That we played extremely well after we did the first trade with Kearns and Lopez, then started going way downhill after we gave up no major league talent and supposedly improved our team even more?
Is it a situation of the initial trade sparking a jolt of lightning into the clubhouse which in turn made the Reds play better, but now reality has set in? At least statistically, our team did not get worse with the latest trade (even if Rheal has yet to pitch 1 decent inning since coming here and Lohse appears to not be great). Should we have went after another bat? The whole purpose of our trades were to improve our pitching even if it mean giving up offense. But at what point do you try to level things out? Do you think having Kearns and Lopez on our team now would make a huge difference in terms of our offensive numbers or more importantly, our win column?
So what is it? Our pitching? Our manager? Our offense? Our defense? Some of everything?
I really feel like Griffey is a huge factor. If the guy was putting up numbers like last year or any of his other years, we would definitely have more wins. Whether it's a homerun, a double, a single...just hitting for a better average. Offense isn't the only problem, though.
It's clear that we need more starting pitching. True, bullpens are becoming an important part of a team now, but at what expense to starting pitching? You can't rush out bad starters only to have them pitch the game out of reach so you can bring in your solid bullpen to save it. Especially not with the offensive dropoff we've experienced. The starting pitching is a coin tossup at this point. Aaron is the only pitcher you can truly rely on to give you a good outing. Even then, he won't win 'em all. Bronson has struggled miserably as of late June. Ramirez is inconsistent. Milton is less consistent. Claussen (now Lohse) makes it worse.
I'm a diehard Reds fan and for the most part, like all the moves. I just cannot believe that more thought wasn't given with respect to going after another starting pitcher. Whether it was with the Washington trade or with the most recent ones...or even doing a package with Rich and Larue or something. Anything. We wern't going to land a big name, but Kyle Lohse to save the day?
Maybe I'm just frustrated. Every team is losing in the NL Central and it's such a prime time for the Reds to take advantage of it and they can't capitalize.
What do you do at this point? The clock is ticking and time is running out. You can't just say, better luck tomorrow after you get swept at home by a team that had been previously struggling. You can't continue to lose like this and expect to be around in October.
I don't know what it's going to take to turn things around, but something needs to happen fast before, as Marty would say, this turns into a "Titanic struggle".