These are not the best of times for the Cincinnati Reds who have simply become an extremely poor ball team in terms of hitting the ball with runners on base.
When a team is hitting as poorly as the Reds are, the last thing it wants is to have something happen to one of its better pitchers.
Unfortunately for the Reds, it happened to them Friday night when Johnny Cueto suffered a tight right muscle in the second inning and couldn’t continue.
The Reds lost 4-0 to the Texas Rangers and are on a 1-6 MLB streak.
But the hitting woes are killing the Reds, not the pitching. They were shutout for the second straight game and now haven’t scored in 22 innings. That’s the longest such streak in the last three seasons.
The loss of Cueto doesn’t help and initial reports are that it won’t be good news when the final reports are in. Not much is going Cincinnati’s way in recent days.
The Reds have to hope Cueto isn’t out too long since they need more starts out of him. This isn’t the right way of snapping out of a slump.
The Reds need to score early and get some confidence. It’s apparent that they do since their confidence is at an extremely low point so far this year. They let the Rangers get out to a 3-0 lead after two innings on Friday. The top three batters in the Reds lineup were 1-of-12 Friday night. Manager Dusty Baker needs to mandate batting practice all week until the slump ends.