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Reds pitching proves key in 2012

 

Cincinnati Reds hats & apparel When the Reds face the Giants tonight, many will be reminded of the 2010 National League Postseason. Giants fans will have fond memories of going to the World Series and winning their first World Championship (in San Francisco) while Reds supporters will have bitter memories of being swept by the Phillies in the Division Series.

Now two years later, Cincinnati believes that this is the winning team.

However, the 2010 version of the Big Red Machine had more to offer offensively than this squad.  Cincinnati hasn’t changed much in the past two years either--six of this season’s starters played on the 2010 team.  But the stats show the 2010 Reds recorded over 100 more runs and hits during the regular season than this year’s bunch.  In 2010 the team’s batting average was .272; the 2012 team hit .251.  The Reds fielding was even considerably better in 2010, committing 72 errors as opposed to 89 this season.  The 2010 Reds led the National League in fielding percentage at an impressive .988 clip. But why does the 2012 team prevail as a better team ending the regular season with a better record than in 2010?

The answer obviously is not in the hitting or the fielding, but in the pitching.   Instead of a six-man rotation, this season the Reds dropped it to five while retaining four hurlers from the 2010 team. Bronson Arroyo was the former ace of the staff, but now Johnny Cueto is the shining star, coming into the postseason with a 2.78 ERA. Although he’s not a number one anymore, Arroyo held his own with a 3.74 ERA, slightly lower than the 3.88 he recorded in 2010. The best performance of all might just be found coming out of the bullpen by Cuban import Aroldis Chapman. After some fine-tuning in the off-season, Chapman produced more than a just a blazing 105mph fastball.  Of Chapman’s 39 career saves, 38 were recorded this season along with 122 strikeouts.  Finally the Cuban Missile has launched. Now, Cincinnati hopes tonight that the rest of the team will take flight.  

 

 

By: Karen L. Willdermood
MLBCenter.com Staff Writer

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