Cincinnati Reds Sleepless in Seattle
In a city like Seattle that is overflowing with coffee, there is no excuse for being listless.
What is it about the west coast that haunts the Reds? Does the hotel staff not fluff up the pillows and leave a mint? It just seems like in recent years, at the conclusion of each west coast stop, the whole operation comes under fire, and Reds fans are left shaking their heads.
In this weekend series at Safeco Field, the overaggressive Reds tried time and time again to play long ball at this home run graveyard. Lots of first pitch swinging, too. When you do that against great pitchers such as Cliff Lee and Felix Hernandez, you are playing right into their strengths. They made it look so easy, and barely broke a sweat.
The bullpen and starting pitching can't get the blame this time. Those units did their job. Aaron Harang, a fly ball pitcher, had to love the Safeco Field digs, as compared to Great American Ballpark.
Make no mistake about it, this is a dangerous time for the Reds right now. For this franchise, with their recent failings, June games carry the meaning of September pennant-chasing games. People in Cincinnati want to believe, but the Reds have entered a June swoon that is leaving many saying, "I told you so!"
The road trip concludes with a visit to Oakland, then they go back home to face the Indians and Phillies, and then they cap off the first half of the season with road trips with Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia. Make or break time.
Four games over .500 now. That's it. At the beginning of the season, you would have taken that, but the early success raised expectations. Time to see who the real leaders are on this team. That, or break out the "Who Dey!" chants early once again.
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