Sports Today: Maybe this is just who Homer Bailey is


I feel for Homer Bailey since he hasn’t gotten much run support this season, but so far 2018 has provided a lot of support for my theory he is someone who generally pitches just well enough to lose. 

After getting the decision in a 7-6 loss to Milwaukee on Tuesday night, Bailey’s career record is 66-67. 

Seems about right, doesn’t it? 

So far this season the Reds have scored 18 runs in the seven games he has started. He has allowed 22 runs (all but one earned), but the distribution is pretty amazing. 

When Bailey takes the mound, it’s safe to assume he will allow the same number of runs his team scores or one more. 

That’s been true in five of his seven starts this season, and Alex Blandino’s solo home run in the eighth inning is the only thing that prevented last night from being the sixth. 

That’s also an example of how that stat is a little fluky because it involves a few things that are out of Bailey’s control, but I still find the whole thing mystifying. 

He deserves a better record than 0-4, but if he had been just a tad bit better he probably would have it… 

Before this season, the Reds also need to figure out who Billy Hamilton and Adam Duvall are. 

Jim Riggleman said this week the four-man rotation in the outfield will continue, and that probably makes sense since no one has really separated themselves. 

READ MORE from Hal McCoy’s blog

The best all-around performer has been Scott Schebler, who if I’m being honest would probably have been my pick to be most likely to be the odd man out. 

Jesse Winker has been the team’s third-best hitter so far this season, but he leaves a lot to be desired defensively

There are no easy answers here since the other two guys are all or nothing in one way or another right now.  

Duvall is hitting .170 but has a team-high 12 extra-base hits for a team that doesn’t have much pop otherwise. 

Billy Hamilton can’t get on base, either, yet he’s not only an elite defensive player but sorely needed to cover a lot of ground for a team that is terrible defensively. 

"It seems every time, if he didn't play for a day or something, a ball would get hit and we'd feel that no matter who else was out there, Billy would have had that ball," manager Jim Riggleman said. "Sometimes it turns into runs.”

Maybe neither of these guys is long for Cincinnati. 

I am comfortable now closing the book on Hamilton becoming a good hitter. He just doesn’t look like he will ever have a consistent approach that works. It’s probably both mental and physical for him, which is why I don’t think he ever figures it out. One or the other seems a lot more fixable than both. 

He doesn’t hit the ball hard often enough consistently, and yet he also rarely does little things to get an extra hit here or there.

The biggest issue, other than trying to figure out just how long Duvall and Hamilton can both stay below the Mendoza line, is that the best offensive lineup is also the worst defensive lineup. 

Duvall might want to avoid getting picked off second base in important moments of games, too… 

  

Scooter Gennett is an interesting wild card here, too, since he’s both able to play the outfield and another candidate to be replaced by a rising prospect (Nick Senzel). 

His defense has been bad enough to offset his offense so far this season, but now we have an explanation for that — a sore shoulder has affected his ability to throw. 

» LINEUP NEWS: Gennett rests with sore shoulder

On a good team, Gennett is probably a really good utility guy who plays a lot and provides pop off the bench when he doesn’t start… 

Meanwhile, am I the only person who thinks  the Bengals and Browns getting the same Super Bowl odds makes no sense? 

I have obviously not been shy to point out Cincinnati’s flaws, but certainly fewer things need to fall into place for the Bengals to make a run than for Cleveland to shock the world… 

Of course Cleveland fans have the Cavaliers to distract them right now anyway. 

That figures to go on for at least a couple more weeks if last night is any indication. 

LeBron James posted a triple-double as Cleveland rallied to win in overtime at Toronto. 

If you missed this game don’t feel bad.

It was pretty terrible to watch with the Raptors falling apart in the second half of the fourth quarter and a commercial break coming approximately every other possession in the last hour or so of the broadcast... 

Lastly: In case you missed it, I announced a fun new initiative yesterday on my blog

I’m looking to get out and about this spring and summer (and hopefully beyond) by trying some participatory journalism. 

A decade of watching without taking part is plenty for me. I want to get hands-on with the sports I cover — and even those I don’t. 

So far I’ve already got football, basketball and volleyball opportunities in the works. 

Whether I can actually return a serve, become a proficient shooter or anything else remains to be seen, but at least there should be some funny videos to come out of it. 


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