The Cincinnati Reds are 1-8 going into the second week of April. Not winning since their Opening Day game on March 28th. There are several factors playing a role in the Reds slow start.
There are at least three areas contributing to the Reds struggles so far. All three factors effectively play off each other. All contributing to the Reds ongoing losing streak. The first factor is the one that connects everything together. Simply put, the Reds are struggling to put runs on the board.
Cincinnati’s 30 inning scoreless streak punctuated their recent scoring struggles. This is the second factor contributing to the Reds ongoing losing streak. Kyle Farmer’s two-run homer brought that streak to an end last Saturday afternoon. Through a two-run home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Cincinnati lost three games by no more than two runs during their streak.
Third, the Reds are struggling more specifically to come through in the clutch. Squandering multiple game-winning opportunities at the plate. The Reds are 0-4 in one-run games so far this season. Three of those four defeats were to the Milwaukee Brewers. Cincinnati would currently have a winning record if those games went differently.
Cincinnati had chances to win all of their Milwaukee games in the last at bat. Having at least one Red on base when the last batter stepped up to the plate in that series. The Reds just couldn’t manage to hit the ball in those moments. Collectively stranding four base runners in the bottom of the ninth of all three games. The same thing happened when the Reds lost in extra innings last Saturday to Pittsburgh.
There are a few things going right with the Reds so far. Starting with the effectiveness of the Reds recently added players. Most notably, Derek Dietrich is off to a good start with the Reds. Dietrich was acquired in the offseason from the Miami Marlins. In a move that flew under the radar in a busy Reds offseason.
Dietrich’s efforts at the plate made him the Reds hero on Opening Day. Hitting a three-run homer in the seventh inning. Producing the winning runs for the Reds in that game. Dietrich currently leads the team with three home runs and eight RBIs. Kyle Farmer and Yasiel Puig are two additional new Reds that are standing out.
Despite the rough start, it’s still way too early for Reds fans to panic. After all, the Reds still have over 150 games left to play. Compared to their abysmal start to the 2018 season, the Reds still look like an improving team. Their improvements would be more noticeable if the Reds did two things. Getting clutch hits and having the Reds bullpen keep a lead alive.