Joey Votto is a fantastic hitter and knows how to take what is given to him. The problem is, when opposing pitchers get smart and pitch around him, the offensive onus falls to those players that surround him. While Votto has not been stroking a ton of hits , he has been reaching base. He actually has more walks than he does hits. As a huge Cincinnati Reds fan, it spooks me to see the bats cooling off as we approach the October season. Can they get it together again before the end of the playoffs?
A slump that is not a slump
A great hitter like Joey Votto is still at the mercy to a certain degree to those hitters around him. If he is doing what he is supposed to do, then he is taking whatever the pitching dictates to him. Pressing and trying to force things will only keep him off base as well. For now, he is taking the walks and counting on the boys to drive him in for a change. So far, that is not happening.
Jay Bruce is sitting in ice water
I always feel bad criticizing Jay Bruce simply because he has had such a huge season so far. That said, he is in the middle of one of his streaky funks. As the Reds inch closer to the playoffs, it is going to get tougher to produce runs without him. Bruce is vital to not only Votto's production, but to the Reds production on the whole.
Phillips needs to get used to lead off again
Last season Phillips exploded when they placed him in the lead off position. Hopefully he will catch fire once again at the top of the order. Brandon Phillips has always been a pretty good barometer of what is happening on offense. If he is hitting the ball hard, then the rest of the team seems to follow suit. Here is to hoping that comes along soon.
Although the Reds certainly are an explosive team, it is going to take consistency to win out in the playoffs. Perhaps the Reds are simply waiting to have that offensive explosion when the playoffs begin. While that would be awesome, it is liable to keep their fans on the edge of their seats in the meantime.
*Southern is a life-long Cincinnati Reds fan that grew up watching Pete Rose, Johnny Bench and the boys dominate the Major Leagues. He longs for those days once again in Cincinnati.
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