Wednesday, April 13, 2016

MLB Week 1 - Didn't See That Coming

by: Dan Howard
Staff Writer

Wow! Egg on my face.

At the time of this article, Monday afternoon April 11, Cincinnati is on pace for 135 wins this season. I’m pretty sure that would be a record.

The 2001 Cincinnati Reds had a 130 – 32 record, on my kids Nintendo 64 Ken Griffey Jr. Baseball Game. We beat the Royals in the World Series.

Speaking of video games, did you watch the thrilling Heroes of the Dorm College Championship on ESPN 2 this weekend? Be glad you didn’t.

Last week I predicted that Cincinnati would win five games in April. Today I had the pleasure to speak with Lee Mueller, a retired beat writer for the New York Mets, who told me he thought the Reds would win only four games this month.

What do we know anyway?

Last season, Cincinnati had the MLB’s worst average with runners in scoring position, .217. Through six games of 2016 the Reds have a .333 average RISP, fourth best in baseball.

Of the Reds five wins, three have been in their last at bat, two walk off wins, and two dominating wins.

If only J.J. Hoover hadn’t hung that pitch to Starling Marte Friday night.

But that was last week, time to put the “Big Boy Pants” on and travel to Chicago to face the second coming of the 1906 Cubs, then to St. Louis for three at Busch Stadium.

Useless Trivia; the 1906 Chicago Cubs won a National League record 116 games. Their cross town rivals, the Chicago White Sox, weren’t impressed, upsetting the Cubbies in the World Series.

As I mentioned in our first ever Podcast last week, I firmly believe Eugenio Suarez will be an impact player for Cincinnati. With four homers in six games, Suarez is on pace to hit 108 homers this year. Colorado’s Trevor Story is on pace to hit 189 home runs this year.

I think Suarez will make us forget Todd Frazier, soon.

To all those worried about Joey Votto’s slow start, I’ll quote Green Bay Packer quarterback Aaron Rodgers, “R-E-L-A-X”.

The only negative I see in the first week of 2016 is all the strikeouts. Votto six, Jay Bruce, Adam Duvall, and Billy Hamilton have five, Ivan DeJesus Jr, and Scott Schebler four.

The “No Name” pitching staff has been outstanding. Sixth best E.R.A. in baseball, only the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs have a better E.R.A. in the National League.

40 Years Ago; Thursday April 8, 1976, Pete Rose and Joe Morgan collect three hits each, Tony Perez drives in four as the Cincinnati Reds begin defense of their World Championship with an 11 – 5 win versus the Houston Astros.

Have a blessed week, GO REDS!!!

Dan Howard

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