Look, we have written and written and written some more about frustration around the Cincinnati Reds over the years. We have covered the austerity, the frugality, and the downright cheapness. We’ve been through firesales aplenty, failed attempts in free agency, and feigned attempts at free agency.
We’ve seen devastating injuries, bad contracts, and shuffling of deck chairs. What we haven’t seen, obviously, is a single playoff series victory in our entire existence, and that’s a frustration all its own.
That said, it’s hard to envision a franchise like Cincinnati’s, with so many banners and pennants to its name, choosing to merely shrug off the last 30 years of general ineptitude in the name of patience and leave a first place team completely out to dry at the trade deadline. That’s a first around here - mostly because they are never actually in first - but it’s what we’ve watched play out so far this August.
Bereft of their top starters, all of whom are too young to have ever truly experienced 6-month seasons aside from their injuries, the rotation could have used help. Graham Ashcraft is trying his ass off, and did again this evening, but got no help from an offense that started the game down Jake Fraley and Jon India due to injury and Joey Votto, Will Benson, and TJ Friedl by design. Kevin Newman led-off as the Reds dropped their 4th consecutive home contest in a game in which their opponent entered play under .500, and the entire sha-bang just seems exhausted to its core.
I suppose that’s what happens when all you’ve got left is rookies and journeymen to piece things together in August, aside from the future Hall of Famer in his final season under contract who you, y’know, simply never got around to building around for a decade.
It was a 3-0 loss to Cleveland, one that will surely fade into memory quite soon if the trend continues, but one that just so happened to feel like a coffin nail after yesterday’s off-day and what should have, in theory, been a red-ass opportunity after stubbing their toe so badly the last homestand.
We’re running out of opportunities to be surprised again. We’re also running out of opportunities to just, y’know, be patient anymore.