Cincinnati Reds: Eight reasons for eight straight losses

Reds manager David Bell, right, watches the action during a game against the Brewers on Tuesday, April 2, 2019, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff
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Reds manager David Bell, right, watches the action during a game against the Brewers on Tuesday, April 2, 2019, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff

Reds have worst offense in baseball

A sports writer joked with Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell after the team’s second game of the season was rained out.

“Now you’ll stay undefeated for at least another day,” he told Bell, who laughed.

Little did Bell and the Reds know just how good those 24 hours would feel compared to the last 168 hours. All the excitement that came with a 5-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Opening Day on March 28 has vanished.

The Reds lost on every day of the week in the first full week of the season and then again on Sunday, 7-5 in Pittsburgh in a game that will mostly be remembered for Yasiel Puig trying to fight the entire Pirates roster and Tucker Barnhart trying valiantly but failing to stop him.

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After an off day Monday, the Reds (1-8) start a brief three-game homestand Tuesday against the Miami Marlins (3-7), hoping to stop an eight-game skid before heading to Mexico for two games against the St. Louis Cardinals (4-5).

The Reds are one game behind the pace of the 2018 team that started 2-7 and then 3-18. Why have the Reds struggled? Here are eight reasons for eight losses:

1. Worst offense: The Reds rank 30th among 30 Major League Baseball teams in hitting (.170). That's 11 points worse than the 29th-ranked Detroit Tigers. The Reds also rank last in runs (21) and on-base percentage (.233).

2. Scoreless streak: Until a home run by Kyle Farmer in the third inning on Saturday, the Reds had not scored in 30 straight innings. It was their longest scoreless streak since August of 2015.

The Reds were shut out in three straight games for the first time since April 1989 and the 10th time in their history. The Reds have already been shut out four times after being shut out 14 times all of last season.

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3. Slumping hitters: Six Reds who have started multiple games are hitting .200 or worse: Jose Peraza (.200); Eugenio Suarez (.192); Scott Schebler (.138); Puig (.133); and Jesse Winker (.042).

4. Starters not producing: Eleven of the Reds' 21 RBIs come from three reserves: Derek Dietrich (8); Farmer (2); and Curt Casali (1).

5. Sub-par performance: Even the team's best player, Joey Votto, hasn't done enough to help the offense. He's hitting .226 with one RBI.

6. Bad timing: After a three-game stretch in which the Reds allowed only five runs but didn't score any, the offense awoke and they scored 10 runs in two games against the Pirates but gave up 13 runs.

7. Lack of speed: The Reds are tied for second to last in baseball in stolen bases (1). They have been caught stealing three times.

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8. Blown chances: The Reds overcame deficits in the first two games of a three-game series against the Brewers only to have relievers give up tie-breaking hits late in the game.

Ryan Braun hit an RBI double in the eighth inning against Raisel Iglesias last Monday, and Orlando Arcia hit a three-run home run against Michael Lorenzen in the sixth inning the next night. The Reds lost both games 4-3.


TUESDAY’S GAME

Marlins at Reds, 6:40 p.m., FS Ohio, 700, 1410

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