Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Another Borek Morning: Talking Cincinnati Reds Baseball 8/14/2014

For whatever reason, I recognize that I am solely responsible for the Cincinnati Reds collapse this season.

 

That is, of course, if you believe in some form of jinx.  My presence is clearly not been beneficial so far this season (1-7), but it has been the timeliness of these losses that leads me to my opening statement.

 

Swept out of New York like a rolling tumbleweed, the Reds were not even remotely close to being ready to play baseball coming out of the All-Star break.  For the foreseeable future, many Reds fans will have burned in their cerebellum the image of Skip Schumaker, Todd Frazier and Jay Bruce caught in the world’s worst version of the Bermuda Triangle with all three men looking at one another as the ball crash lands on the grass.

 

From that moment on, the worst fears of Reds fans everywhere were realized: 2014 may not be their year.

 

A seven-game losing streak would happen.  Of the first ten games after the break, the Reds would only win one.  Was a simple pop-up to blame for all that?  More than likely not, but the psychological effect cannot always be measured.

 

Nearly a month later, that same sinking feeling has set in yet again.  This time around, it comes with the sickening sound of Yoenis Cespedes’ crack of the bat from his game-winning home run on Tuesday night and the lack of sound from Ramon Santiago’s attempted sacrifice bunt on Wednesday.

 

The numbers tell us the Reds are only three and a half games out of a playoff spot.  Brandon Phillips is on the mend, soon to begin a rehab assignment before the minor league season concludes.  It seems that Joey Votto will don his number 19 before the season let’s out after all.  The reinforcements may indeed finally be en route.

 

Regardless, do you feel confident in this current bunch to hang around?

 

* * *

 

As some of you may or may not know, I do not have the luxury of living in the great state of Ohio or Kentucky.  My trips out to Great American Ball Park are few and far between, but I do find my way out here at least once a year.

 

It never ceases to amaze me how magnificent the entire area around the ballpark is.  Being able to eat dinner on the street across from the yard is not a luxury that can be afforded at either Yankee Stadium or Citi Field.  (Unless you’re looking to chow down on city rats or discounted mufflers.)

 

* * *

 

Arriving in Cincinnati this week was the Reds newest Cuban phenom: Raisel Iglesias.  Whether or not he makes his debut with the Reds this season is still to be determined, but it would seemingly make sense, considering the minor league season has less than a month remaining.

 

Should the Redlegs manage to hang around for the next three weeks, Iglesias may make sense as a potential replacement in the rotation for the scuffling Alfredo Simon.  Seemingly having hit his wall, Simon has not been remotely even the same pitcher since the All-Star break.  This is not to say that Simon should be discarded—he was far better than anyone could have expected, considering the situation.

 

* * *

 

There is something so fitting about the Reds’ current 60-60 record.  It displays the fact that they have been both bad and good within the same season, which is completely accurate.  When healthy, this club can compete with any other in the league.  When ravaged by injuries, they are below average—who wouldn’t be?

 

* * *

 

Upcoming is a four-game series in Colorado.  No longer are these the Rockies that mashed the ball around the yard in May, these are the 27 games below .500 Rockies.  On Wednesday, they announced that their franchise cornerstone, Troy Tulowitzki, would miss the remainder of the season due to hip surgery.

 

Even with the time shift, travel and thin air all going against Cincinnati, winning this series is as “must-win” as it can be.  After the Rockies, the St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves are on the docket.

 

Tune in at 8:40 p.m. tomorrow night as Alfredo Simon continues his hunt for his first win post-All-Star break.

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