Forecast still calls for showers moving into the area around 4pm. I find it difficult to believe considering it is an absolutely gorgeous day right now, but there are a few streams of white clouds in the distance, so maybe what they say is true. I guess I'll get tickets under cover somewhere.
There is a greater chance of precipitation of hits off the arm of Dave "What a wasted trade" Williams. Fortunately for him, he's pitching in RFK Canyon where longballs go to die. If any night is a night to give Dunn a rest, this is the one. The Reds need the best defensive outfield possible if they want to sweep this series. (Oops, did I say that? Ramon "I'll throw a fit" Ortiz is pitching tomorrow against Bronson instead of John "Major League leader in Ks" Patterson, so the Reds caught a break there.)
It seems that some people don't take the Reds seriously. Here's this week's eye opener:
The Reds are 1st in runs scored with 125. The Nats are 23rd with 90.
The Reds are 1st in doubles with 51. The Nats are 13th with 36.
The Reds are 1st in homers with 33. The Nats are 17th with 24.
The Reds are 1st in RBI with 114. The Nats are 22nd with 84.
The Reds are 1st in total bases with 337. The Nats are 14th at 292.
The Reds are 1st in walks with 100. The Nats are 10th at 72.
The Reds are 2nd to the hated Yankess in OBP% at .365. The Nats are 8th at .352.
The Reds are 3rd in slugging % at .493. The Nats are 14th at .437.
The Reds are 3rd in OPS at .858. The Nats are 12th at .789.
The Reds are 5th in stolen bases with 16. The Nats are 12th with 12 but lead the world in caught stealing with 10.
The Reds come in at 13th in batting average at .268, one point lower than the Nats. Yes, we need to work on our average, but most of the starters are hovering around .300 if they aren't over it.
As far as pitching goes, the Nats come in at number 20 in ERA with 5.03. The Reds are number 22 with 5.37. So pitching isn't that different, although if you take away Opening Day, when the Reds gave up 16 runs and the Brewers batting practice on Saturday, when they scored 11, the ERA goes down dramatically. I'd do the math but I don't have much time before I'm leaving for some errands and then the ballpark. Sure, if we could get rid of Dave "there's another walk" Williams, or if by some miracle he would start pitching as well as the rest of the starters, the team ERA would improve dramatically.
So once more, I'm going to say, the Reds are not a team you can walk over. You can't just make bold statements like "The Nats should take 2 of 3 from the Reds."
The Nats should be lucky to take one against the Reds' young but powerful lineup and their vastly improved pitching staff. (And believe me, it is pretty difficult to root against the Nats, but hey, I'm a Reds fan by birth.)