The Cincinnati Reds season may have taken a turn for the worse last night after a heartbreaking 16 inning loss to the Cardinals. The Reds had their chances to gain the advantage and walk off the Cards inching themselves closer to home field in the play in game and even possibly catch the Pirates for the division.
Believe it or not, I will not blame Dusty Baker for this one. The inability to execute a bunt in the 15th inning with Shin Soo Choo racing toward the plate doomed Cincy and may go down as the moment that momentum changed in the NL central.
The Reds had BIG MO on their side. After two good games against a team that has had their number recently, a late inning walk off would have sent a charge into this team and city that would have started a great run in overtaking the Cardinals and maybe even the Pirates.
I know the season isn’t over and the Reds are a virtual lock for the playoffs. But let’s face facts. No one wants to see this team go on the road to EITHER Pittsburgh or Saint Louis for a one game playoff. That would not turn out well, at all.
15-14 is not a great record for a team with high expectations. The Reds are lucky to have 15 wins. This team has me frustrated AND concerned. I know what you are going to say. It’s only the start of April, calm down. Well I can’t. I have waited for a contender in Cincinnati for a long time. I thought after last year’s collapse in the playoffs they would want to hammer people this season and show us it was all a fluke. Guess not.
Take these numbers into consideration. As a team they are hitting a miserable .243, that puts them ranked 21st in the league. Even more upsetting is the fact that they have struck out 232 times.
The pitching staff should be equally pissed at the hitters. They are sporting a very nice 3.32 ERA, 5th in MLB. They have time and time again pitched well putting the team in great position only to see their efforts squandered because Cozart, Votto and Bruce can’t get it done.
But here’s why I am really worried. The demeanor and actions lately are those of a team who can’t get it together. Jay Bruce went after fans on twitter who have given him a hard time about his production. Not good. Dusty Baker is answering questions from reporters like he has no clue how to fix it. Shocking. Even the best all around player in baseball, Brandon Phillips, seems a bit distraught. And who could blame him.
Sure, it’s early. Baseball is a marathon, not a sprint. But if they don’t get it fixed soon, the season may end earlier then expected for certain members of this team.