Lots of people define "chemistry" as having something to do with how much the players like each other, hang out, etc. I've never defined it like that. To me "chemistry" in sports all stems from how one area of a team responds when another needs help. In football, good team chemistry would be when a powerful offense gets shuts down but their defense steps up and finds a way to win a 13-10 game.
In baseball, it's similar---last year's Reds were very good in this department but no team I'ver ever seen had it like that 1999 team did. On the days when Larkin and Vaughn didn't hit, you could bet that Taubensee or Pokey would.... If our starter got lit up, that is the day the offense would explode.
This year, the Reds have been outright dreadful in those types of situations. It just isn't there and the whole pythag stuff kind of bears it out.
If you have a really talented team top to bottom with few holes then chemistry isn't going to matter a ton because you will win so many games on superiority of talent alone. And if you are like the Giants and have one area of the team (starting rotation) that is so amazing and so reliable then you lean very little on the rest of the team and in turn, their jobs seem easier.
The Reds have a decent roster with solid talent and a good core of younger players both in the bigs and on the farm. But there are holes as well-- and some big ones. For a team like the Reds to win you need a little magic mixed in and this team just does not have it.
I watch all these games, all these close losses, all this tough luck situations and I keep thinking it's BOUND to turn sometime... But much like the guy at the roulette wheel who thinks there is no way it could possibly hit black again...
It's just not there. Those first five games of the year were extremely misleading.