It should be noted, as the Reds are seven games into the second half of their season, that division races are rather tense affairs. Why do I point this out? Simply put, we Reds fans aren't used to this.
In years past, as we approached this time of year, I'd start thinking about the Bengals. That, or just flat out question why I'm still watching every Reds games when .500 is out of reach, and they are 10-15 games back.
It's different now. Or is it? I saw some old habits pop up against Washington. Poor baserunning (like Jay Bruce the other night), guys hacking away and swinging early in the count, and pitchers laboring in that brutal Cincinnati heat.
I've seen this show before, and I didn't like it. Bad channel.
I see some injuries creeping up as well. I thought to myself a few weeks ago "wow, we haven't had a single starting position player go on the DL all year!" The 162 leaves no team completely unscathed, though, as this is a meat grinder of an industry.
Aaron Harang and Homer Bailey are currently on the DL. The Reds can survive without those guys for the time being, as starting pitching is deep, but the status of Scott Rolen is up in the air.
Simply put, if Rolen misses extended time, the Reds won't make the playoffs. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. He is too important to this team, and the dropoff from him to Miguel Cairo and Paul Janish is severe. You don't replace that leadership and production.
Perhaps he catches the ball that deflected off of Cairo's glove Wednesday night. That was a big blow. If that catch is made, the Reds are only down 3-1 instead of 7-1, as more damage followed that two-out Ian Desmond RBI single.
What's done is done. Better have a short memory in this game, and move on. Houston and Milwaukee await. Very winnable games against teams completely out of the race.
Of course, we were all saying the same thing about this Washington series.