Jun 9, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds shortstop Zack Cozart (left) bends over at home plate after being hit by a pitch during the second inning at Great American Ball Park. (David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports)

The Month of June Has Not Been Kind to the Reds



The Cincinnati Reds have played eight games in the month of June. They sport a record of 3-5. While no one should try to tell you eight games can produce an adequate performance sample, there are some things that are a bit…haunting.

The one criticism I’ve heard and read on numerous occasions is that these 2013 Reds cannot beat the “good” teams. The 3-5 June record itself is a testament to such. The Pirates (37-26), Rockies (34-30) and Cardinals (41-22) are good teams and have handled the Reds. Oh, they take care of their business against the “lower” teams, owing a record of 27-8 when playing teams under .500.

Maybe what might be a little more alarming is the performance of the bullpen. Last season, this group appeared untouchable. This year, not so much. During June, the ‘pen is directly responsible for three of the losses including last night’s 11-4, 10-inning loss.

The bullpen has been simply ragged in June. There’s no other way to put it. You can bring about the mismanagement by one Dusty Baker – a valid argument in some cases – but this group’s June effort has been abysmal. The ERA is 8.65. The only pitcher with a June ERA under 3.00 is Aroldis Chapman. It’s 0.00, but he’s only been in half the games.

The LOB% is below 60% (59.6%). The HR/9 is over 2.00 (2.08). They serve a huge number of fly balls as the GB% is only 31.4%.

I guess that’s the cost for having GABP as your home.

And this is for ESPN’s Dan Shulman…

Citing that Nick Masset is on the DL and even attempting to imply his absence is a huge factor is mind-numbing. Masset hasn’t pitched a meaningful inning as a Red since 2011. The absence of Sean Marshall, on the other hand, does have a profound effect on the bullpen.

As I was watching Local 12′s Sunday evening sports show, the panel consisting of the local media was talking about the inconsistency of this Reds offense. June has been a non-example…to a point. So far, the Reds have scored either 2, 3, or 4 runs in the month’s first eight games. Not been shutout. Not scored 5 runs. Always 2,3, or 4.

The inconsistency label comes from posting a crooked number in the early innings (or any inning for that matter) and taking the foot off the throttle. We’ve actually witnessed that for at least two-plus seasons now.

At least it’s the Cubs and Brewers next on the schedule…

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