The Reds were one game over .500 (5-4) when they had their last off day before a stretch of 20 games in 20 days. They promptly lost their next three games to the Pirates, then won eight of 10 at home and closed one of the toughest stretches of the season with five losses in seven games at Washington and St. Louis.
All in all, they went 10-10 in the 20 days, and they’re right back where they started — one game over .500 (15-14) — heading into a three-game series at the Cubs beginning this afternoon.
A month into this roller coaster of a season, there’s reason for hope and reason for doubt. That just depends on what kind of fan you are.
Some fans have already started to turn on right fielder Jay Bruce, who has a tendency to slump throughout the season but still has put up 30-plus home runs and almost 100 RBIs in each of the last two seasons. He’s hitting .261 this season and has one home run and 11 RBIs. He also ranks second in the big leagues in strikeouts with 41.
Tired of hearing the criticism on Twitter from some fans, Bruce lashed out Tuesday.
“I appreciate all the tweets, good and bad, actually,” he wrote. “You guys are what drive the game. I’m obviously not hitting as well as I’d like to, yet. I actually feel sorry for the people on here who feel that it’s necessary to try and put me down on Twitter.
“It really just explains who you are, and there are obviously things in your life that you’re unhappy about and you take it out on me via Twitter. I suggest you look into talking with a life coach or something to help you get over whatever you have going on in your life.”
As up and down as the Reds have been, they’re right in the mix in the National League Central. Heading into Thursday’s games, they were in fourth place, 1 1/2 games behind first-place St. Louis (16-11).
Pittsburgh (16-12) and Milwaukee (14-12) are just ahead of Cincinnati. It’s the only division in baseball with four winning teams.
Reds at Cubs, 2:20 p.m., FS Ohio, 700, 1410