By Matthew McAdow
If you look at Reds Twitter or Reds Facebook right now, you can see that many fans have started to hit the panic button and many have even given up on the team at this point. Sure, it has been a brutal week of Cincinnati baseball, but we seem to forget that this happened just weeks ago and the team came together to start a winning streak quickly after. Before slamming the panic button, let’s go over a few “relief measures” to make you a little more optimistic:
- The Reds are only back 1.5 games from first place in the National League Central. If you would’ve told me we would be less than two games back in August before the season began, I would have called you a liar.
- The Brewers are 3-7 in their last 10 just as Cincinnati is. The Cubs are hot at the moment, but they have a brutal stretch of games coming up this month.
- Greene, Lodolo, Gutierrez, Antone, India, and Fraley are all close to returning to the team.
- The Cincinnati Reds are still currently in a Wildcard Spot. While winning the Central is the goal, there is still another route to get into the Playoffs.
- There are 48 games left. That is a lot of baseball and a lot of time for Cincinnati to get back to normal.
So now after reading that, are you still wanting to slam the panic button and call the season a wash? I don’t know how the season will end, but don’t slam the button just yet.
Anyone who watches baseball understands that a manager often has to take the blame, even when it isn’t their fault. Sure, I don’t always agree with David and it would honestly be scary if someone always agreed with his decisions, much like political extremists who always tend to agree with their favorite politician no matter what they do or say (We all know a few of these people). I don’t always agree with David, but I do know that he has got the buy-in from this young club and that he is consistent in his methods. Before you start blaming David Bell for everything, let’s go over a list of things he cannot control:
- David Bell cannot control the health of Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo. Losing your top two starters and losing “normal” Graham Ashcraft for a lot of the season is something simply out of his control.
- David Bell cannot swing the bat for the players. He cannot help that the team is batting roughly .220 since mid-July. He cannot help that our strikeout percentage is through the roof.
- David Bell cannot go out and pitch. Yes, he makes the calls to the bullpen, but in reality, it’s up to the players who are on the roster to produce. He does his best job to put them in situations to perform well, but he cannot perform for them.
The next time you want to criticize Bell, at least ensure that it isn’t a lazy criticism without any reasoning. The take of “Bell just can’t manage this team” without any facts gets quite old. I know coaches take the heat when things go south, but be realistic.
Let’s Do Some Math
While I may be finishing up my Master’s and work in the Nuclear Industry, Math is not a strong attribute of mine. Maybe it is my Appalachian education, but I think I will blame it on my wandering mind during High School math courses and the “odd answers” in the back of the book during College Calculus. Let’s see just what it is going to take for the Reds to win the National League Central:
- Let’s see how many wins it took to win the National League Central in the last few years, ignoring the Covid year. -93, 95, 91, 96, 92. The average of these numbers would be 93.4. Cincinnati currently has 59 wins with 48 games left to play. To hit this average number, they would need to roughly go 34-14 to end the season. They still have the Marlins, Pirates, Guardians, Blue Jays, Angels, Diamondbacks, Giants, Cubs, Mariners, Cardinals, Tigers, Mets, Twins, Pirates, Guardians, and Cardinals again to end the season. It is more than possible to hit this number if the Reds would get hot again to end the season.
Random Stats and Facts
- De La Cruz Last 15 Days- .250, 24 strikeouts
- McLain Last 15 Days – .301, 22 strikeouts
- Votto Last 15 Days – .232, 12 strikeouts, 4 Homeruns
- Steer Last 15 Days – .224, 15 strikeouts
- TJ Friedl is the first player with 10+ bunts and 10+ homeruns since 2019
- Post All-Star Break, the Reds have a 27% K rate, 6.6% BB rate, and only .64 SB/G
If the Reds are going to get back to winning baseball, I think they need to get back to being themselves, which includes base hits, stolen bases, and creating chaos with their speed. I haven’t given up on this team yet and I don’t think you should either.