[Cincinnati.com] [Hal Mccoy] [Redleg Nation]
These guys are absolutely brutal right now. Things just aren’t going well. And when things aren’t going well, you don’t want to see Cole Hamels and the Phillies. In my opinion, the result of last night’s game was very easy money.
The Reds have lost six straight ballgames. They’re about to get Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee to close out this series before heading to Milwaukee. This coincides with a period in which the Cardinals cannot lose since being swept by the Reds, and the Reds now find themselves 3.5 back.
Heading into Memorial Day Weekend, the one thing that keeps me from worrying is this lineup is still good with the players the Reds can run out every night. Even if Dusty Baker insists on doing stupid things like hitting Paul Janish second and Jay Bruce 6th.
Even then, you’ve got Bruce (who is officially now on fire), Drew Stubbs, Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and the Reds haven’t even gotten production from Johnny Gomes, Scott Rolen, or the shortstop position to this point. That will need to change if they’re going to win the division title, I think. Someone will have to hit in left field and someone will have to produce runs down at third base.
I think the pitching will be right where it was last season. Homer Bailey and Johnny Cueto will be better than they were. Bronson Arroyo–despite his problems last night and right now–will end up around his career norm. I do think that Sam Lecure should be given a few starts, but I think when you look in the bullpen guys like Billy Bray and Logan Ondrusek are going to be fine and Nick Masset appears to be getting it together.
This team is a lot like 2010. It’s not time to panic yet. Let the season play out, and hopefully the Reds get a much-needed win tonight to snap this streak. But man is it tough for them to log wins in Philly.
Jay Bruce hits home run #12 off the foul pole (and off Cole Hamels)
Todd Frazier’s first career at-bat
Drew Stubbs losing-effort leatherwork
-75 votes for all Reds this morning (most notably Bruce & Phillips, they deserve them most) except for Johnny Gomes. Even Paul Janish got 75 votes. Do your part. Vote here.
–FanGraphs asks if it’s time to panic. I have to admit, something is telling me to stay calm because of how many times last season I jumped the gun. But the Reds have to come up with some type of unexpected wins here in the next six games. At the very least, a 3-3 or 4-2 over the next six is a must. No matter how you have to get it.
-Then there’s this from the FanGraphs post, I knew I wasn’t crazy:
All told, there’s little reason to worry in Cincinnati. Despite the losing streak, the Reds are only 3.5 games out of first place. Since we know not to overreact to small samples, we should expect the Reds to turn things around soon. The temporary loss of Volquez shouldn’t alter our expectations, as the Reds were able to win the division with a minimal contribution from him last season. This current version of the Reds is much like the team we saw last season. Their pitching is good enough to keep them in games, but their offense (and defense) is what will ultimately propel them to a division crown. The Reds may appear more vulnerable than they did last week, but in reality little has changed.