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Game Thoughts: Reds lose to Washington 7-1

The Reds sent 29 batters to the plate last night, two over the minimum. They had three hits, and all were singles.

It's important to remember that they were facing the very mortal Tony Armas here.

I'm going to go ahead and call out the offense. They'll be fine for the year, and they're not a source of concern for this team overall, but for the past week they've been miserable. In the past six games the Reds have scored one run three times, and been shutout once. It's no coincidence that the Reds are 2-4 over that span, with the four losses corresponding to the four anemic offensive performances discussed above.

Again, just to reiterate, the offense is damn good. But at some point you've got to call a spade a spade and admit that things have been bad. Ryan Freel is hitting .228, and he feels like a lock to go 0-4 most nights. He's not the only one slumping but he's the guy that needs to turn it around the most. When Freel gets on base good things usually follow, and the Reds need some good things to start happening.

The other big concern is Claussen, but I'm not too worried yet. He's a streaky pitcher, which you can see by looking at his monthly splits from 2005:

April: 2.51
May: 4.87
June: 4.07
July: 6.58
August: 3.58
September: 2.51

Things have been pretty bad this year, but he had a couple of bad months last year too. Assuming he's healthy, I'm confident that he'll turn things around.

Aaron Harang tonight, and Bronson Arroyo tomorrow means the Reds still have a good chance of getting two out of three. Hopefully the offense will wake up a bit against the struggling Livan Hernandez and the always bad Zach Day. I think it will. There's a lot of doom and gloom around Reds sites lately (even Amanda is worried), but I attribute that partially to people being unused to success. Everyone is expecting the sky to fall any second, so every bump in the road is taken with a fatalistic attitude. I totally sympathize (more than likely the sky is going to fall on this team at some point, that's just being realistic), but we've still got to try to enjoy things. The Reds just had a rough week, but they're still in first place with a pretty damn fine 21-12 record.

Just stop and think: even playoff teams have nights like last night 60-70 times a year. Its still way too early to be drawing conclusions one way or the other. I'm enjoying myself, and I hope everyone else is as well.