After 67 games, they’re treading water boys. Nothing has been settled, and there’s a ton of questions to be answered about these Cincinnati Reds, version 2011.
The fact remains that when Joey Votto and Jay Bruce aren’t doing a lot, this team simply doesn’t do much offensively.
I went into last night’s game on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball thinking that the Reds had an excellent chance to take three out of four from the Giants and trim the lead in the NL Central a little bit more. When the Reds jumped out to a 2-0 lead and were getting constant scoring threats against the inconsistent San Francisco lefty Jonathan Sanchez; I was even more sure the Reds were going to deliver on taking 3 of 4 and then head to Los Angeles to begin their run in returning to the top of the division.
I’m feeling mixed up about the Reds right now. They haven’t been under .500 all season, but they have never been more than 3 games above .500 either. They’ve got a lot of problems, too many to just list off in this post. It’s something different every night. When they plug one hole in the ship, another new leak seems to spring up.
Some might say that splitting on the road in San Francisco isn’t too bad. Especially beating Tim Lincecum on FOX Saturday Baseball. But this isn’t a great Giants team–despite how good the bullpen is and how good they are in close games–they’re bare bones right now offensively. The Reds should have swept this series and a good team like the Cardinals or Brewers would have swept or at least taken that 3 of 4 games. The Reds went the entire series without a home run, and really other than a few deep shots to left field that I saw, there was never really a threat to do so.
The Giants had the Reds in their park, and they used their park to get the Reds into playing their style of game; and it gained them a split. Think about it a little bit–especially if you were able to watch three or all four games in this series. The Reds are a team that wins via the three run homer right now; they like to blow teams out and they’re used to scoring five runs a game. They had to play a different game this past series, a manufacture game.
Now the one positive I take from this series is they got quality starting pitching. You would think that if this can continue; and I have serious doubts about it continuing, but if it can the Reds are going to be alright for the long haul of this season and it’s going to be a photo finish in the NL Central.
However, if you’re a person that had thoughts that the Reds were so much better than the Brewers or Cardinals and were going to run away with this thing now is the time where you should start to be humbled and realize you were being a homer. The Reds look to me like the type of team that could do this all season long and if they don’t get some type of shot in the arm help (cough, cough, Jose Reyes) they could actually finish 5 or 6 games out in the race at season’s end.