Yeah, sure, the Cincinnati Reds lost to the Chicago Cubs on Thursday, 6-4 in 12 innings. But really, things are not as they seem here.
You see, those weren’t the Reds that took the field against the Cubbies. They were the “reds”, minimized and emaciated by injuries to Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips and Billy Hamilton, with starter Homer Bailey joining the hit brigade during the game. The team that took the field for Cincinnati was simply the shell that the June Bug left behind, and the crunchy skin just couldn’t withstand even the Cubs with no real body inside.
The loss left the Reds at six games over .500 and looking like something other than what we thought they were.
Which brings us to Tony DePhillips, who is NOT Tony Phillips, but there’s probably a decent chance you thought my headline referred to the former Oakland A’s star. No, Tony DePhillips made 35 war-time appearances at catcher for the Reds in 1943, accumulating two hits in 20 at-bats. Beyond those statistical tidbits, all Baseball Reference can tell us about DePhillips is that he was released by the Reds in 1947. So, again, he wasn’t exactly what he appeared to be, as SOMETHING must have happened with him in those four years.
Like Tony DePhillips, the Reds right now are not who we thought they were. If they don’t find a new identity quickly in the face of all their injuries, they can probably kiss 2014 goodbye.