[Moderated by Matt Jones]
After assuming the lead atop the NL Central the Reds have struggled since entering June play. In their last 6 games the Reds have been less than spectacular, posting a disappointing 2-4 record during their current home stand at Great American ballpark. Although the Reds are still leading the division, they now share it with the Pittsburgh Pirates with a record of 32-27. This string of losses, although not the worst streak of games, came at a time when the Reds could have taken a healthy multi game lead over the rest of the division.
The most disappointing news coming from last night’s loss the the Tigers was the second consecutive poor performance by bullpen ace Aroldis Chapman. Chapman, who had previously been untouched throughout the entire season, has lost two games in consecutive appearances, which leaves Reds fans wondering whether something is wrong with the fireballer. Many fans still think that Chapman’s future belongs in the starting rotation, while others believe that he is best utilized out of the bullpen in late inning situations. The debate rages on, and if Chapman continues to struggle you have to believe that he is pushing himself further away from a starting spot.
Looking forward, the next 3 game series against the Cleveland Indians will be an important one for a couple of reasons.
– The Indians are an instate rival who have played well so far this season
– The Reds need to win in order to retain their spot atop the division
– This is the last home series before hitting the road for 6 games, and momentum could prove to be very important entering next week
In other news, the Reds are close to signing their first round draft pick; high school pitcher Nick Travieso. After reading Moneyball I can now say with confidence that Billy Beane would be very disappointed in the Reds for drafting a high school pitcher, especially in the first round, due to the unpredictability of the future of high school pitchers. Lets hope for the Reds sake that they made the right decision and in the next few years Travieso will be a cornerstone of the Reds organization.
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