Cincinnati fans, disappointed with their Reds throughout this season, keep turning to the 2012 Giants for comfort. That team posted a relatively weak offense, yet swept the Tigers to win the World Series.
Fortunately, San Francisco boasted a strong rotation to offset its weak lineup. The same has been said about the makeup of the 2013 Reds, who have the fourth best team earned run average in the league.
That comparison deserves some scrutiny, even though both lineups have few sluggers. The 2012 Giants were last in home runs, and only N.L. Most Valuable Player Buster Posey hit over .300.
The Reds are fifth in homers, making them a far more potent offense than last year’s World Series champs. However, their .250 team batting average is eighth in the the league, twenty points lower than San Francisco’s third highest of 2012.
Obviously the Reds have more holes in their lineup than did the Giants, who had just one regular hitting below .270 (Brandon Crawford at .248). The Reds on the other hand have just two regulars hitting over .270, Joey Votto at .311 and Shin-soo Choo at .281.
Cincinnati’s lineup, unlike San Francisco’s, has too many players hitting below the league average. Third baseman Todd Frazier has a .228 average, shortstop Zack Cozart is at .246, the catching combination is hitting .232, and the left fielders have combined for a .236 BA.
Besides having a more consistent offense, the Giants of 2013 also made moves at both trading deadlines that helped lead them to the World Series. In July, San Francisco brought in Marco Scutaro, whose hot hitting provided a key spark down the stretch and throughout the postseason. The Giants then shored up its power potential by acquiring Hunter Pence at the August deadline.
The 2013 Reds did nothing to improve its team at neither the July nor the August deadlines, so fans are stuck with praying that the offense can somehow draw inspiration from a September callup like Billy Hamilton.
The sad part is that even if Hamilton hits .400 and invigorates the stagnant offense, he will still be ineligible for the postseason. In that case, the Reds will go right back to relying on the same lackluster offense that has them in the lower half of the N.L.
Doug Poe once delivered newspapers to Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan and Tony Perez, three customers who have made him a lifelong fan of the Reds.