I know, I know, I know. The Reds have had about a zillion chances to get their season turned around over the last few months. After the 1-8 start we knew it’d be an uphill battle, but luckily the NL Central has been so tight all season that the Reds have been within striking distance despite not being over .500 since March 31st when they were 1-1. Every time we think they’re ready to take the next step and get right back into the hunt, we’re reminded how terrible our offense can be in innings not named ‘the first inning’.
Last night was no different when the usual suspect, Eugenio Suarez hit a dingeroo to left-center to make it 1-0 good guys.
Hell, they even added on two more runs in the third inning to give the hometown club a comfortable lead. St. Louis’ DeJong hit a lucky home run that was fair by about 1/8th of an inch, so if you ask me it probably shouldn’t have even counted.
Then this happened.
I don’t like to burn bridges, but I’m gonna speak for the rest of the co-hosts of Riverfront Radio and say Robert Stephenson is not a welcomed guest. Unless he wants to come on, in which case we’d love to have him.
If you take away that disaster of a 6th inning that Stephenson pitched, then you’re looking at a pretty exciting Reds victory. I mean, hell.. this play might have been the play of the season so far for Puig/Suarez, which is saying a lot since they bring the leather to the ballpark every single night.
But enough about last night. Sure, we got a sweet Yasiel “Wild Horse” Puig bobblehead, but we still came away with a big fat L. Not something we’re used to in the city of Cincinnati so it was a bitter pill to swallow.
Tonight is the night that things get turned around. Ever heard of “hitting rock bottom”? Last night was our rock bottom moment and I’m about 99.9%* positive this is what helps us turn it around. The Reds are now 8 games out of first place. It’s time to shit or get off the pot with the July 31st trade deadline looming. Sure, we have all three (yes, three) of our catchers on the Injured List. Yes, Nick Senzel is still recovering from a tweaked hamstring that they say is “no big deal” but he still hasn’t seen the field since it happened. David Hernandez on the IL? It’s not like he’s been doing anything but giving up runs anyway. Amir Garrett is ready for his rehab assignment so he’ll be back this weekend assuming there are no setbacks. Alex Wood is ready to come take Mahle or Disco’s spot whenever he’s given the green light.
When opportunities arise, you start to see progress from your young guys that are finally given an opportunity to shine. Take Jimmy Herget, for example. Last night he shaved down his ERA from 40.50 to 16.20 with just a single inning of work! Name another pitcher that has done that this season. This is what we call P-R-O-G-R-E-S-S. Trust the Progress. Print the shirts.
Scooter Gennett is playing like a guy who has been sitting around for a few months while the rest of the league was playing every single day, but that can’t last forever. He’s bound to start to trend towards the Scooter we all know and love. David Hernandez will come back from the IL with a cleared head and a *cough* healed shoulder *cough* and Amir Garrett will be ready to split the closer role with Michael Lorenzen when we trade Rasiel Iglesias for another bat to add to our steady rotation of under-performing hitters.
I keep waiting for Votto to turn Full-Votto, but so far we’ve only seen glimpses. Tonight’s match-up provides a great opportunity to get the ball rolling in the right direction.
Mix in a consistent Votto with a guaranteed run or two in the first inning and I like the Reds’ chances tonight. Maybe we’ll even get a few more defensive gems (formerly known as Web Gems, RIP) from Puig and Suarez mixed in among the dingers they blast every time they come to the plate. Realistically, I’ll take 2 home runs from each of them, but every time they come up would be appreciated.
Hell, I bet they even have 07/19/2019 inscribed on the inside of their World Series rings as the date that they officially turned the season around. The date will be chanted at the parade. Hell, I’ll even get it tattooed on my body. Anything for a ring (unlike some of my fellow podcast hosts). I wonder what they’d get tattooed. Probably nothing. Some guys just want it more.
Good luck to everyone out there that will be braving the heat. Last night was an absolute sauna, and today seems like it’s even worse. I would love to buy you a beer to help keep cool
by sending you some money through Venmo but unfortunately the technology to send money quickly doesn’t exist yet and a check would take 3-5 days in the mail. Maybe next time.
*if they lose tonight, 07/20/2019 will be the date they finally turned it around and tonight was rock bottom.Follow @BennyMacBlog