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Reds have little chance of rescue

The other morning after church, Father Huffman said he wasn’t sure the exact day, but he was planning a funeral Mass in the near future for the Cincinnati Reds.

After losing four straight to the New York Mets and two out of three at last-place Houston, it appeared as if the Reds were on life support. Their inability to put together a winning streak of more than two games before the past four days had the grim reaper buying tickets for the current homestand.

And I think his seats are right behind the Reds’ dugout.

And he bought his food from the concession stand near the Reds’ bullpen.

Players and even some ESPN baseball analysts keep saying the Reds are going to get hot and string a bunch of victories together. They’re going to make a move. They’re too good of a team.

I’ll agree. They have the potential to be a good team, but potential is just the French word for “ain’t done it yet.”

Jay Bruce hit a home run Friday night to win the game. It was his 24th home run of the season. But Bruce’s inconsistent production is an example of the entire offense. Of his 25 home runs, 12 came in the month of May when he also drove in 33 of his 75 runs.

That means he has 13 home runs and 42 RBIs over three and one-half months.

And let’s not single out Bruce or just the offense. It’s up and down the lineup and in the bullpen.

Logan Ondrusek and Nick Masset are like a rollercoaster. Francisco Cordero has cause more coronaries than fried cheese. And someone tell me why Dusty Baker leaves Aroldis Chapman and his 100 mile an hour fastball in the bullpen in situations when they really need a strikeout.

So far this season, there have been 88 times the Reds have taken the lead late in the game only to have the opposition score in its next at bat, usually regaining the lead. They just can’t kill anyone’s momentum but their own.

The starting pitching has been the key to holding the team together. Johnny Cueto has finally emerged as one of the top pitchers in baseball. Mike Leake is fearless and a competitor, and Homer Bailey can be just as good once he learns to eliminate brief periods when his concentration lapses.

Bronson Arroyo is crafty and an outstanding competitor, but he has been playing hide and seek with the banshee in terms of his career. Travis Wood is a lot like Mike Leake and needs to be in the rotation.

The Reds do have 43 games left and most of them are within the division, but they are 10 games behind leader Milwaukee.

I’m starting to hear the slow, somber ringing of church bells.

— Sinatra —

Jim Walker is sports editor of The Ironton Tribune.