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Don’t panic… yet

Another game down in the 2020 MLB season for the Cincinnati Reds and already another loss as they drop to 1-4 to begin the year. It isn’t quite time to hit the panic button yet, but it makes sense to be worried.

The Chicago Cubs, a team that has the chemistry of a little league team heading into their state tournament, handed the Reds their fourth-consecutive loss since opening, 8-5. It wasn’t as close as the score suggested as the Reds added a few runs in the last two innings after the Cubs had scored at least one run in every inning since the third.

Once again, the Cubs energy throughout the game was unmatched. That’s really been the story to me more so than this bad start. Like I mentioned earlier, the Cubs really seem like a bunch of kids just playing ball and having fun, and that’s dangerous. Meanwhile, the down on their luck Reds respond with zero chatter, zero cheers, seemingly zero encouragement. There hasn’t been a lot for the team to cheer for to start the year, but sometimes you have to create that yourself.

It’s just another season in the now string of seasons (2018-current) where this team has not got off on the right foot. They started off 1-8 last season, and the year before that former manager Bryan Price was fired before the team played 20 games. Where is the fire in this team? Sure Moose and Senzel went on the IL after opening day, but in a 60-game season there’s no time for getting down on your luck and falling into slumps.

When the starting pitching is good then the bullpen’s bad. When the starting pitching isn’t good then the bullpen’s good. The hitting hasn’t exactly been consistent but the Reds have averaged 5 runs scored per game which is solid. The Reds just haven’t really played a complete team game since opening day. Again, all this is after only five games, but five games out of a 60-game season is almost 10% of the season already.

More than ever, every game counts and that’s why I’m worried. We’ve seen these awful starts the past two seasons and now again so it’s tough to remain positive when these stories have been played out times before. Getting Moose and Senzy back should help, but this team won’t go far without a steady bullpen.

I’m not giving up hope even though I am worried. Joey Votto and Nicholas Castellanos have both been stellar so far and the starting pitching outside Wade Miley (I thought Tyler Mahle pitched well in those 4 innings against the Cubs) has been phenomenal. You’d think the rest of the offense will come around and if so I still think this team can make some noise this season. But, the clock is already ticking…

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