Spencer Steer put bat to ball on the 125th pitch of Alex Cobb’s outing last night, lacing it for a double over the head of the RF and off the brick wall that Barry Bonds once used as his own personal home-run hurdle. It drove in a run, it got the Reds on the board, and it prevented them from being completely no-hit, as the play came with a pair of outs in the Top of the 9th after they’d been utterly dominated (and hitless) until that point.
It was the latest in a long, growing line of disappointments surrounding this franchise, one that had so effortlessly put itself back into the national conversation earlier in the season for the first time in forever. Their front office sat idle at the deadline. The team tanked against the Chicago Cubs, who were fresh off bolstering their own cause at said deadline. Jake Fraley, Jonathan India, and Joey Votto got hurt, Nick Lodolo had a major setback, and Matt McLain followed them all to the injured list, too.
Even Hunter Greene’s return has hit the fan, the would-be ace of the staff having coughed up 13 ER in just 6.2 IP across a pair of starts since his return to the squad. Then, on top of it all, came Cobb’s near no-hit outing as the Giants begin to distance themselves further from the Reds in the National League’s Wild Card race.
What’s left is a Reds club that, should they lose again this afternoon, would sit just a lone game over the .500 mark, hardly the calling card of a club with much more to play for when calendars begin to flirt with the month of September.
Greene, though, will get a chance to jerk the club out its month-long rut again today. He’ll start as the Reds close their series by the bay (and their 10-game western road trip), and maybe, just maybe, pitching back in his home state of California will be what it takes to rediscover his form. Of course, that won’t matter in the slightest if the team’s offense can’t shake itself out of its own rut against Logan Webb - their collective 79 wRC+ in the month of August is better than only the Guardians, Angels, and Rockies.
First pitch is set for 3:45 PM ET. Get on your horses, Reds, or get the hell out of the way.