Friday, August 20, 2010


As you might've heard already, Colin Cowherd of ESPN Radio called out the Reds during Thursday's show. He labeled Cincinnati as "frauds" because of their hollow 70-51 record which has mostly been aided by beating up on sub .500 teams.

Looking beneath the surface, Cowherd has a point.

The Reds entered Friday's action with a 49-23 record against teams below .500, and that includes a sparkling 29-11 mark against the Brewers, Cubs, Astros, and Pirates. On the flip side of that, Cincinnati is just 21-28 against teams with winning records, which includes a 5-10 showing against the Cardinals this year.

All of that being said, Cincinnati doesn't employ many of the other characteristics of a team that should be labeled as a fraud. Frauds generally don't bounce back from tough stretches, yet the Reds have done exactly that several times this season. They were swept in Seattle in June when they mustered just one run in the three game set. They responded by winning their next five games. After a four-game sweep in Philadelphia which included back-to-back 1-0 losses before the All-Star Break, the Reds began the second-half by winning four of five. What could've been a crippling sweep last week to the rival Cardinals, was quickly offset by Cincinnati's current six-game win streak. Fraud teams fold under the first sign of adversity (see: 2009 Red Sox, 2008 Cubs, 2007 Rockies, and 2006 Yankees).

Also, the Reds are dominating almost every major offensive category in the National League:
Batting Average: .272 (1st)
Runs: 593 (1st)
Hits: 1,122 (1st)
Home Runs: 135 (3rd)
RBI: 572 (1st)
OBP: .338 (2nd)
SLG: .435 (1st)

As much as we like to hype the Red Sox-Yankees head-to-head matchups, the AL East crown depends on how those teams do against Baltimore and Toronto. Would I like to see the Reds play better against top-flight competition? Absolutely. But, I don't think they should make any apologies for beating the teams they're supposed to beat.

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