After last night’s 8-2 loss in Toronto I realized that maybe I never should have had any hopes or expectations for this Reds team at all. Laynce Nix and Johnny Gomes are doing their best, but they’re guys that any of the other 30 MLB teams could have had. They weren’t even really in baseball last year. Now they’re being trotted out each and every night in the middle of our lineup. They have been depending on Joey Votto and Jay Bruce to carry the load as two young players who have not been asked to do that yet. Votto missed time due to emotional issues, and Bruce has had insufferably bad luck thus far this season. When those things don’t happen, you get lapses in offense like we’re seeing now.
Other then that, it’s a poorly constructed lineup. Willy Taveras is basically Corey Patterson from the right side. He’s struggled his entire career with getting on base. He’s just continuing the trend he’s followed his entire career. The Reds knew that going in. The Reds never needed Taveras. That money could have went elsewhere. It could have went to bringing back Adam Dunn and his production that is always there. The Reds could have slid Jerry Hairston into the leadoff spot.
The lineup really should go Taveras/Hairston, followed by Brandon Phillips (who the Reds have ruined by making him think he’s a clean-up hitter) followed by Bruce in the 3-hole, and then Votto in the clean-up spot. You run that out there every night and you’d have better production then we’ve seen up to this point.
And the production is just really bad right now. It’s excruciating to watch. I’ve never seen an offense this bad over this long of a period of time. It’s really showing up every night and when they get down by a run or two; they may fight hard, but it’s always too insurmountable of a deficit. Last night they had four measly hits. Johnny Gomes had two of them. They weren’t facing Cy Young.
They can’t hit left-handed pitching. Ownership went cheap on us and all offseason they didn’t go out and get the big right handed bat we needed to combat this weakness and it shows every time there is a southpaw on the hill. You wanna make money? Deposit some into an internet sports betting site and bet on the team with the lefty throwing against the Reds on any given night. You’ll win that bet 9 times out of 10.
The Reds have to pull it together and gut it out. They might not be that good but they certainly aren’t this bad. Basically, it’s baseball and the ball has to bounce our way sometime. We’ve got too solid of pitching to lose this way each night or sustain long losing streaks.
I hope that tonight is the turning point of the season. Somehow maybe they can rally and finish this road trip strong and get home and get healthy in the park that everyone seems to be able to hit in–everyone but us it seems at times.
But the Reds right now are killing me on a nightly basis. I believed in this group and while I didn’t think they’d be playoff material, I certainly thought they’d hang tougher then they have been and be a little bit more exciting to watch and they aren’t. I guess this is how it feels when something you believe in turns out empty.