ANALYSIS: Reds on downward trajectory as calendar turns to July

Reds return to action Tuesday against Mets

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Three games past the halfway point of the season, the Cincinnati Reds find themselves in a familiar place: six games under .500 (39-45) and 11 games back in the National League Central Division.

The Reds have taken a losing record into July eight times in the last nine 162-game seasons. Last season was the exception. They were 44-38 through June 30 and 49-35 through 84 games. They finished 82-80.

A 2-0 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on Sunday left the Reds with a series split. They have split two of the last six series and lost the other four.

Even with the sub-par first half, the Reds are one of seven teams within five games of the final wild-card spot, which is owned by the Cardinals (43-40).

“We’re one game at a time, one pitch at a time,” Reds manager David Bell said on Bally Sports Cincinnati on Sunday. “They’re all equal. We’ll take that approach to the end. Play every game like it’s a playoff game. Winning series and our record at the end will take care of itself.”

Here’s a breakdown of the Reds, who were off Monday and begin a three-game series on the road against the New York Yankees on Tuesday, just past the halfway point:

Top hitter: Elly De La Cruz has 14 home runs, which ties Jeimer Candelario for the team lead, and he has 37 RBIs, two behind Candelario. De La Cruz has a better average than Candelario (.252 to .243) and on-base percentage (.342 to .297).

Top pitcher: Hunter Greene (5-4, 3.70) has a slight edge over Andrew Abbott (7-6, 3.41) because of his strikeout numbers (109-72).

Best newcomer: Candelario has improved his numbers each month, hitting .189 in March/April, .247 in May and .290 in June. He signed with the Reds as a free agent in December.

Most disappointing hitter: Spencer Steer is hitting .241 after hitting .271 last season.

Most disappointing pitcher: Alexis Diaz has a 4.75 ERA in 32 appearances. Last season, he had a 3.07 ERA in 71 appearances and was the Reds’ only All-Star.

Most injuries: Nick Lodolo and T.J. Friedl have both been on the injured list three times for different injuries.

Best stat: De La Cruz leads Major League Baseball with 40 stolen bases. He’s on pace to steal 78 bases. That would be the most by a player since Jose Reyes, of the New York Mets, stole 78 in 2007.

De La Cruz also has a chance to become the fourth Red to have at least 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in the same season. He’s on pace to hit 27 home runs. Brandon Phillips was the last Red to accomplish the feat in 2007.

Best streaks: Jonathan India went 1-for-4 on Sunday, ending an eight-game streak in which he had multiple hits in each game. It was the longest multi-hit game streak by a Red since Chris Stynes, who also had an eight-game streak in 2000. Tony Perez (11 games in 1973) and Ted Kluszewski (nine games in 1955) have the only longer streaks.

Other streaks continue for India. He has a 12-game hitting streak, and he has doubled in eight straight games. He’s the first Red since at least 1900 to double in seven or more consecutive games.

Hottest Red: India is hitting .380 in the last 30 days. That’s the third-best average in baseball. He hit .228 in March/April and .220 in May. Overall, he’s hitting .279.


Reds at Yankees, 7:05 p.m., Bally Sports Cincinnati, 700, 1410

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