Last season at the All-Star break, Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky made the season’s biggest trade in order to “fix” the Reds’ ailing bullpen – sending former All-Star shortstop Felipe Lopez and former first-round draft picks Austin Kearns and Ryan Wagner to Washington for relievers Gary Majewski and Bill Bray among others.
Through 22 games this season, the Reds’ bullpen is still ill and oozing runs, including two more in each of its two innings in Thursday’s 7-5 loss to the Cardinals in the final game of the series in St. Louis.
I’m not anti-Krivsky like many, but goodness, let’s hope he doesn’t get antsy to “fix” the problem again. Another trade, and the Reds may never score again.
Of the seven pitchers currently comprising the Reds’ bullpen, all seven have given up at least a run in one of their last two outings. The team has gone from having the best bullpen ERA in the National League (1.72 on April 15) to having the worst (4.96 after Thursday’s game).
“Our bullpen, the first week was the first week was the best in baseball? We’re very capable of doing it again,” Narron said, noting that the bullpen started the season without giving up a run in its first 14 2/3 innings of work this season.
That seems like a long time ago. In the series against the Cardinals, every inning started by a Reds reliever ended with a Cardinals run.
Wow. That’s a damning fact.
The rest of the article linked above (from the Post; you should definitely go read the entire piece) is devoted to what the Reds can do to improve the bullpen. The consensus is: not much, at least from inside the organization. Bill Bray may help if he ever gets healthy, and there is another arm or two that could probably be plugged in from AAA…but it’s basically re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
I’ll give credit to Narron for saying something that, while it’s a cliche, is absolutely true, and we would all do good to keep this in mind:
“In this game, you’re never as good as you think you are when things are going right,” Narron said. “And you’re never as bad when things are going against you.”
Blame Chad for creating this mess.
Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.
You can email Chad at email@example.com.