The Reds Are Winning with the Help of Walks Just Like the Phillies Used To

The Reds Are Winning with the Help of Walks Just Like the Phillies Used To

You don’t have to look hard to find the Reds' warts.

Their .251 batting average ranks 17th in the majors, just 2 points better than the Cubs. And this is for a team that doesn’t do much mashing. Their .394 slugging percentage this year, good for 20th in the game, is less than good, and it's only marginally better than last year.

Yet, Cincy has scored the sixth-most runs in baseball for its third-best record.

How? A .335 on-base percentage, third-best in the bigs, that’s how.

In other words: the Phillies opponents tonight at 7:05 p.m. are doing exactly what helped make the Phillies great during their World Series runs, something they don't do anymore for mildly different results.

The Phils team OBP from 2007-09 was actually better than that of the Reds this year: .340. And those Phillies used to rely on the long ball, so a huge chunk of that on-base ability came from walks.

Similarly, the Reds OBP this year is despite an iffy batting average. So Cincinnati has needed a 10.3% walk rate, good for second in baseball, which means they’re basically guaranteed a baserunner with every turn of the order for about four per game -- from bases on balls alone.

This is what walks do: carry you through slumps. Even if said slumps last 40-plus games.

So no, with a .304 on-base percentage, the Phillies aren't overcoming their .246 team average (20th), .379 slugging (26th) for anything better than 148 runs (26th) and a sub-.500 mark.

More impressive, Cincy’s getting quality walks. With 29, Shin-Soo Choo has been walked more than only two players, and he’s done it from the leadoff spot. One of those players is Joey Votto, who’s drawn 35 free passes from the three-hole. Shocker: Brandon Phillips has 36 RBI, third-most in MLB.

For your obligatory "Jimmy Rollins And Ben Revere Haven't Gotten On Base Much" note: Phillies leadoff hitters this year have been poor. Which is among the reasons Ryan Howard still has two fewer RBI than Yuni Betancourt.

Now, it just so happens that Votto and Choo are also hitting about .320 with pretty reasonable-by-their-standards BABIPs, which puts their on-base percentages into an otherworldly .450. The last to punch a full season like that were Albert Pujols and Chipper Jones in 2008, and they had to hit .350 to do it.

If they come back down to earth, oh well. The Reds will just walk their way to wins.

Things to think about when $50-plus million comes off the Phillies books at year’s end.

NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

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NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

Position Title: Intern
Department: Advertising/Sales
Company: NBC Sports Philadelphia
# of hours / week: 10 – 20 hours

Deadline: November 20

Basic Function

This position will work closely with the Vice President of Sales in generating revenue through commercial advertisements and sponsorship sales. The intern will gain first-hand sales experience through working with Sales Assistants and AEs on pitches, sales-calls and recapping material.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Assist Account Executive on preparation of Sales Presentations
• Cultivate new account leads for local sales
• Track sponsorships in specified programs
• Assist as point of contact with sponsors on game night set up and pre-game hospitality elements.
• Assist with collection of all proof of performance materials.
• Perform Competitive Network Analysis
• Update Customer database
• Other various projects as assigned

Requirements

1. Good oral and written communication skills.
2. Knowledge of sports.
3. Ability to work non-traditional hours, weekends & holidays
4. Ability to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment
5. Must be 19 years of age or older
6. Must be a student in pursuit of an Associate, Bachelor, Master or Juris Doctor degree
7. Must have unrestricted authorization to work in the US
8. Must have sophomore standing or above
9. Must have a 3.0 GPA

Interested students should apply here and specify they're interested in the ad/sales internship.

About NBC internships

Best of NBA: Curry, Thompson, Durant lead Warriors comeback over Pelicans

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Best of NBA: Curry, Thompson, Durant lead Warriors comeback over Pelicans

NEW ORLEANS — Klay Thomspon scored 31 points, Stephen Curry added 28 and the Golden State Warriors easily erased a 15-point first-half deficit en route to a 128-120 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night.

Kevin Durantadded 22 points for the Warriors, who won for the first time this young season after dropping their opener to Houston. New Orleans is still looking for its first victory after two games, shooting well early in both games before fading in the second half.

Anthony Davis had 35 points and 17 rebounds for the Pelicans, while fellow big man DeMarcus Cousins also had 35 points.

The teams combined for 34 3-pointers, with the Warriors hitting 18. Thompson was 7 of 12 from deep.

After trailing by double digits much of the fourth quarter, the Pelicans pulled as close as five points down on Cousins' 3 with about three minutes to go. But Thompson responded immediately with a 3, and Golden State remained comfortably in control from there (see full recap). 

Ball flirts with triple-double, Lakers hold on to beat Suns​
PHOENIX — Lonzo Ball barely missed a triple-double with 29 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists in his second NBA game and the Los Angeles Lakers held on to beat the Phoenix Suns 132-130 on Friday night.

The Suns had a chance to tie it with 1.2 seconds to play, but T.J. Warren missed the first of two free throws. That meant he had to miss the second intentionally and hope for a rebound, but the Suns couldn't get a decent shot off before the buzzer.

Ball, the No. 2 overall pick this year who is a week shy of his 20th birthday, took over down the stretch, scoring eight points in a 2 1/2-minute span. His final basket during that run, a floating layup, put Los Angeles ahead 130-122 with 1:35 to play.

But the Suns came roaring back behind Eric Bledsoe and Devin Booker, whose 3-pointer with 6.4 seconds left cut it to 131-130. Brandon Ingram made one of two free throws to give Phoenix one last chance and Warren was fouled by Ingram on an inbounds play.

The free throw was off the back of the rim, though, and the Lakers survived (see full recap). 

Nets beat Magic in first game without Lin despite Vucevic’s career-high 41 points
NEW YORK — Jeremy Lin was in the hospital Friday, rather than joining his teammates for their home opener.

The Brooklyn Nets are going to miss him, but they showed they still have plenty of firepower without him.

D’Angelo Russell, Trevor Booker and DeMarre Carroll all scored 17 points, and the Nets beat the Orlando Magic 126-121.

Brooklyn had six players in double figures, three more with nine points and got 64 points from its reserves to bounce back after yielding 140 points Wednesday night in a season-opening loss to Indiana.

Lin ruptured the patella tendon in his right knee late in that game and had season-ending surgery Friday morning (see full recap). 

James and Korver heat up from 3, Cavs beat Bucks
MILWAUKEE — Lebron James had 24 points and eight assists, and Kyle Korver hit three straight 3s in a decisive third-quarter run to help the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Milwaukee Bucks 116-97 on Friday night.

Kevin Love added 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Cavs. Their 15-5 spurt over the final 4:25 of the third quarter, sparked by Korver's long-range shooting, opened a 13-point lead. Cleveland led by double digits most of the rest of the way to spoil the Bucks' home opener.

The defending Eastern Conference champions started the season with a second straight victory over an East contender after beating the Boston Celtics in their home opener.

Korver finished with 17 points and was 5 of 6 from 3-point territory.

Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo had 34 points on 15-of-22 shooting, along with eight rebounds and eight assists. Malcolm Brogdon had 16 points (see full recap).