One entire week ago, the Cincinnati Reds were rolling. They were cruising. At 9-2 in the month of July, they looked like a well-oiled...well, we can’t just go around using the word machine lightly in these parts, but you get what I’m saying.
They looked the part of a team poised to make noise, and were doing so at a vital point in the 2021 season. What a difference one week makes, however.
Crushing bullpen implosions cost the Reds in their series sweep at the hands of the first place Milwaukee Brewers, while the walls kept right on crumbling during their series loss to the first place New York Mets in the last week. Perhaps more crushing, however, was the fractured wrist suffered by Nick Castellanos, and that paired with Michael Lorenzen’s immediate return to the injured list with a hamstring problem has the Reds reeling both in the standings and on the roster.
Of course, it’s the kind of scenario that would presumably have teams with playoff intentions make trades to bolster their chances this time of the season. Presumably, indeed.
So far, though, we’ve seen the same kind of inaction from the Reds front office and ownership that we watched throughout the winter prior to this season, a sabotage effort in the name of profit that this team has still managed to weather enough to still, at this juncture, have the goal line in sight. This team has grinded through SP woes, shrugged off a dilapidated bullpen, weathered Joey Votto on the shelf for a month and Mike Moustakas shelved much longer, ridden the hot-hands of rookies Jonathan India and Tyler Stephenson, and despite all the woes of the last week they sit over .500 with eight days remaining until the trade deadline.
This team, on its own merits, deserves help from their owners. This team, with the woes and pains of the last 25 years of mostly crap baseball from this franchise as the backdrop, deserves some damn help from their owners. If not now, if not this time around, if not after the dedication to the scorched-earth rebuild in 2015 that begat this group, when?!
BK joined me to discuss this all on the latest episode of the Bleav in Reds podcast. You can tune in to that by smashing the play button embedded below if that’s not been stripped out by the Googles on your browser, or you can stream it by clicking this here link.