Brandon Phillips said it best tonight after the game when he told reporters, “We’re playing terrible ball,” Phillips said. “That’s all that’s going on. We have some of the best talent around. We’re not putting it together. I can see why the fans are very frustrated. It’s unacceptable.”
Dusty Baker was spot on as well. “Bad night,” Dusty Baker said. “Terrible night, really.”
The Reds offense may have scored the most runs in the National League. They may have the third most homers, the third best average, and a good on-base percentage, but the Reds offense is not always the dominant offense that statistics may say they are.
In the Reds last 14 losses (keep in mind that they have not won two in a row for 17 games now), the Reds offense has scored 2 runs or fewer 10 times. The Reds runs come in bunches, and they come in such a fashion because of the nature of the Reds hitters.
If there is another team in the Major Leagues that has a more streaky player than Drew Stubbs, I feel sorry for that team. Prone to strikeout and slumps, Stubbs can go from good to bad quickly.
Jay Bruce is the same way. His month of June had me wondering if he would make a run at NL MVP, but his month of July made a lot of people forget about June. The exceptions, of course, appear to be Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto.
Paul Janish and Edgar Renteria are nearly automatic outs. Scott Rolen is steady, but he is hitting just .256 this season. Finally, there is not much negative you can say about the Reds catching duo. Both produce consistently offensively and defensively.
For the sake of consistency, I think it is vital that the Reds make a move to improve their offense. Fortunately for the Reds those improvements ARE IN AAA!
Zack Cozart has had just one hitless game in his last 10, and he has had just one 0-4 showing in that stretch. He would be an upgrade offensively over Renteria and Janish, and Jocketty cannot say that defense is holding Cozart back because though he has 10 errors on the year, Renteria and Janish have combined for 17 errors already on the season.
So far I give Walt Jocketty an F on the season. All he has done is get rid of Orlando Cabrera who will probably take his 5th different team in 5 years to the playoffs this season. He brought in Edgar Renteria who has been the very worst he could be.
I hate to beat a dead horse, but left field remains a problem as well. As the Reds continue to look for a leadoff hitter that is not going to strike out 200 times a season, Dave Sappelt has picked up where he left off in spring training. He has mashed AAA pitching and is hitting .313 on the season. Sappelt is similar to Martin Prado of the Atlanta Braves. His power is not exceptional and his speed is average, but they both put the bat on the ball and are very tough outs for opposing pitchers.
Sappelt could leadoff which would put Drew Stubbs in a run producing position down in the order where he belongs. Stubbs has great speed, but his power and ability to drive the ball means that he can drive in runs as well.
It seems like I have written about these problems time and time again now. John Fay wrote today that you would think that the Reds would have to do something and have to make a move. I think Walt Jocketty and whoever is advising him is being stubborn. I feel pretty comfortable in saying that no tandem who hits .230 and commits 17 errors in half a season would stick around when an heir-apparent waits in the wings in AAA.