Cincinnati Reds: Three takeaways from the walk-off loss to the Dodgers

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 15: (R-L) Former Los Angeles Dodgers Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig and Turner Ward of the Cincinnati Reds look on during the first inning on Jackie Robinson Day at Dodger Stadium on April 15, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. All players are wearing the number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 15: (R-L) Former Los Angeles Dodgers Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig and Turner Ward of the Cincinnati Reds look on during the first inning on Jackie Robinson Day at Dodger Stadium on April 15, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. All players are wearing the number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Reds
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 15: Yasiel Puig #24 of the Cincinnati Reds reacts during his first at bat in his return to play his former team on Jackie Robinson Day at Dodger Stadium on April 15, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. All players are wearing the number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

1. The Reds’ offense is still struggling to score runs

This is a problem that cannot continue. I’ll continue to say that it’s early and April is way too soon to panic about almost any aspect of a team, but the Reds’ offense is not good. Through the first 15 games of the season, only once has the Reds’ offense has scored more than 5 runs.

Outside of the 14-run output against the hapless the Miami Marlins, the Cincinnati Reds’ offense has been abysmal. To be fair, they were facing one of the best in the business last night in Clayton Kershaw, but this trend of not scoring runs is not a good look for the Reds.

The Reds had a total of two extra-base hits during last night’s loss and were 1-of-3 with runners in scoring position. That stat reveals three things, the Reds are not getting them on, not getting them over, and not getting them in.

I know that the Reds have some big bats in their lineup, but maybe it’s time to play a little small-ball. You know, should the Reds try a hit-and-run? Is it time to bunt away from the shift? I know that the new philosophy is about launch angle and not wasting outs on with a bunt, but this team was struggling just to get runners on base.

It’s nice to see Yasiel Puig snare his second long ball of the season, but he and Kemp were the only ones in the Reds’ lineup to get multiple hits in last night’s game. This offense was supposed to carry the team’s weakest link, the starting pitching. So far, it looks like the pitching is carrying the Reds lethargic offense.