Back to back playoff appearances for the Cincinnati Reds marked the first time that has occurred since the 1975-1976 seasons. The
Big Red Machine ran baseball those years, the Reds of today come no where near the Big Red Machine. Back to back collapses in the postseason have doomed the Reds of today. A 6-2 loss in Pittsburgh tonight is yet another disappointment for Cincinnati.
Johnny Cueto took the mound for Cincinnati in a hostile PNC Park. Cueto has a fresh arm, big things were expected out of him. Instead Cueto struggled, 3.1IP giving up 7 hits and 4 runs. The energetic intimidating crowd at PNC Park got into Cueto’s head early. The “Cuet-to” chants got to Cueto early, dropping the ball off the mound just energized the crowd even more.
With Cueto getting rocked the offense needed to step up. The offense has been non existent the last 5 games leading into tonights game. Tonight the Reds offense accounted for 6 hits to Pittsburgh’s 13. That won’t win games now, it will never win games in the post season.
Reds relief pitching was actually better than expected tonight. Sean Marshall struggled badly not getting an out in the 4th inning. After loading the bases and allowing a run JJ Hoover came in to close out the 4th. From there the Reds used 4 more pitchers, Logan Ondrusek was the only to allow another run.
Manager Dusty Baker has changed the lineup multiple times this season. The post season would be no different, he moved Ryan Ludwick to the 2 hole. Ludwick much to everyone’s surprise went 3-4, shutting up all the annoying haters. While Ludwick tried to win this game Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips went 0-fer on the night. The two highest paid players on the team, the leaders of the offense did not get a hit. That is unacceptable.
Multiple times the Reds had chances to score only to have them squandered by awful plate appearances. When you hit doubles you must score the runner from second, Cincinnati failed to do that all night. Now Shin Soo Choo is likely gone, yet he was the only man to score tonight.
“It was by far my worst year this year, my worst year offensively, I have a lot to learn to be a better ball player so we can be a better team”
Joey Votto said that following tonights loss. For the record Votto batted .305 this season, he has taken ownership of this dismal finish. That is what leaders do. Brandon Phillips is likely picking out what Louboutin’s he will be wearing tonight.
“We choke. I Choked” said a dapper looking Brandon Phillips following tonights loss. Phillips also seemed somewhat hostile as well.
For Phillips to say this, that is completely unacceptable. Some guys played their hearts out tonight, Choo, Frazier and Ludwick did not choke. Phillips attitude is growing old very quickly.
To Pittsburghs credit they played their best game of the season tonight. Pitcher Francisco Liriano was dominant tonight. The last time the Reds got dominated this badly was the 2010 NLDS when Roy Halladay dominated the Reds by tossing a no hitter.
There were no positives to come out of tonights game for the Reds. Shin Soo Choo is gone, Bronson Arroyo is gone, there are numerous questions surrounding this team.
The good news is Opening Day is 5 months away, bad news Dusty Baker will likely be manager still. A full off season preview will follow tomorrow.