Reds in familiar shooting location with 3-15 record: ‘I don’t think you can put it into words’

Four years ago, the Reds stood exactly where they were after Wednesday night’s 8-5 loss to the Padres – at 3-15. The day after their second straight shutout loss, manager Bryan Price and pitching coach Mack Jenkins were fired, just three weeks into the season.

That fate is unlikely to befall current manager David Bell, pitching coach Derek Johnson or anyone else before Game 19 of the season, or directly after it.

Don’t get me wrong, Price was a scapegoat, and there will always be scapegoats. It’s not that Price was the reason the Reds have lost 83 per cent of their games to start this season, just like Bell isn’t the reason the 2022 Reds have only managed three wins so far. .

There will be fingers pointing and some will blame Bell, blame general manager Nick Krall, blame the schedule managers who pitted the Reds against the last two World Series winners in the first two weeks of the season and didn’t give them just two home games in the top 13 – and one of those against Shane Bieber.

There are reasons why the team is 3-15. There are excuses for the team to be 3-15. But none of that changes the fact that the Reds are 3-15.

“I don’t think you can put it into words,” Reds shortstop Kyle Farmer said after the latest loss when asked to be 3-15.

Said Tommy Pham, a newcomer to the team this season: “I believe that over the course of the season, if we continue to play the way we have – we don’t give up the bats, we snack, during of a season, (it) plays.

Simply put, the Reds can’t be that bad.

Part of that is down to injuries — all season there’s been their No. 1 starter, Luis Castillo, and the most experienced starter, Mike Minor. The big young prospect, Jose Barrero, and the veteran stick brought in to stabilize the formation, Donovan Solano, are also absent. The team’s top returning reliever, Lucas Sims, only pitched one game. Nick Senzel and Tyler Naquin, two of the team’s expected starters in the outfield, have both spent time on the injured list, as has Jonathan India, the team’s leadoff hitter and rookie of the year. of the National League last year. Reliever Justin Wilson went to the IL on Wednesday.

“Eventually when everyone is healthy and back, I think we have a really good team, a pretty competitive team,” Pham said. “At the moment we are competitive, but we will be better.”

It’s hard to be worse.

Only one team (Kansas City) has scored fewer points (52) than the Reds’ 54. The Reds are last in baseball in on-base percentage (.268) and OPS (.570). They are second to last in average (.195) and slugging percentage (.302). Only six teams have fewer homers than the Reds (12) and only three teams have hit more than the 172 times the Reds have sniffed.

And that’s just the offense. The Reds’ overall ERA (5.76) is the worst in baseball at 0.60. The 8.03 ERA by starters is almost a run and a half worse than any baseball team. Only the Nationals (107) have conceded more runs than the Reds (101). The Reds’ pitchers have walked 82 batters, more than any team other than the Nationals (83). Reds pitchers also have the worst WHIP in baseball (1.57).

That doesn’t even fit into the recently interrupted 99 inning streak without a lead. The Reds are 8½ games behind the division-leading Brewers and five games behind the Cubs and Pirates. They also hold the worst point differential in baseball, at minus-47.

That run differential is a run worse than their mark in 2018 when Price was fired. This team also gave up one more run and scored the exact same number. The team’s ERA was 5.42 when Price was fired and its OPS was 0.619, both better ratings than the team’s 2022 version.

There are only three current players – Joey Votto, Tyler Mahle and Castillo – who have played for Price. Three others – Sims, Senzel and Aristides Aquino, are the only ones to play for a manager other than Bell in a Reds uniform. It’s a reminder of how quickly things change.

This turnover, of course, is also a big reason why the admittedly meager expectations of this year’s team are not being met.

This time, however, the pointing fingers are pointing in the right direction, the owner’s stand. The top of the organization ordered the front office to pinch the money.

The only thing a team like this needs is depth. Those trades are why Aramis Garcia is pushed into an everyday role (along with Luke Voit’s forearm thrill) with Tyler Stephenson’s injury instead of a Gold Glover in Tucker Barnhart. That’s why Aquino and his 23 strikeouts in 40 at bats were still in Wednesday’s lineup. That’s why Colin Moran has the most starts at third base and Brandon Drury, signed in spring training, has the most starts at DH. That’s why the six pitchers who have made starts for the Reds this season (including Luis Cessa as an opener), have combined for 154 career starts, or 54.4% of the number of starts the late Wade had. Miley has in her only career.

The manager’s dismissal four years ago didn’t change anything. The Reds lost their next three games before caretaker manager Jim Riggleman secured his first win with the side. He finished 64-80 in 124 games. That, too, was not his fault.

Price finished his managerial career with a 279-387 record (41.9 winning percentage). With Wednesday’s loss, Bell’s record in more than three seasons stands at 192-210 (47.8%).

No team has ever finished 3-159, and despite how it feels at Great American Ball Park these days, neither did this one.

What this team needs is support from ownership, management, a little health and a little luck. What he doesn’t need is a scapegoat.

(Photo by Kyle Farmer: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)