Same story, different day and year. The 2014 Cincinnati Reds look eerily similar to the 2013 Cincinnati Reds. Offensively you could not ask for a worse example of how to hit with runners on base than the Reds through the first 7 games of the season.
Lets run through some numbers real quick. As a team Cincinnati is batting only .224, good enough for 23rd in Major League Baseball. Their slugging percentage is a dismal .322 ranking 25th in the majors. The worst stat for the Reds is runs scored, that number currently stands at only 18 ranking an awful 27th in the majors.
Those numbers are downright awful for a team that offensively had its bright sports last season. In 2013 as a team the Reds batted .249, up from where the Reds are currently at. Granted after seven games into a season it is hard to make a comparison. 2013 saw the Reds score 698 runs, based off their current 18 runs over 7 games stat the Reds are on course for 416 runs in 2014.
Obviously the team will have better days than other. An 11 run game one day will result in a 1 run game the next, thats how baseball works. What the Reds need to do at the moment though is figure out how to drive in runners that are on base.
Currently the Reds are professionals at getting players on base then stranding them by grounding out or popping out. With the lineup heavy at the top and weak at the bottom it has led to these situations. When Hamilton, Votto, Phillips or Bruce get on base that brings up Zach Cozart at some point. Cozart is currently 1-23 this season with a .043 BA, not the guy you want to have to rely on for driving in runs.
A lineup shift may do the Reds wonders. Although at the moment hitting the ball seems to elude some of the players on this team. With two more games against the Cardinals before the Reds return home they need to figure this out quickly. 2-5 is not how anyone wanted to start this season but with 154 games left there is a lot of time to right the ship.