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KSReds: Cincinnati Reds Road Trip Sends Season in Spiral

Brandon Ramseyby:Brandon Ramsey05/19/24

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It has officially gone from bad to worse for the Cincinnati Reds. When the team departed on a 10-day, 10-game west coast road trip they were on an eight game free fall of a losing streak. Then, despite winning the first game of the series in San Francisco, they would finish the trip with a 3-7 record. The offense is still struggling mightily, the bullpen can’t hold a lead even when given a rare one, and the losses are piling up in a hurry.

To put it plainly, the Reds are in the thick of the danger zone. False hope and talk of the season being young has to end at some point and now the sample size is getting big enough that the overall trajectory is quite worrisome. Yes, there are key pieces missing from a lineup that is struggling immensely. However, at 19-28 and eight and a half games behind the Milwaukee Brewers, time is already starting to run thin. After a promising start to the season that saw the Reds go 14-10 in their first 24 games, they have managed to win just five of their last 23 contests.

A Tale of Two Months

It hasn’t been all bad in Cincinnati Reds country this season. In fact, for about the first month of the season things were pretty positive. Back on April 24th, the Reds reached a high water mark of four games over .500 at 14-10. Fast forward to April 29th and they were 16-13 after a series-opening win in San Diego. That is when the wheels fell off for Cincinnati. Eight straight losses plummeted the record to 16-21 before beginning a west coast road trip with a win.

Despite that first win in San Francisco, the road trip wasn’t overly kind to the Reds. They failed to win any of the three series and now sit at a season-worst 19-28. Cincy lost three straight in Los Angeles after winning the series-opener on Thursday evening. The road trip ended with a 3-7 record as the ball club will mercifully return to Great American Ball Park on Tuesday evening following a much needed day off on Monday.

Struggling Bats Headline Slumping Reds

Every player will experience a slump or two during a 162-game season. However, the Cincinnati Reds seem to be experiencing a team-wide slump. Their overall batting average is down to .219 which is the second worst mark in Major League Baseball. Elly De La Cruz leads the qualifying hitters with a .256 average. Both Jake Fraley (.272) and Tyler Stephenson (.273) beat that number, but both have missed nearly one quarter of the season at this point. Meanwhile, players such as Santiago Espinal, Will Benson, and Christian Encarnacion-Strand all sit below the Mendoza Line. It simply is not a winning recipe when you trot out one or two batters every game that are hitting below .200 on the season.

If you are looking for a silver lining, it would be that the Reds are clearly missing a couple of key bats. Matt McClain, Noelvi Marte, and TJ Friedl would all greatly help the lineup. However, that doesn’t excuse the lack of overall competitiveness their replacements have shown at the plate. There are simply far too many games where the Reds give them zero chance to win because they cannot make anything happen offensively.

Current National League Central Standings

What Comes Next for the Reds?

If the Cincinnati Reds are going to turn the season around it needs to start now. Luckily, the timing might work out in their favor to right the ship. A much needed day off on Monday will help reset things prior to a nine-day, nine-game home stand. This is where they will need to start making up ground. Win six of these nine games and the record still won’t be pretty, but they will at least be moving in the right direction.

Andrew Abbott will get the start on Tuesday evening with a 6:40 p.m. Eastern Time first pitch against the San Diego Padres. The following two starters are still undecided. After the three game set with the Padres, the Reds will turn around and play the Los Angeles Dodgers once again. Finally, the rival St. Louis Cardinals will come to Cincinnati to finish off the home stand.

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2024-06-13