Cincinnati Reds: 5 Keys to Success in the 2nd Half

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Cincinnati Reds: 5 Keys to Success in the 2nd Half
J. Meric/Getty Images

It’s been a curious first half for the Reds, hasn’t it?

Curious, of course, in that no one can quite pinpoint the reason why everything has gone down the FREAKING TRASH HOLE.

(Sorry, spontaneous blasts of anger have become commonplace lately, when convos turn to the bleepity-bleep Reds.)

Indeed, it’s tough to determine the reason for the Reds' mediocrity so far. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t theories…

The dip in production from left field, third base and shortstop is one. The rotation’s inconsistency (with a certain floppy-haired head case as the scapegoat is another). Or, the absolute implosion at the back end of the bullpen (the raison du jour) is a third.

Whatever the cause, one thing has been clear: The Reds have had a hard time winning games.

When researching this issue this morning, I uncovered a stat that, while it may be known to some, was downright astonishing to me:

Aside from their five-game winning streak to start the season, the Reds have managed only one streak of four or more wins this season. That’s two for the season. Ridiculous.

In comparison, the division-leading Cardinals and Brewers have five and four such streaks, respectively, and the third-place Pirates have three.

(The lousy Astros and bumbling Cubs have one and zero, respectively, but, due to their obvious ineptitude, we’ll count them as non-factors and move on.)

The NL Central standings line up almost exactly with win streak totals, a connection that is only strengthened when examining the Reds’ totals from the first half of their 2010 championship campaign (five streaks of four or more wins by July 10).

My feeling is that, more than anything else, this stat defines what most Cincy fans have tried to wrap their heads around lately. That is, for every right step taken forward, we’ve seemingly taken two monumental steps back.

(Leading to, of course, a 45-47 record, fourth place in the standings, and a team full of underachievers.)

It’s lazy, though, and frankly unhelpful to say the Reds have been a disappointment because, well, they just can’t string together wins. Every Pirates fan from 1989-2009 could tell you that.

Still, a lot goes into putting together a solid win streak, and if the Reds plan on netting a few (and in the process, repeating as division champs), a few things need to happen…

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