The All-Star break has arrived. For the Cincinnati Reds and their fans, it couldn’t come soon enough. Everyone needs a break from the bad.
At 32-57, with a winning percentage of .360, the Reds remain on pace to lose 103 or 104 games. They have lost more than 100 games in a season only once (61-101 in 1982, .377 winning percentage).
How do the 2016 Reds compare to the 1982 Reds? Not well.
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For one, the 1982 Reds were outscored by 0.71 runs per game. The 2016 Reds are being outscored by 1.73 runs per game (530-376). That’s almost a full run worse than last season (0.70) when the Reds lost 98 games. Even the worst team in baseball this season, Atlanta (31-58), is being outscored by only 1.2 runs per game.
Here’s how the 2016 Reds and 1982 Reds compare them in seven other ways:
1. Starting pitching
2016: Twelve pitchers have started at least two games. The starters are 18-36 with a 5.29 ERA, the worst in baseball. Of the pitchers who have made 10 starts or more, Dan Straily (4-6, 4.35 ERA) has the best numbers. Anthony DeSclafani is 3-0 with a 2.23 ERA in six starts.
1982: The starters finished 46-79 with a 3.91 ERA. Nine pitchers made starts. Five made 20 or more. Mario Soto was the ace with a 14-13 mark and a 2.79 ERA. Tom Seaver, 37, was the veteran. He was 5-13 with a 5.50 ERA.
2016: The Reds bullpen made major strides in June and early July with the Michael Lorenzen (3.38 ERA in six appearances) and Raisel Iglesias (0.73 ERA in six appearances) returning from the disabled list. While it has removed itself from the list of worst bullpens of all time, it still ranks last in baseball with a 5.73 ERA. It has allowed 66 home runs in 325 innings, or one home run every 4.9 innings.
1982: The relievers were 15-22 with a 3.14 ERA. They allowed 27 home runs in 456 1/3 innings, or one home run every 16.9 innings. The best reliever was Joe Price (3-4, 2.85). Tom Hume (2-6, 3.11 ERA) saved 17 games.
2016: The Reds rank 14th out of 15 National League teams with a .238 batting average. They’re averaging 4.2 runs per game. Shortstop Zack Cozart and right fielder Jay Bruce are each hitting .267.
1982: The Reds hit .251, 10th among 12 NL teams. They ranked last in the league with 3.36 runs per game. Cesar Cedeno, 31, hit .289. Dan Driessen hit 17 home runs.
The lineup featured two mainstays from the Big Red Machine days. Johnny Bench hit .258 in his second-to-last season. Dave Concepcion hit .287.
2016: The Reds have committed 64 errors in 89 games (0.72 per game). That’s the third most in the National League.
1982: The Reds committed 128 errors (0.79 per game), the fourth fewest in the National League.
2016: Left fielder Adam Duvall, who ranks tied for second in the NL with 23 home runs, made the all-star team as a reserve. Bruce made the team as an injury replacement. The 87th All-Star Game is at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Petco Park in San Diego.
1982: Concepion, Hume and Soto were All-Stars. Concepcion started at shortstop. Soto threw two scoreless innings. Hume earned the same by recording the final out of a 4-1 NL victory in Montreal.
2016: The average age of players on the roster is 28.2, according to BaseballReference.com. Three starters are 30 and over: Brandon Phillips, 35; Joey Votto, 32; and Zack Cozart, 30. The five current starting pitchers are between 23 and 27.
1982: The average age of players on the roster was 28.6. The regular starting lineup had four players between 30 and 34. The starting pitching staff, with the exception of Seaver, was relatively young. Soto was 25. Frank Pastore (8-13, 3.97) was 24. Bruce Berenyi (9-18, 3.36) was 27. Tom Seaver
2016: Bryan Price is in his third season as manager. He’s 172-241. His .416 winning percentage ranks 54th out of 60 Reds managers.
1982: John McNamara was in his fifth season as Reds manager in 1982. He was fired with a 34-58 mark on July 21. Russ Nixon replaced him and finished the season with a 27-43 mark.
McNamara was 279-244 (.533) in his career with the Reds and was named American League Manager of the Year in 1986 with the Boston Red Sox. Nixon managed the 1983 season with the Reds, finishing 74-88, and was replaced after the season with Vern Rapp.