How Low Can You Go?

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I have a feeling it’s time for Dusty to gather the guys and get ‘em going like he did last season. They need it. Since beginning the season 5-0, the Reds are 9-15 after taking another home loss. This one at the hands of J.A. Happ and the Houston Astros. And it could be worse.

It’s getting to the point where you can practically play the game out in your mind before it even begins. Reds pitchers are likely to surrender a first inning run. If by some miracle, that does not happen, they will surrender a run or two the half inning immediately after the Reds score. Like clockwork.

Another thing you can count on is the Reds offense attempting to comeback from the hole the starting staff put you in, more times than not. It’s as predictable as soap operas. At least soaps have a bit of intrigue involved. Reds games, not so much.

Are we beyond the point of making excuses for this team? I read them all the time. Shall we look at them?

1. The Reds were (fill in the record) after (number) games last season.
I’ve already addressed this, but I feel it must be covered again. 2010 is long over. We cannot replay it. We’re beyond that point. This is the 2011 season and should be treated as a different season. As I have stated previously on this, can we really expect the Reds to rattle off a 19-8 month as they did last season? I don’t believe so at this point. At the rate in which they are playing, a winning homestand would be a step in the right direction.

2. The starting rotation has been without Homer Bailey and Johnny Cueto.
I will give you Cueto as I think he’s the Reds best pitcher. I’m not buying into Bailey even though his numbers during his rehab stint have been off the charts. I’m not buying into the starting staff as a whole. I never have as I’m the one that said this staff was overhyped. Too much was being made of the depth. But that’s not the issue. It’s the youth.

Even with Bronson Arroyo in the mix, this starting staff is still only 26 years old on average. It is still young despite the “experience” some of the pitchers have (Volquez, Cueto). Wood and Leake are in their second seasons. Leake has never spent a day in the minors. There are some issues here that must be addressed immediately before the season really does slip away.

And the excuses for Volquez still recovering from Tommy John surgery can cease a bit, too. Want proof (and I’m not comparing here) look at Tim Hudson and the success he experienced after returning from TJ.

3. It’s a marathon.
True. Baseball provides us a season of 162 games. The Reds do have the benefit of playing in a division where it appears that no one team wants to run away from the others. But what if one of those teams does go on a run in May and the Reds find themselves 10 games back by the end of the month? It can happen. It has happened to better teams before. There’s no reason to believe that it can’t happen

And with that. you can get into all sorts of other talk and conjecture. What’s the status of Dusty’s job. Do we try to trade Ramon Hernandez to call Devin Mesoraco up from L’ville? Do we DFA Gomes for Dave Sappelt? Is Dontrelle Willis really ready for a second go around in the bigs? Yes, a slew of questions arise.

It’s not time to push the panic button, but it is time to at least recognize its existence.

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Tags: Baseball Cincinnati Reds Dusty Baker MLB Starting Rotation

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