Back to an even .500

Considering that the Reds started 2-0 on this road trip through Washington and Kansas City, losing four straight for the 2-4 outcome is a disaster.

During Sunday’s 7-1 loss, the Reds had just five hits. They had just 13 hits for the series and 34 for the entire road trip. Washington has the worst record in the Majors and Kansas City was a last-place team in the AL Central until the Reds came to town.

Welcome back to even .500, everyone. The Reds are 31-31 and it’s the first time since April 28 they haven’t been had an above-.500 record.

“We didn’t hit but we did hit the ball,” manager Dusty Baker said. “The last four or five days, we hit line drives at everybody. It’s going to turn and things are going to fall. There are some guys that are starting to swing the bat well. We have a lot of pride in that room out there. The guys don’t like losing and they know how I hate losing. We’ll turn it around, hopefully have a great off day [Monday] and then come out smoking against the Braves.”

The Reds need some offensive help. There really isn’t a ton they can do with what they have in Louisville. They don’t know how much longer Joey Votto will be away.

And when they’re not hitting, defense can’t let them down like it did on Sunday. All five runs scored on Johnny Cueto were unearned because of two Jerry Hairston Jr. errors. Jay Bruce made a nice effort to have a chance to catch Alberto Callaspo’s drive to right field. But the ball popped out of Bruce’s glove as he hit the fence.

When things are going well, those are kind of plays that fall your way.

Monday is a good time for an off day. I’m sure you have suggestions for what the Reds should do to correct course — go ahead and make them.

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What is going on with Votto? This question has to be in everyones mind. Even if we don’t know exactly when he will be able to return, is there any news as to when he will be close?

The Reds have to move forward assuming Joey Votto isn’t coming back. Yonder Alonso is our best bet at first base unless the Reds are willing to trade a couple of our starters (names Harang and Arroyo). We have plenty of skilled players at AA hoping that they start promoting a few of them to AAA Louisville soon.
I had so much hope on this team at least making it to .500 this year, but alas, it isn’t going to be with our pathetic hitting. Our only .300 hitter is 9th in the batting order and the worst offensive shortstop in the game plays pretty much every day. Dusty has his hands full, I have been a big supporter of his in the past but now I am starting to doubt his ability.

I disagree about Votto. Jocketty said just a couple days ago that he should be back within a couple weeks.

I also disagree that there is no help at Louisville. Drew Stubbs would undoubtedly be a better offensive option than Taveras, and probably Dickerson too.

3B is a real concern, but I’d throw caution to the wind and call up Todd Frazier to play third. Bringing those two guys up probably won’t turn the team around, but it would at least be fun to watch them, it would let the club see what they had for next year, and they couldn’t possibly be any worse than the production we’ve been getting from those two spots.

Hang on! If the Reds win that third game in D.C., they’re 1/2 game out of first place. That was only four days ago! The thing is this: in the next month, management needs to decide if the team goes into stretch run mode (trade prospects and pitching for a key piece or two) or next-year mode (call up top prospects and get them major league experience), and the margin of difference in that decision is going to be very, very close. It seems to me that management is doing the right thing in not making that decision prematurely: no panic trades that may be trying to patch a team that’s going to bleed out no matter what, and no hasty call-ups that may hurt the team short-term and decrease the prospects’ trade value if they don’t hit immediately. Hold tight and let’s see which way the team goes. The thing to wish for, probably best in the long run, is that the team loses enough that it goes into next-year mode. I think we’re building a nice nucleus, and with an August-September to season young players and see if Encarnacion, Bruce and Dickerson really can play and an off-season to pick up some missing links, next year could be exciting. Just my opinion. – Max

wchns said – “The thing to wish for, probably best in the long run, is that the team loses enough that it goes into next-year mode.”

I disagree. I think we have great pitching, top to bottom. I don’t think you can waste this opportunity because you never know how long you’ll be able to keep it.

I do agree that management has some decisions to make in the next month. I think we need to weather the storm for another month, see if the injured guys return, and decide if we can make the playoffs with the line up as it stands, and if not – go buy some help. My hope is that the outfield of Nix/Gomes, Dickerson/Taveras, and Bruce can start hitting consistently and that an infield including Votto, Phillips, and Encaracion can really produce some runs.

I think that if half of that equation actually comes to fruition, that we’ll get back to well above .500 and be talking about the wildcard in September.

cmon Max… I hate to question anyone’s fanhood, but you have to be a new Reds fan to be saying stuff like this,

“The thing to wish for, probably best in the long run, is that the team loses enough that it goes into next-year mode. I think we’re building a nice nucleus…”

REALLY?!?! 8 CONSECUTIVE LOSING SEASONS ISN’T LOSING ENOUGH?!?! We have been told year after year (even though its been different mgmt) that we are “building for the future.” Longtime Reds fans are tired of building, and as a small/mid-market team, we MUST take advantage of this year. Why on earth would you WANT to lose??? Its not a good thing that we get a top 10 draft pick every year!!! Besides, were playing like dung, and we’re still only 2.5 games out of first place… If Castellini and Jocketty want to show us they really want to win, then they won’t waste this opportunity. GO REDS

Ok, I seem to have made myself misunderstood. First, my credentials. I saw Mario Soto give up 4 homeruns in one inning; I suffered through the 80’s, compared to which this is a picnic; I watched Marge settle a contract dispute with a coin flip; I watched Gary Redus field (sic) in left; saw our whole AAA team brought up as strike breakers; I was at the stadium for Pete’s hit and for Johnny Bench’s homerun on his night, an event that crazed the crowd even more than Pete (they’d been drinking at Oktoberfest); I cheered the championship team, and then observed as the Griifey trade ruined a good, young team on the verge of going back to the playoffs. I , too,am sick of the losing, but surely that last experience should make you sanguine about giving up young talent for a shot at being blown out in the first round. Let’s be realistic – this team isn’t there yet; but a team where 2/3 of it’s talent has career years, that would be something to see, wouldn’t it? I just hope that false hopes don’t prompt the kind of deal that Boston made some years ago to get Lary Anderson from Houston for a stretch run (and no loner), giving up Jeff Bagwell in the deal. That’s all I’m saying. I want the Reds to win, I do, but for years not just six weeks later this summer. – Max

I really hope by your comment that you aren’t entertaining the idea of hurrying Alonso along. He needs at least a year, maybe more. This is the same Yonder Alonso that is hitting .226 at Double-A Carolina.
I agree that some of the players need to be promoted, however Alonso is not one of them. Heisey, Frazier and Wood should all be in Louisville and Stubbs, Roenicke and Bailey should be on the MLB roster as opposed to Taveras, Lincoln and Burton. If I showed up to work for two weeks and did not do anything, I would be looking at a demotion as well, and I am not getting paid $6 million to do so.

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