Cincinnati Reds Fall 5 Games Back: Not Yet Time to Panic

Cliff Eastham@RedsToTheBoneSenior Writer IIJune 1, 2011

Ramon Hernandez, Jay Bruce and Paul Janish
Ramon Hernandez, Jay Bruce and Paul JanishKevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Look up, ye faithful members of Reds Nation! Look up!

It is not yet the time to panic, although BR writers are sifting through the has-beens and never-will-be's claiming to know what our team needs.

They have lost 11 of their last 14 dating back to May 18 and are now at an even .500. They are 2.5 games behind Milwaukee for second place, but more troubling is the fact they are five games behind the front-running St. Louis Cardinals.

Writers here at Bleacher Report are hovering over the Reds as do buzzards over a dying carcass in the wilderness.

Jo-Jo Reyes, with a career record of 6-19, has never lowered his ERA below five, yet one writer claims he is our answer.

On behalf of Reds Nation, I respectfully decline any notion of contract talks with Mr. Reyes (at least that one). We are chock-full of pitchers who have inflated ERAs and we would prefer to trade up, not down.

Juan Pierre (whom I like) is propped up and presented to us by the same writer. A slap hitter who barely has warning track power, and an arm that is barely better than Scott Podsednik's is not going to help us either.

The fact that the Reds' trio of left fielders, Jonny Gomes, Fred Lewis and Chris Heisey, leads the NL in strikeouts is brought up in the aforementioned article, but the author fails to mention that if they were one player, they would have been leading the NL in RBI.

The pitching staff is a huge problem, and that is a fact. The starting pitchers have had some serious problems that have been well chronicled. Edinson Volquez’ difficulty of getting out of the first inning unscathed was his undoing and earned him a trip to the farm.

Aroldis Chapman’s inability to find the strike zone landed him on the DL for lack of another place to put him.

Buck up, fans. There are still reasons to smile and cheer.

Jay Bruce is the hottest player in the NL, maybe the entire MLB. He is surely going to be the player of the month for May. Look at his numbers: .342/.402/.739, 12 HR, 33 RBI.

Jonny Gomes is showing signs of life. He got four hits on May 28, which was the second year in a row he did that. He is seeing the ball much better and is drawing walks as he was in the earlier part of the season.

The bullpen has been a plus, even if the starters have been disappointing. Coco Cordero is having a very good season after being maligned by me much of last year.

Injuries have been a problem for the squad as well. Homer Bailey, though he pitched great while he was here, is beginning to look like “Medical” Bill Cartwright. I hate to see him become one of those guys you can count on to be on the shelf at least twice a season.

The shortstop position has become problematic. Paul Janish is just coming out of a fog. During a recent 10-game stretch he hit only .027/.077/.027 with two runs. That’s it! Two hits in 41 plate appearances was all he had to show for that span.

Edgar Renteria is only batting .160 in his last six games. Last night, he and Janish both had ground balls go right between the wickets.

Should the Reds be in the Jose Reyes sweepstakes? You tell me. He would fit in well, but I wouldn’t be willing to mortgage the farm on him.

The Cards and Brewers will both cool off, the Reds will be healthy and Chris Welsh will finally get Thom Brennaman to wear a bow tie at Tuesday night home games.

You’ll see!