One night after taking the opener in extra innings (Bill Bray, again gave up a costly run), the Cardinals just flat put it to the Reds Wednesday night, out hitting the Reds 14 to 9 and shellacking the Cincinnati Reds 11 to 1 in the second game of their three game series in St. Louis.
Mat Latos (who was signed by the Cincinnati Reds in the off season for one year at a seemingly bargain priced $550,000) recorded the loss and continued to struggle mightily in the early going of the 2012 season. He has started three games and compiled a 0-2 record with a whopping 8.22 ERA. He was hit early, often and hard by the Cardinals’ line up. There is only one pitcher on the Reds’ pitching staff having a more difficult beginning of the year and that is Bill Bray. He allowed three runs for the night to raise his ERA to an astounding 13.50. In all honesty, both he and Latos really just threw batting practice all night.
To make matters worse for Latos was his inability to cover first on what should have been a routine play, but became an infield hit and, soon, another run.
Admittedly I find it easy to criticize the pitching that the Cincinnati Reds have gotten from several of their pitchers; it is the hitting, however, that is really the major problem for them so far. This was yet another game in which the Reds were only able to push across one run. That should not be the case with the line up they boast. All up and down their line up is a good bunch of hitters. Unfortunately, we have a bunch of pathetic batting averages. The only exceptions from the sub-.200 hitting club are Zack Cozart and Joey Votto, at .319 and .293 respectively. That is truly all they have going for them at the plate.
I have said before and will say again. The hitting will, surely, come around. It has to. These are hitters who have proven to be upper .200s – lower .300s over the course of their careers.
If it doesn’t improve quickly, the Cincinnati Reds’ games will be unwatchable. Even by their staunchest supporters.