Conrad Clowers. File photo

By Conrad Clowers

Herald Sports Writer

The one thing we know about the 2023 Cincinnati Reds is the team does not have the ability to handle anything big. Any pressure situation has resulted in Reds losses. Most recently the Reds had the biggest series of the year with the Yankees. One may argue it was the biggest series for the team in the past 5 years. The result in front of the biggest crowd of the season was a rematch of the 1976 World Series. The team was swept. Didn’t win a game. This past weekend the Reds had pulled to within three games of first place. It has been forever and a day since ‘first place’ and ‘Reds’ were mentioned in the same sentence. One of the three  days had the biggest Reds crowd ever in GABP. A massive series that could well have put the team in first place. The result of the huge four-game series? Three of the four games have been played. The result? Cincinnati has lost all of them.

To put themselves in position, the Reds have beaten up on teams such as the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox. One may point to the ages of the majority of the players. Cincinnati is dominated by young, mid 20-year -old talent. The still wet-behind-the-year Reds have shown flashes of how great the team can be. They have also shown when cornered by an experienced veteran team they don’t have a clue as to how to go for a kill shot to the neck. “We do have to live with growing pains in some instances,” said Reds Manager David Bell.

On a positive note the likelihood of another 100 loss season is just that at this point. The team has shown they can and will hit and are not afraid of deficits. The one question remains in all of Redsland. Will the team bring up top prospect Elly De La Cruz, while they still have a fighting chance for a playoff spot? Cruz is likely the most hyped Reds minor league player since Joey Votto. He has captured the nation with his hitting power and is the top prospect in all of the minor leagues. Cruz could provide an instant spark on the team, whose season could flourish or sink.

Cincinnati will have a challenging week of opportunity ahead facing the Los Angeles before heading out West to face the last place St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals. The Reds have shown a pattern of taking care of business when the pressure is off with teams towards the bottom of the division. The opportunity awaits to pad the win column and pull closer to the top of the division. The team is currently 26-33 and six games out of first place in the National League Central Division. 

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