If the old saying was “Go West, Young Man,” then that was advice the Cincinnati Reds should have ignored … at least for their past five games, that is.
The Reds lost Wednesday by a 5-0 score to the Oakland Athletics, capping off a trip to the West Coast that saw the Reds lose series to the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Athletics in forgettable fashion.
In their past five games on the Pacific time zone, the Reds were outscored 29-13, losing two of three games to the NL West-leading Diamondbacks and two straight to the Athletics, who own the top spot in the AL West.
The last time the Reds had visited Oakland was the ’10 season, where they went 3-0.
Without the services of second baseman Brandon Phillips, who missed the two games in Oakland due to being on paternity leave, the Reds were swept by a combined score of 12-3.
In Tuesday’s opener with the Athletics, the Reds had 10 hits, and less than 24 hours later, they were held to just two hits. In that game, Bronson Arroyo went just four innings, allowing seven earned runs on seven hits and two walks in four innings, falling to 6-6 on the year.
In Wednesday’s loss, Homer Bailey pitched six innings, allowing four earned runs (all in the fourth inning) on six hits and two walks but striking out seven. The loss puts him two games under the .500 mark at 4-6.
That means in their past two games, the Reds’ starting pitching has allowed 11 earned runs in 10 innings.
In the pitchers’ defense, the Reds left 11 runners stranded Tuesday (1-for-5, RISP) and left four stranded Wednesday, as they were 0-for-3 with RISP.
Through all of the losses, the Reds are still battling near the top of the NL Central standings, trailing the second-place Pittsburgh Pirates and the NL Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals, who entered their game Wednesday night with 48 wins (the Reds have 45 wins).
In the grand scheme of the season, the Reds are just one of five teams in the senior circuit who have at least 41 wins. If the Reds were in the NL West, they’d have a four-game lead in the division, and they would have the same number of wins as the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves.
Last season, Cincinnati went 15-12 in the month of June.
Though the Reds have lost five of their past six games and won 11 of their 24 games in the month of June (11-13), things aren’t as bad as they seem … yet.
The current trend of losing games can’t last for the third-place Reds if they want to stay near the Cardinals and Pirates in the standings, but their final three games of the month won’t get any easier.
Next on the schedule for the Reds is their second off day of the week Thursday, then a three-game set starting Friday with the Texas Rangers at The Ballpark in Arlington.