Complaining is an inherent right of being a fan. And sports blogs are exactly the place for that. As long as you stay within our commenting guidelines and offer some insight and reasoning, you can be as negative as you want. Go for it.

But I’d urge a little pause before coming to severely negative conclusions about the Cincinnati Reds.

The season isn’t even two weeks old yet. Just stop and consider that before you call for trades, firings or come to definitive conclusions about players and coaches. It’s the ultimate small sample size.

The Reds have faced a brutally difficult part of their schedule. They’ve lost two series to St. Louis 2-1. If they can win tomorrow, it will be a 2-1 series loss against another team that’s widely picked to make the post-season. They have faced several great starting pitchers. Yes, losing the Mets series was not according to form, but that’s just one game.

They are coping with several roster regulars being on the DL, particularly the bullpen and Mat Latos. While bullpen failures certainly haven’t been the major reason for the Reds current losing record – clearly, that’s been the offense – the bullpen has been responsible for a couple of the losses.

If you were of the mind before the season that the Reds were an 85-91 win team (count me in that group) there’s nothing that has happened so far that should dissuade you from thinking that still isn’t plausible. The hitting will come around. It almost always does. The one newcomer is Billy Hamilton, but otherwise, the rest of the lineup is relatively established and they’ll eventually get to the backs of their baseball cards. There’s early evidence that Devin Mesoraco may surpass his 2013.

The starting pitching so far has been mixed, but mostly excllent. For every disappointing start (Bailey two, Cingrani one) there have been unexpected positive ones (Simon two, Leake a shutout).

Regarding Bryan Price, his tactical moves have been mixed, to be sure. But it’s wrong to make long-term judgments on that. On the other hand, he’s certainly demonstrated an open-minded willingness to look at data and challenge conventional wisdom when necessary, both positive qualities.

I’m not selling blind optimism. If you’re a regular here, you know that I was deeply critical of the off-season inaction by the front office and the plan to install Billy Hamilton as the lead-off hitter. But even with all that, I still thought (and think) the Reds would compete for the post-season. Those views haven’t changed, in either direction.

And I know this isn’t likely to convince the people who show up here only when things are going wrong, just to be over-the-top gloomy. There’s no way to reason with them because they’re not looking for reason.

But for the vast majority of you, the bulk of Redleg Nation, I know it isn’t easy, but I recommend a deep breath and perspective. And let’s pull together for a win tomorrow.

12 Responses

  1. doublenohitter

    Didn’t let it get me down. Went out with my mom and wife and had a lovely steak dinner.
    Tomorrow is another day and I’ll be watching with great anticipation.
    If the Reds lose, i will carry on.
    if the Reds win, i will carry on.

  2. Eric NYC

    Depleted offense leads to a sputtering offensive output. This team as it is currently constructed will not sniff a winning record, let alone the playoffs. It’s sad because I think it might have to be blown up given the total lack of depth in the farm system.

  3. Ed Loves Reds

    Two words. Over matched. That covers every hitter up and down this lineup. While the post season may yet be possible, the typical outcome from the core of this team is predictable against the teams that they would meet if they get there. I disagree with your small sample size argument. This type of performance has been the norm for the past several seasons for the Reds against the top 30 pct of the teams in baseball See no hitter vs Phils and a 3-23 -3 series record vs the Cards in the past few seasons. I have been a Reds fan since 1963 and this team makes watching golf on TV exciting. This team is painted into a corner and is bottoming out. I am in pain , UGH.

  4. charlottencredsfan

    I’m with you Steve. A lot of baseball to play and too much talent to not compete. Just wish the good times would start sooner than later. Tomorrow would be a great day to do just that.

  5. tsj31

    I think that it is obvious this team is pressing. We are running ourselves out of to many innings. I like the aggressiveness on the base paths, but you also have to be overall successful for that aggressiveness to work in your favor. Few examples (Hamilton getting caught at 3rd on a ground ball, Phillips getting thrown out at 3rd today when there was no reason for him to steal, Hamilton picked off first) just seems we have been thrown out more than stolen bases. That pressing is just running us out of some innings.
    I love that Price is willing to change up the lineup like he did today (even though it didn’t work in our favor), it shows me he isn’t going to sit there and see the same results over and over.
    On the bright side pitching for the most part has been great! And some of these 1 run ball games have to fall in our favor sooner than later

  6. Shchi Cossack

    After the game tonight, a particularly aggravating game, I had a nice casual dinner at home with most of my family. Two of the little Cossacks were out taking in a local college baseball game with friends. Our dinner included an informative and sharing exchange with my teenage daughter regarding her most recent plans for college and how she thinks her education and career might evolve. Anyone who has or has had a teenage daughter probably realizes that such informative and sharing exchanges are not nearly as frequent or common as we would like. The night ended by listening to the youngest Cossacks reading Winnie the Pooh to each other (and providing regular updates to the Old Cossack) before going to bed. I must say, Mrs. Cossack also looked particularly ravishing tonight. The aggravating game earlier today and the dismal early season record didn’t seem to matter to anyone, including the Old Cossack.

    Rey Navarro just clubbed a game winning HR in the top of the 9th inning and Drew Hayes shut down Stars in the bottom of the 9th for the win after getting a blown save in the 8th for the Blue Wahoos. The Bats absolutely pounded the Clippers earlier today. I have tomorrow’s game on my radar and I’m looking forward to another strong pitching performance, hopefully combined with an equally strong offensive outburst by the Reds.

  7. Ryan Lykins (@ryan_lykins)

    “I wish you would step back from that ledge my friend”
    It has been hard to watch the offense struggle this year, especially with all the great pitching but I’m optimistic. It can only get better right? Win or lose I’ll be here to cheer them on the entire season. It baffles me that the pitching is so excellent and the hitting not so much. I’m only 23 so I haven’t experienced as much as some of you have but it’s always been the other way around for as far back as I can remember. Lousy pitching and a pretty decent offense. It’s funny how the Achilles heel of the team is now the only thing going for them right now. I love the Reds and I always will no matter what. I’d also love the offense to come around. Even so all I have to say is go Reds!

  8. ToddAlmighty

    Just hard to look at the standings and see the Reds having the worst record in all of baseball. Worse than the AAAstros and Stupid Cubs. 11 games in and they’re already 6 games back.

    The Brewers look serious, the Cardinals will be the Cardinals, and the Pirates will make a run at it.. just not sure where that leaves the Reds as 4th in their division. (I’m just going ahead and assuming the Reds’ record will be better than the Stupid Cubs when the season is over.)

  9. Eric the Red

    Hear, hear, Steve. Here’s another way to look at it: should we be more upset that we lost 1-0 to a Cy Young candidate, or should the Rays be more upset that they only manged to score one run off an emergency starter?

    Personally, I’m worried about injuries, Hamilton, and our 3rd base coach; I’m not worried about Homer’s inability to pitch with the lead, Cozart’s offense, Price’s abilities as a manager of men or tactics, Votto’s approach at the plate, or the Milwaukee Brewers. (Well, I’m a little worried about the Brewers.). Go Reds!

  10. greenmtred

    Good, calming perspective. The contrast between the comments after one (rare) win and after a (not so rare) loss, is funny. A case could be made that we all (Cossack excepted) need good medication.

    • Shchi Cossack

      HEY!!! I want like some of those meds too…