Late last night Adam Liberatore of the Dodgers struck out Jay Bruce to send Cincinnati to their ninth straight loss. It was a disappointing but unsurprising result. Fans know that the Reds aren't going to lose every game this season, but in the midst of a long losing streak it can feel that way. Tonight's game offers a decent chance for Cincinnati to get a win in Los Angeles. Dan Straily has been the Reds best starter this season, and Scott Kazmir has been very hittable to this point.
Still, a loss would push Cincinnati's current losing streak in to double digits. A ten game losing streak feels like a lot. Just how often does this kind of skid happen? Listed below are Cincinnati's five most recent losing streaks of at least ten games. You have to go back to 1989 to find five which covers a span of twenty seven seasons. Yes, streaks like this are rare, and yes they're painful to watch.
2015 - 13 game losing streak (September 20 - October 2)
You don't have to go back very far to find Cincinnati's last losing streak of 10+ games. The Reds actually finished the year 1-14, and a win on the next to the last day of the season kept this streak from hitting 15. Included in this are losses to the Brewers, Cardinals, Mets, Nationals, Pirates, and Cubs.
Cincinnati had two good chances to try and cut this streak down. For their second loss they dropped a 2-1 game to the Cardinals. The Reds took a 1-0 lead into the eighth, but St. Louis got two runs off of J.J. Hoover. The streak also almost ended at 12 in Pittsburgh. The Reds 13th straight loss was a twelve inning affair in which they they led the Pirates 4-1 heading in to the 6th. Starter Keyvius Sampson ran in to trouble when he allowed the first three hitters of the inning on. Cingrani and Diaz were on the hill when Pittsburgh scored three in the inning. Pittsburgh walked it off in the bottom of the 12th on a Starling Marte home run off of Collin Balester.
Derek Grimes noted to me that Cincinnati also lost nine in a row in May and August of last year. Wow, last season was rough. At least things couldn't get any worse this season...wait, that's the point of this article. It (almost) is.
1998 - 11 game losing streak (June 14 - June 24)
Prior to last season you have to go back eighteen years to find another losing streak of ten plus games. Here are a few reminders in case you've forgotten the 1998 team. Offensively they were led by a thirty four year old Barry Larkin (134 OPS+). Their best starter was...Pete Harnisch who was 14-7 with a 3.14 ERA.
This streak kicked off with an extra innings loss to the Astros. The Reds led 3-1 heading into the 9th, but Jeff Shaw was unable to hold the lead. In the 10th, the Astros scored three off of Shaw in part thanks to a two run Billy Spiers homer. Houston actually accounted for 5 of the 11 losses in this streak. The Reds were finally able to snap the skid with a 7-5 win over the White Sox with a boost from a three run Pokey Reese home run.
During the course of the streak the Reds were outscored 61 - 26. They finished the season 77-85 and 4th in the NL Central. The 1998 squad actually had a winning record in the second half of the season at 38-35.
1993 - 12 game losing streak (September 10 - September 22)
Tony Perez managed the 1993 team out of the gate, but after a 20-24 start Davey Johnson took over. As Joe Kay notes Johnson had interviewed for the job, but it ultimately went to Perez. However, after approximately seven months with Perez as manager the Reds decided to make a switch.
As with the last streak this one began with an extra innings loss. The Reds were in Montreal and leading 3-1 heading into the 9th. Unfortunately, Jeff Reardon gave up a two run homer to Wil Cordero. An inning later the Expos won it on a Marquis Grissom single off of Rob Dibble. This streak featured two additional extra inning games.
Finally the Reds snapped the streak with an 11-2 win over the Dodgers on September 23. The offensive explosion included three RBI from Chris Sabo and two from Reggie Sanders. Tim Pugh picked up the win.
The 1993 Reds finished the season 73-89 and 5th in the NL West.
1991 - 10 game losing streak (July 6 - July 19)
Fresh off of a world championship, the Reds struggled in 1991. These struggles included a ten game losing streak in July. The Reds best chances to end this slide came in games eight and nine of the streak. In game eight, Cincinnati led St. Louis 6-4 heading into the 8th inning. However, St. Louis would get two in that inning off of a Gerald Perry homer, and two in the 9th via an Ozzie Smith single off of Rob Dibble.
Game nine of the streak was also against the Cardinals. In this one the Reds tried to mount a 9th inning rally against St. Louis closer Lee Smith. The inning started well with a Mariano Duncan single, but Joe Oliver hit in to a double play. With two outs Hal Morris was able to drive in Bill Doran, and Barry Larkin stepped up as the trying run. Unfortunately Larkin struck out.
The 1991 Reds ended the season 74-88 and 5th in the NL West.
1989 - 10 game losing streak (2x!) (July 16 - July 26 & September 11 - September 21)
If you think one ten game losing streak in a season is bad...try two. The 1989 Reds pulled off the feat in July and September. A win on July 15 actually kept the first streak from being 16 games long. The September streak included an 0-7 road trip and was punctuated with the Padres sweeping the Reds in Cincinnati.
Pete Rose and Tommy Helms both had opportunities to manage the Reds in 1989. They led them to a 75-87 record which left them 5th in the NL West.
However, none of these streaks can touch the longest losing streak in franchise history.
1914 - 19 game losing streak
Alden Gonzalez wrote about the longest losing streak in every franchises history. Of this Reds team he writes, "This Cincinnati team, under Buck Herzog, finished 60-94 and had four losing streaks of at least five games."
I'll take your word for it.
A ten game losing streak would be bad, but at least it's not nineteen.