it won’t be this year. He’s projected to strike out 30% of the time. If he does get on base that’s where his damage will be done. But he’s only hitting .236 which is exactly what ZIPs projected.

    Bruce is only a little different. I think he’s got a chance to be a good player. I don’t know that he’ll be elite but he has potential. I don’t think it will be realized this year. Chapman is the only real “upgrade” that I see coming. Otherwise they are banking on Rolen continuing his regression defying transcendence. I don’t know if that will last but he has been trending up every year after his surgury.

    Bottom line: These Reds are NOT the Big Red Machine. I don’t know if any team will hit like that “as a group” again.

    Then again, I didn’t think I would see three perfect games in a 30 day span either.

    Comment by Tim in Missouri — June 5, 2010 @ 11:58 am

  11. I remember it as Cards-Cubs/Reds/Brewers, Houston, Pittsburgh.

    Comment by Tim in Missouri — June 5, 2010 @ 12:06 pm

  12. Isn’t he already doing that to his pitchers?

    Comment by Tim in Missouri — June 5, 2010 @ 12:10 pm

  13. The talk varied. I thought CIN was the only team with a solid chance at beating STL, based on the amount of youth on their roster. Good seasons from Bailey, Cueto, Votto, Bruce, and Dickerson would mean a good team. That combined with the possibility of a Carpenter injury meant they were in it.

    However, the preseason consensus was that STL carrying the NL Central was the surest outcome in the majors, and I agreed with it. I felt like CIN was better than people thought and CHC was worse than people thought, and I seem to have been right with the former and wrong with the latter. I didn’t hear anyone pointing to MIL.

    Here’s what I gathered as a near consensus:

    And for what it’s worth:

    MIN – DET/CHW – CLE – - KC
    SEA/LAA – TEX/OAK (really depended whom you asked)
    PHI – ATL – FLA/NYM – - WAS
    LAD – COL/SF – - SD/ARI

    That’s just my impression of what preseason expectations were, as close to a consensus as possible.

    Comment by Newcomer — June 5, 2010 @ 12:39 pm

  14. To me the prob with the Reds is they are 1st in June and may not realize the Cards are ‘posed to win the division.

    Rolen scares me b/c he’d love to stick it to TLR and might overplay all year being motivated.

    2/5′s of the Cards rotation is on the DL, which is just going to help CIN stay in it longer. Who knows what happens in July nearing the T-Deadline. They may make a move like MIL did a few years ago w/ CC.

    There’s just not going to be seperation among the top NLC teams and that leaves the door open for silly things to happen. Really the only surprise in the NLC would have been if PIT and HOU were leading the division … And if Carp pitches a full season.

    It is nice that Wain is an established 1-2 guy (and maybe becoming what Matt Morris could have been), but I’m Golding my breath on Garcia and waiting to see what happens when he hits 130 IP

    Comment by Circlechange11 — June 5, 2010 @ 1:42 pm

  15. Everyone who says the Reds are not for real forgets about their division. Both the Reds and the Cards have 72 games against the Disastros, Brew Crew, Teddy Bears, and Buccos. Consistently win series against those teams, play each other to a dead heat, and show credibility against the West and East and you’ve got yourself a wild card. Cinci may need to make a move to stay in it. But if that move is a fire breathing Chapman that could be all that it takes. I feel that Wildcard can’t come out of the East because there are no pushovers there and the teams will beat up on each other. The teams in the West could feast enough on Arizona to give a wildcard, but I think those teams will beat up on each other as well to some extent.

    Reds play .500 ball against the NL West and I think they’ll be a wilcard team at worst.

    Comment by Souldrummer — June 5, 2010 @ 3:20 pm

  16. You didn’t; you just saw two, and one that “almost was.” :-)

    Comment by Jason B — June 5, 2010 @ 4:52 pm

  17. Where do you see a “bad defense”? I’ll give you a poor SS and LF (when Gomes plays), but the rest of the position players are above average. Heck, I would go so far as to say CF, RF, 2nd, and C (when Hanigan plays) are elite defenders. This defense is pretty good.

    And the pitching staff isn’t “terrible”. They are merely average, but with more upside up to this point, but with more upside than any other team in the division.

    Comment by wanderinredsfan — June 6, 2010 @ 1:45 pm

  18. Actually, he saw three perfect games. So did I. So did almost everyone else. Jim Joyce, unfortunately, did not. To his immense credit, he manned up and admitted that there had been one anyway.

    I was predicting the Reds for second in this division before the season started. I still do. They’re clearly a better team than Chicago, and while not on a par with St. Louis yet, the gap is narrowing. The Central could indeed resume as an “interesting” division any time now … if we can just persuade Houston to move to the NL West, and Pittsburgh to the NL East, or Texas League.

    Comment by Bad Bill — June 6, 2010 @ 5:47 pm

  19. Preseason I had Cincy finishing 2nd and just missing the wild card.

    Of course, I also had Seattle winning the AL West….

    Comment by max — June 7, 2010 @ 2:38 am

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