This whole "once you're out of the playoff race the season is over and wins are meaningless" is a new thing in baseball, and isn't appropriate to the sport. That is more of a NBA or NFL thing. In baseball you play every game to win. In theory every game is a "championship" game if you look at the writing on the baseball. Regular season statistics have meaning. Players like Ernie Banks go into the HOF based entirely on regular season performance. Important records like the Ruth/Maris/Bonds HR record are based on regular season performance.
In other words, Votto could still win the batting title. Cueto could lead the league in ERA. Bruce could finish towards the top of the HR leaders, after making the Allstar team for the 1st time. In hindsight that is a pretty good accomplishment for his age. There are many things to still be excited about and reasons to watch the game. Of course we wish that we were in the pennant race, but the Brewers have been hot and are going to win the division. That's how it goes sometimes. But is the Reds finish 2nd with a winning record, after having 4 players make the Allstar team, and Votto and Cueto possibly having memorable seasons, you can't say the season was such a disaster. Too much gloom and doom on this board and spoiled fans not appreciating how hard it is to have success.