2023 Cincinnati Reds are a no-nonsense team

The greatest gift the 2023 Cincinnati Reds have given thus far, is getting straight to the point.

On Monday, May 1st, the Reds fell to a record of 12-17 as the star-studded Padres lineup defeated our squad of Reds to an 8-3 final tally.

They wasted no time. In the first inning around 9:50 p.m. EST, Juan Soto banged a two-run double with no outs and if you were barely awake at this point like I was, that was all the excuse you needed to get some shut-eye.

This year, Reds starters have surrendered a run in the first inning just over half the time in 16 games. In total, they've given up 36 earned runs in 29 opening innings for an unholy 11.17 ERA to go alongside a 2.17 WHIP and a .391 batting average against. All numbers that without a doubt, are the worst in baseball.

It’s almost like coming into a season 26th in payroll with three actual starting pitchers on Opening Day, injured or not, wasn’t so great of an idea.

Even doubly so looking at some of the ERA leaderboards this early season.

Former salary-cap "causality" Sonny Gray leads all of baseball with a cool 0.77 ERA. He’s currently making just $12 million this year.

Luis Castillo, who inked a team-friendly five-year $108 million contract in late September 2022, is fourth with an ERA of 1.82, just ahead of Shohei Ohtani.

But Castillo netted us prospects, which we need for the future of the club you say. ok ok ok.

How about Wade Miley, who is sixth in ERA with 1.86 and is making just $4.5 million this year? Anthony DeScflafani is making $12 million and has an ERA of 2.70.

Do those names sound familiar?

What we do have are some exciting young prospects to be on the lookout for.

So when an extra hitter was needed after Wil Myers went down, it was only right to call up 32-year-old Matt Reynolds. Don’t look too much into Matt McClain, or Christian Encarnacion-Strand, both prospects who are hammering triple-A pitching right now. There just simply isn’t a spot open for them right now with Jose Barrero and his -0.5 bWAR and 58 OPS+ or Kevin Newman with a -0.7 bWAR and 56 OPS+.

The 21st-ranked .691 OPS Reds just don’t have any room for playing time right now.

It’s like they’re daring you as a fan to keep watching. It’s a social experiment. How much punishment can a person take?

If you can stay to watch the whole thing, you’re prodded.

"It’ll be good baseball," Announcer Chris Welsh said previewing the upcoming home series with the Texas Rangers, right after the Reds dropped a 2-0 stinker to the Pirates (who scored a run in the first inning). "Come on out to Great American Ballpark and take a look."

To be fair, the Texas Rangers series, one that the Reds improbably swept, was in fact good baseball. But still, at the time, what information led that to be an accurate assessment rather than blind luck? The team had just lost 6 in a row. Why should a fan take this memo seriously?

It sounds more like announcers are being nudged by ownership to direct fans that yes, tickets are still available for home games. A lot of them.

In a similar vein, advertisements for the Reds-Yankees series at GABP upcoming this month have been advertised on TV, in the ballpark, and on LED billboards for a month now and you just get a funny feeling that the stands will be filled with pinstripes and NY-caps more than red and wishbone C ones. Funny how that works.

And with all that being said, we’re still better than the St. Louis Cardinals. And they’re actually trying.