Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Can Reds' Arroyo hold down Phillies?
From Crashburn Alley's Division Series preview, starting-pitchers edition, this snippet about Bronson Arroyo:
A pitcher who strikes out hitters as infrequently as Jamie Moyer shouldn’t finish a season with a 3.88 ERA, but Arroyo did. The charade can’t last forever, however. Arroyo has a chasm in his performance between right-handed and left-handed hitters: 210 points of OPS to be exact. The Phillies’ lefty-heavy lineup will attempt to fix what’s wrong by making Arroyo’s results match his performance.
I've gotten into the habit of saying the Reds have "a puncher's chance" against the Phillies, because the Reds 1) have six guys who hit at least 18 home runs this season, and 2) the entire Division Series will be played in ballparks that are friendly to home-run hitters. If the Reds can just hit a few extra (long) fly balls, they could put some runs on the board against Philadelphia's fantastic starting pitchers.
But that won't matter if Cincinnati's starters can't hold the Phillies down some. And given Arroyo's issues against left-handed hitters -- think about Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez, plus switch-hitters Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino -- this formula does seem problematic for the Reds.