Sunday, May 03, 2009

Reds rotation revives Baker's Boys

There's a common misconception that good pitching wins games. Not entirely true. Good pitching puts a team in good position to win games.

Deep starting rotations, even those minus a legitimate No. 1 starter, also help clubs avoid lengthy losing streaks.

The Reds have lost two consecutive games three times this season, but never three. They have won all four road series.

The reason? Pitching. Plain and simple.

Within every four-game stretch, someone is going to deliver a quality start.

"They've got a good rotation," today said Pirates manager John Russell, the first opposing skipper in recent memory to utter such an observation of the Redlegs.

Russell's quote came shortly after Johnny Cueto tossed eight scoreless innings in a 5-0 victory Sunday afternoon at PNC Park.

There's a reason the Reds are 13-10 and tied for second with the Cubs, and yet batting just .241, one up from the bottom in the NL.

Harang, Arroyo, Volquez, Cueto, Owings, and pray for rain, or something like that.

There isn't a Koufax among them. But, the Reds rotation is the perfect stew.

Harang and Arroyo eat up innings. Volquez and Cueto eat up K's. Owings is a workhorse, when he's not doing his best Babe Ruth imitation.

All five guys can get rocked, then the next trip out deliver seven scoreless.

They also are a mixed-bag of personalities. The soft-spoken Harang, the guitar-wielding rocker Arroyo, the ever-so-happy Volquez, the introspective Cueto, and the gentlemanly Owings.

For now, the only stat that matters is second place. That, and the Reds ranking fourth in the NL with a 3.91 ERA.

A "good" rotation, indeed.

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