By Conrad Clowers
Herald Sports Writer
The 2020 MLB season ended the same way the 1995 season ended for Cincinnati. Both seasons saw the Atlanta Braves sweeping the Reds right into the off season. In a year that everyone thought would be the rebirth of competitive baseball in one of the countries oldest baseball towns slid like a driver hitting black ice in the winter.
In a normal season, who knows if the Reds would have made the playoffs? More teams were given a chance to play in the post season thanks to a shuffling of the regular and post season schedule between MLB and the players union amid COVID. After 60 games, the Reds qualified for their first post season since 2013. That’s all that matters. Well, at least to a team just wanting to experience what it’s like to play for a title.
Nobody can ever say the Reds don’t make history. They did just that in 2020. Cincinnati became the first team in MLB history to play multiple post season games and not score one run. The home team did what nightmares are made of. Game #1 went into extra innings tied 0-0. Cincinnati had multiple chances to get the go ahead run/runs in. For whatever reason the Reds seemed to be playing a fate higher than the Atlanta Braves could ever dream of being for them. It was almost like home plate was a repelling magnet the Reds didn’t want to get close to. Reds ace Trevor Bauer pitched one of the most magical games ever pitched in post season history in vane. He deserved a better fate. A 1-0 loss in game #1 and a 5-0 loss in game #2 allowed Cincinnati to start an early vacation.
Wait until next year! That’ll be the battle cry for the beloved home team as they jump into the off season to try and make improvements.
The first order of business will be trying to get likely Cy Young winner Bauer to stay another season. Bauer led a triple threat of Reds stud pitchers formidable enough to battle any big 3 in major league baseball, with himself, along with Luis Castillo, and Sonny Gray.
The team will need to concentrate on getting some clutch consistent hitters in the off season. None of the Reds quartette of power men of Joy Votto, Mike Moustakas, Nick Castellanos, or Eugenio Suarez could manage to knock in one single run when it counted the most.
The coronavirus threw many for a loop in 2020.
Who knows what ’21 will bring? For Cincy to get a long awaited title advancing in the playoffs would be a start.