It's the same old song

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in

The Reds beat the Pirates 5-0 yesterday, finishing off a three-game sweep of the Buccos. Not only was it a sweep, but it was nearly a total whitewash - one run off Bronson Arroyo on Monday was the only time Pittsburgh managed to get one across. Johnny Cueto's one-hitter on Tuesday was followed up with what might have been the best performance of Homer Bailey's big-league career, a four-hit shutout where he struck out six and didn't walk a single batter.

With their now five-game winning streak, the Reds are officially the hottest team in baseball right now. They're 19-15 and just a game back of the Cardinals. The pitching is starting to live up to the promise, the bats are coming alive (Cueto's win was a 9-0 game), Mike Leake made the jump straight to the bigs and Aroldis Chapman is waiting in the wings in Louisville. Life is good, or so it seems.

I don't want to be a Debbie Downer, but I've seen this show before. In fact, I see it every year, just about. The Reds start out slow in April, then catch fire in May. By the end of May or early June, they're leading the NL Central. Last year, they were only two games out at the beginning of July.

Then, they crash, and crash hard. A losing record is always the result. If the major league season was 62 games instead of 162, the Reds would have a playoff appearance streak of Braves-like proportions. But this is a team that hasn't seemed suited for the long haul, and hasn't had a winning record since the last millenium (it was the 2000 season, and yes I just went all millenium pedantic on you).

Here is my wish for this season: I wish that the Reds build on the momentum of last September, when they went 18-9 and that included a five-game losing streak. I wish that they remain competitive in the division through at least the end of July this time. I wish that if they do remain competitive, Walt Jocketty has the good sense to see the big picture and not mortgage the farm system at the trading deadline. I wish that Mike Leake continues to do well (I read an article that compared him to Tim Hudson, in terms of size, velocity and pitch selection, and that's just fine with me). I wish that Aroldis Chapman's contract turns out to be money well spent.

And most importantly, I wish for a winning season this year, so the team can have the confidence that they can compete and make a serious run at the NL Central title next season. It doesn't have to be much. Even 83-79 will do.

I don't think that's too much to ask.

Comments (1)

    As a Reds fan, I'll take 82-80 as a successful season. Anything else would be icing on the cake.

    And as a Reds fan, I'm not banking that Cueto and Bailey will continue with those performances unless they face the Pirates every time they take the mound.