Don’t worry, Reds fans. Take a deep breath. The team will be just fine.
Based on tweets and comments from various blogs and websites, it seemed like after Saturday’s 4-1 loss at the hands of Edwin Jackson and the Washington Nationals, most fans doubted the Reds could score another run all season. What a relief it was when they bounced back with four in the first inning on Sunday.
It certainly was nice to get back in the win column, especially in the last game of a series before an off day. It would have been excruciating to wait an extra day to snap a four-game losing streak.
After the excitement of the winter, the disappointing start to the season left me feeling a bit… deflated. But as Steve Engbloom and Tyler Grote have noted recently, it’s important to keep things in perspective. I’ve been telling myself this over and over again this weekend, and I’m finally starting to believe it.
Jamie Ramsey of Better Off Red helped with this post, where he pointed out that many of the most successful Reds teams of the last 40 years suffered similar fates as the 2012 club early in the year. The 1975 World Series championship team started off 4-6, which is exactly where the Reds stand right now. The 1995 playoff team was even worse, losing its first six games and eight of its first nine.
Also, it would be one thing if the Reds were losing to the Pirates or the Astros. The teams they’ve played so far are pretty good. The Marlins may have finished last in the NL East last year, but with the additions of Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, and Heath Bell, most have picked them to at least contend for a playoff spot. The Nationals have been also-rans the last few years, but they actually had a decent season in 2011. They finished with a better record than Cincinnati, just a game below .500 at 80-81. (They only played 161 games last season.) They also got much better over the winter with the acquisitions of Jackson and Gio Gonzalez. You saw what those guys are capable of this weekend. Factor in the return of Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals have a strong rotation. Washington’s pitching staff as a whole is No. 1 in Major League Baseball right now with an ERA of just 1.99 through the first 10 games of the season. And then you have the defending World Series champions in the Cardinals.
There is definitely plenty to be concerned about right now if you’re a Reds fan, but it’s WAY too early to give up hope.