The Reds seek redemption following an embarrassing performance in the Ohio Cup.
Reds Country, it can only get better. One would have to believe a 13-0 loss while managing just three hits has to be the nadir of the Reds 2020 season. The Cincinnati Reds (5-8) haven’t scored a run in 20 innings and already find themselves five games behind the division-leading Cubs just two weeks into the season.
Where have things gone wrong to start the 2020 campaign? First, we must look at the bullpen. Entering last night’s game, the Reds relief corps has allowed 10 home runs, 17 walks and 32 hits in just 37 innings of work.
Of course, this was before Thursday’s performance where they surrendered five free passes and 10 runs in just three frames against one of the most offensively inept teams in baseball; the Cleveland Indians. The bullpen has to improve.
However, when you’ve been shutout in two consecutive games while collecting just six hits, it’s unfair to place all the blame on the bullpen. One area of the lineup that was been particularly troublesome has been the three-hole in the order. Traditionally, it’s reserved for the best hitter in a team’s lineup, but for the 2020 Reds, it’s become a black hole.
Entering play yesterday the four Reds hitters who have occupied the third spot in the lineup, Eugenio Suárez, Nick Castellanos, Mike Moustakas and Joey Votto are slashing an appalling .116/.240/.302 with just two homers and four RBI in 12 games from that spot on David Bell’s lineup card.
Despite the success of Reds second place hitters reaching base at a tremendous .415 rate, it’s been nullified by the inability to generate any semblance of offense following them. The Reds bats must wake up, and do it quickly.