Below .500

There haven’t been many nights when the Reds seemed to have no life and little chance to win after an early deficit. But they were flat, flatter and flattest during an 8-1 loss to the Cardinals on Tuesday.

“Nothing went right tonight. Bad night. Terrible, actually,” manager Dusty Baker said.

That is four losses in the last five games, all of the defeats coming with two runs or less scored by the Reds.

It’s not uncommon for GM Walt Jocketty to be in the clubhouse postgame. But he was behind closed doors in the coaches locker room with the staff and Baker after this one. Could roster changes be a foot?

Brandon Phillips had some interesting comments after the game.

“If you look at our team up and down the lineup, we have some of the best talent as any team. Right now, we’re just not putting it all together,” Phillips said. “I know it’s very frustrating for our fans. It really is. We just have to find a way to put it together because the ball that we’re playing right now, it’s unacceptable.”

Notes:

*Edinson Volquez didn’t really have it, which was disappointing after his solid outing in Tampa Bay. Volquez gave up three homers, including back-to-back shots by Holliday and Berkman with two outs in the first inning. He lasted only 5 1/3 innings and threw 94 pitches with seven runs (six earned) allowed on seven hits with three walks and three strikeouts.

*In six starts since his return from a demotion at Triple-A Louisville, Volquez is 2-2 with a 5.29 ERA. It was 6.35 in the 10 starts before going down. He has a 12.38 first inning ERA for the season.

*The Reds are in fourth place at 43-44 and four games behind the first-place Cardinals. Cincinnati has not been below .500 since they were 14-15 on May 3.

*Paul Janish made his ninth error of the season on a routine grounder by Ryan Theriot in the fifth, which led to a three-run homer by Holliday. That will do nothing to deter the Zack Cozart fan club campaign for a promotion.

Quote:

 “I don’t know. This game sort of frustrates you.  I’m frustrated right now. The best thing to do is not talk too much.” — Dusty Baker when asked if there was hope for Volquez to turn things around.

 

2 Comments

Volquez’ proclivity (take that, Curt) for giving up 1st inning runs is simply amazing. Here’s an ignorant question – does he need to warm up differently before the game or alter his between starts throwing? The Reds are down to two reliable starters, Cueto and Bailey. Leake, maybe.That ain’t enough. Anyone really confident Arroyo won’t give up a handful of johnsons tonight? With Pujols up there feeling he’s got something to prove? I would think changes would be afoot. In the words of Paul Simon: ‘Slip sliding away. ‘Slip sliding away. The nearer our destination the more we’re slip sliding away.’ Hey, Curt: Kornheiser referenced the WAR stat last night on PTI – you never explained what it is. I gathered from the context that it’s Wins After Replacement, or the Wally Pipp award. As in, how does the team do while you’re on the DL. Like the Yanks doing well without Jeter. But that’s silly – the number of games is too small a sample, and it takes no account of matchups, favorable or otherwise. Has everyone gone nuts?

Sounds to me like it’s a focus/maturity issue. You can’t be a good MLB pitcher solely with good tools. Volquez probably has better stuff than Cueto. Why is Cueto our best starter and Volquez our worst? Cueto has grown in his knowledge of the game in learning how to pitch. Volquez hasn’t grown at all since he’s been here.

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