Baseball returned to Great American Ball Park on Thursday. No matter how many games in a row the Reds lose or how far back they fall in the standings, they still have to play out the string. It will be hard to argue the last 35 games of the 2014 season will be about anything more than that.
Cincinnati took a five-game losing streak into the start of a four-game series against the Braves. The Reds just completed a 1-6 road trip and are 10-22 since the All-Star break.
This team’s hope started dying in July and was buried somewhere in St. Louis, where the Reds were swept in three games, earlier this week.
“It was certainly tough,” said Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco of the road trip. “We didn’t play the way we liked. We lost some games we should have won. You can’t look back on it at this point. You just got to go out there and try to win today and try to put some wins together and hopefully get on a streak.”
The Reds (61-66) began the day 10 games back in the National League Central and six back in the wild card race. Their probability of making the postseason one way or the other, according to Baseball Prospectus, had fallen to 2.1 percent.
“There’s certainly disappointment, frustration and anger that we’re not doing better,” manager Bryan Price said. “There’s anger that we’ve kind of put ourselves on the outside looking in as far as the probability of postseason play. I’ll go into a Jim Mora moment here if we start talking about the playoffs. I don’t want to do that.”
The Reds rank second to last in hitting (.228) since the All-Star break in the National League. They’re 2-13 in one-run games since the break.
“There’s frustration you feel collectively that we have a better team,” Price said. “We’ve had some disappointments along the way. We’ve had some challenges. We’re 10-22 since the All-Star break. It doesn’t matter where we would have started. That’s not good enough to get to where we want to go.”
The 10-9 and 10-5 losses in the final two games in Colorado on Saturday and Sunday paved the way for the failures in St. Louis.
“Guys played hard,” Price said. “We came up short. We didn’t execute terribly well. We’ve got to stay together as a group and play better baseball and do it in a unified way.”