By Conrad Clowers
Herald Sports Writer
Everybody knows what goes up, must come down. The 2023 Reds were on a hot streak few other teams could match in baseball. The team had won 12 straight games and went from last to first place. It was a Tri-State baseball lovers dream come true. The city has had a rebirth with the love of baseball. New, young, exciting baseball players winning in comeback fashion much of the season has given the city hope this team may go further than just the regular season.
People that are drunk or high know that at some point the rush wears off and you come back to earth. This is what has happened to the Reds. The team has currently lost four straight games. Three of those four came by way of the team they are in competition for first place. Not only is the team on a four-game losing streak they have been knocked out of first place by the Milwaukee Brewers.
Despite the tailspin the Reds are currently in it’s the pitching that has kept the team in contention. One of the beautiful things about the 2023 season is Cincinnati has found three gems for the future. One is a pitcher named Andrew Abbott. Abbott has come to the majors and into the Reds starting rotation like a seasoned veteran. The rookie came in setting records for the longest scoreless streak of any rookie.
While Abbott has comeback to earth just slightly now giving up runs, he has not given up many. The Reds rookie currently has a 2.45 ERA with a 4-2 record. He has struck out an amazing 51 batters in 47 innings. The way the team had been hitting in being in the top 10 in the league in runs scored, it was unrealistic to think that pace was going to be kept up. It’s those times when the hitting takes a dip where the pitching needs to take up the slack to keep a successful season going.
Graham Ashcraft (4-7 2.45 ERA), Ben Lively (4-5 3.72 ERA), and Luke Weaver (2-2 7 ERA) have solidified the rest of the Reds rotation.
Ace Hunter Greene waits in the wings on the injured list. Before going on the disable list, Greene had a 2-4 record with a 3-93 ERA along with 100 strikeouts in 73 innings.
Coming into the season, nobody expected the Reds to be anything at the plate. Everyone expected the three headed monster of Greene, Ashcraft and Nick Lodolo to be the strong suit. Greene is possibly a month away from his return. Reports are Lodolo’s return is further away from Greene.
Cincinnati is currently 50-44 and went from one game up to two games behind the first place Brewers in the National League Central division. If the season were to end today, the team wouldn’t even be in the playoffs.
A current stretch of contending teams awaits the Reds. This week, the San Francisco Giants and the Arizona Diamondbacks will play Cincinnati in Cincinnati. Both teams are within three games of the National League West division.
Getting Hunter Greene back and teaming him with Abbott and Ashcraft could be the boost the Reds need on the mound.
At some point the offense will have to start to score. The team was shut out three games in a row recently. Continued performances of that nature will get Cincinnati a front row seat to watching the playoffs.