Things that make you go Hmmm……..

“Now, my good man,” said the lawyer, “be explicit. What are you afraid of?”

“I’ve been afraid for about a week,” returned Poole, doggedly disregarding the question, “and I can bear it no more.”

—The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde—

Week one of the Reds and the MLB season. More comedy and drama than most weeks in a season produce. Twenty one home runs at the Great American Ball park, that’s in only 6 games, in 1937 the Reds and oppponents combined for a total of 100 home runs over the whole season. this ain’t your granddads baseball.

1.    Loss      7       16
2.    Win       8       6
3.    Win       6       5
4.    Win       7       6
5.    Win       11      9
6.    Loss      3       5

Baseball is a malleable subject, its statistics and history intertwine and feed off each other, creating a giant mass of data that can be examined in a more ways than most humans care to poke at. For those who do the quest often leads to only more questions and fewer conclusions than you thought possible. An example can be found in the first Reds homestand and the 6 games that they just played, roughly 3.7% of the season, but also 7.4% of the Reds home schedule and the initial brand that will be attached to this years team.

Just looking at the bottom line the Reds came out ahead, 4 wins to 2 losses and at the end of Sunday and as they prepared to for their trip to Chicago one game out of first.

In the noise of the data is a lot of static that says a lot about the current team and some of it is good whilst other bits are less cheery. Digging into the noise is what I find fun, so I’ll start with a simple line.

Year        G    W    L   PCT    GB    RS   RA
2006        6    4    2  .667   1.0    42   47

So the starting point is simple, and it is that the Reds have a 4-2 record and have given up 47 Runs and scored 42. That’s 7 runs a game for the home team and 7.88 for the visitors.

Where does that place the Reds in context to the other teams they have trotted out there since 1900?

Basically it places them in a small select group on both ends of the spectrums, so for kicks I’m going to list the teams and see if it can help flesh out a little of this current teams chances.

The initial thing we’ll look at the years that the Reds scored at least 6.66 runs per game in their first 6 contests (40 runs at least) and then the times the Reds allowed at least 40 or more runs in their first 6 games.

Year        G    W    L   PCT    GB    RS   RA
2006        6    4    2  .667   1.0    42   47

First 5 Columns are based on the first 6 games, the columns on the right are ERA Vs The League Average, The Final Wins and Losses and the Runs scored by the Offense vs. the League average.

Year    G    W    L   PCT    GB    RS   RA    ERAvL    FW   FL    RvsL
1976    6    4    2  .667     -    51   40     0.00    102  60     +178
1904    6    3    2  .600   1.5    50   30    0.39    88   65       +42
1922    6    3    3  .500   2.5    44   40    0.56    86   68       -46
1936    6    3    3  .500   2.5    42   42    -.20   74   80        -28
1901    6    4    2  .667     -    41   35    -.86    52   87       -138
1978    6    5    1  .833     -    41   23    -.24    92   69        +34

Year    G    W    L   PCT    GB    RS   RA    ERAvL    FW   FL    RvsL
1962    6    1    5  .167   4.5    27   52    0.19    98   64     +35
2003    6    2    4  .333   3.0    32   46    -.80    69   93      -96
1995    6    0    6  .000   4.0    24   43    0.15    85   59     +54
1936    6    3    3  .500   2.5    42   42    -.20  74   80        -28
1955    6    1    5  .167   5.0    23   41    0.09    75   79     +40
1900    6    3    3  .500   1.5    33   41    -.14    62   77      -106
1976    6    4    2  .667     -    51   40    0.00    102  60      +178
1922    6    3    3  .500   2.5    44   40    0.56    86   68      -46

This year’s team becomes the 7th Reds team to score more than 40 runs in the first 6 games, as of Monday the Reds had scored 42 runs in their first 6 games, good enough to tie the 1936 squad for 4th most runs scored (in the first 6) since 1900. It also becomes the 9th Reds team to allow 40 or more runs in the first six games of the season. In fact the 2006 team joins the 1936 and 1976 and 1922 teams as the only Reds teams to make both of the lists.

And that’s where we’re going next.

Year    G    W    L   PCT    GB    RS   RA    ERAvL    FW   FL    RvsL
1976    6    4    2  .667     -    51   40     0.00    102  60    +178
1922    6    3    3  .500   2.5    44   40     0.56    86   68    -46
1936    6    3    3  .500   2.5    42   42     -.20     74   80    -28
2006    6    4    2  .667   1.0    42   47

Four teams, four very, very different Reds teams, one with the Reds best offense of all time attached to it and another with an aspect that most Reds fans might find odd, a better than average pitching staff. And then another a team on the rebuild, a team that would lose its manager and GM as soon as the season ended.The 1976 team had an era of 3.73 for the remaining 156 games, add that to an ungodly run of run production and you get a 100-win team.

The 1936 team allowed 4.87 runs a game for the remaining 148 games, add that to a below average run producing team and you get a sub .500 team, and a new manager the next year.

The 1922 team had the same problem, but allowed a half a run less per game (4.3), that added up to 86 wins that season., despite a below average offense.

If the 2006 Reds wish to avoid the dilemma of the 1936 team then they will have to produce an above average offense and at least a staff that lingers somewhere around the leagues average when it comes to allowing runs.

Of the 6 times that the Reds scored 40 or more in the first 6 games 4 of those teams ended up over .500 at the seasons end. If you look at the most runs allowed table and remove the teams that also are on the list of most scored you will see that 3 of the 5 teams finished under .500.

The most runs allowed in the first six games belongs to the 1962 Reds, a team fresh off a surprising World Series appearance they opened at home with a 13-4 loss and then went west and promptly got spanked in LA and San Francisco allowing over 10 runs in three of the first six games, the Reds would dread that trip by the end of the season and it was those two teams that spent the rest of the season looking down at the Reds.

In the end all of this is really nothing, it can’t tell us what’s going to happen the rest of the way, or how the team is going to end up… even after some of the deadwood from seasons past gets cleared during the rebuild there is no telling what way the club is going to go.

One things for sure, the Reds can score runs at a pretty good clip, the problem is they give them up a lot faster

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