Jay Bruce needs to get his bat going for the Reds to have a shot at the playoffs. - Photo: Joe Robbins/ Getty Images
With all the talent the Reds have on their roster the bats
just aren’t blazing like we all suspected they would. The Reds rank 27th or lower in four major offensive categories, including runs scored — a woeful
31 runs in 10 games. Luckily for the Reds, outside their current opponent — St.
Louis — nobody in the division can win games, either. The Reds sit in second
place along with Houston and Milwaukee. The one thing Dusty’s boys can’t afford is to
continue with the Drew Stubbs special — swinging and missing. If the Cardinals
sweep the Reds — which is looking probable — then they would be six games back,
not insurmountable but far from ideal.
A healthy Brandon Phillips will go a long way in getting
putting runs on the board.
Wilson Valdez and Willie Harris did a commendable
job in their time replacing Phillips, but any extended absence from Phillips
results in a significant drop in offensive production. In addition to Phillips
recovering from a hamstring injury, much of the starting lineup will have to
overcome a plague-like slump. Jay Bruce, Ryan Ludwick, Devin Mesoraco, Ryan
Hanigan, Drew Stubbs and Scott Rolen are all hitting .205 or worse. Production
from the cleanup spot is hurting badly; Rolen has no dingers and only two
extra-base hits. Joey Votto and Zack Cozart — the only to hitting worth a damn — need production behind them if the reds are going to reverse their current
run scoring trend.
The Reds have Bronson Arroyo taking the hill tonight against
the only St. Louis starter without a win this year, Adam Wainwright (0-2.)
Wainwright enters the game with an 11.42 era, if the Reds can’t stop their
anemic offensive output against Wainwright it may be a long next couple of