For some reason, I woke up this morning with the thought in my head of "What the hell happened to this season?" Not in the sense that I thought these guys were supposed to be good. I predicted 79 wins in Spring Training, and even the I didn't believe they could actually win that many (stupid math leading me astray). But this season was supposed to be different. It was supposed to be a building block, but this team feels farther away than the did at the end of 2008. Maybe they'll get hot and reel off 10 wins in a row in September and we'll all start to feel better, but right now feels much more like a low point for the organization. Eleven losses in 12 games. Last place. Third worst record in the National League. It wasn't supposed to get this bad this year.
And I don't believe that the injuries are the only excuse. The Reds have gone 14-16 when Joey Votto doesn't play. They were 28-30 without Edwin Encarnacion. Jay Bruce wasn't exactly lighting the world on fire at the plate when he got hurt. And does anybody actually think that missing Ramon Hernandez and Alex Gonzalez have stunted this team? The injuries have been a problem, but they are clearly not the only problem. Unfortunately, I'm starting to get the impression that the Reds are going to hide behind that excuse. That makes me sad for 2010.
The Reds have won just 6 times in their last 26 games. During that stretch, they've surrendered almost twice as many runs as they've scored (161 to 82). They've been outplayed in every facet of the game. That's not injuries. That's just bad baseball.
And this baby might never get set free...