Reds are one and done

Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips both went 0-4 in Pittsburgh Tuesday night.

Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips both went 0-4 in Pittsburgh Tuesday night.

It’s been a rough day for Cincinnati Reds fans, as the Reds lost the one game Wild Card playoff game this past Tuesday. The Reds went in with five straight loses and may have been feeling a little unconfident. The Pirates, who were at the top of league all year, played like a World Series type team Tuesday.

The Reds starting pitcher was Johnny Cueto (5-2 with 2.82 ERA) who has been battling injuries all season and struggled early. Cueto went 3 1/3 innings while giving up four runs on seven hits. This was Cueto’s first start since September 23, when he went seven strong innings and only gave up a run. After a start like that, it seemed like the Reds ace was back.

It is hard to blame pitching in this situation when the Reds offense only put up two runs Tuesday. Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, and Brandon Phillips went a combined 1-12. It is hard to win games when the three top players on the team are batting this bad. The Reds ended up with only six hits in the game, three of which that came from left fielder Ryan Ludwick. It was a short season for Ludwick, who was injured on Opening Day and did not play in another game until August 12. Chemistry and Physics teacher Mr. Suer had the chance to comment on the game and said, “It was horrible. It’s frustrating as a fan to see all the work and time put in this season end in one game.”

The Pirates starter, Francisco Liriano (16-8 with 3.02 ERA) went seven strong innings only giving up a run and four hits. That lone run came on Jay Bruce double which scored Shin-Soo Choo from second base. Liriano ended up only throwing 90 pitches in his seven innings of work. This was definitely considered a dominant performance from the Pirates pitcher.  Last outing against the Reds, Liriano went 8  and only gave up two runs on three hits, and also had the win going into the 9th inning. The Reds eventually won that game against Pittsburgh.

The last five games of the regular season, which were all losses, the Reds combined for only eight runs. The Reds offense was clearly struggling incredibly in the final games of the season. This is an offense who has had its struggles all season, and most Reds fan look to blame the pitching or the managing.

Whether Dusty Baker is the right man for the job or not, he cannot control the production of offense from the team. There has also been speculation on whether Baker will be with the Reds next season. After an early post-season loss, some people are saying Baker doesn’t deserve a job next year. Many true “Reds fans” were even hoping for a loss Tuesday against Pittsburgh in hopes of Dusty Baker losing his job. Walt Jocketty already told a reporter that Baker most likely will be returning because there is another year left on his contract. Baker has lead the Reds to the post season three of the last four seasons.