Matt’s Take: No excuses … beat the Brewers


After a very disappointing series loss to a bad Mets squad, the Cincinnati Reds go right into playing the Brewers, an NL-Central Opponent who has dominated our club in years past. I love scoreboard watching towards the end of the season, but one thing we all need to understand is the importance of all 162 games. Too often do we overlook these early series against opponents that we will be fighting against for a playoff spot in just a few months. Cincinnati is currently 2.5 games back from first place, but they have a chance to really make up some ground against Milwaukee and the rest of the teams in our division if they find a way to win this series. No more excuses, warm up the bats, and let’s go dominate Milwaukee before heading to Chicago!

Batting Issues Against LHP

Left-handed pitching, as expected, is causing issues for Cincinnati to begin the season and it truly shows how much this team misses McLain, Marte, and Friedl. Those 3 guys are key pieces and while I can understand that injuries occur, there simply isn’t an excuse for Noelvi. CES, Benson, Espinal, Candelario, and Stephenson are all batting .200 or less against lefties. This simply cannot happen for this team to be successful, and they have to find a way to start making contact against left handed pitchers. As much as I hate to say it, maybe it is time to tell Regis Philbin that we would like to phone a friend and call Tommy Pham who is still a free agent? Maybe we can dial 1-800-Kevin Newman? I am not sure what the answer is, but we can’t expect to be successful this season if these issues against lefties continue.

Spencer Steer – MVP Caliber?

Are we watching Spencer Steer become an MLB caliber player right before our eyes? He leads the team in batting average with .406, Home Runs with 3, RBI’s with 12, OBP at .500, and leads with 13 hits as well. He ranks 3rd in all of MLB in OPS at 1.313, 5th in all of MLB in batting average, and would likely be first in the MLB in RBIs if it wasn’t for the Dodgers playing more games. At 26 years old, Steer is becoming a star and I am thrilled to have him in Cincinnati. That Tyler Mahle trade was one of the best trades in Reds history…Thank you Twins!

Lean on Pitching

For the first time in years, this team is going to lean on their pitching to help them win games. With Lodolo soon to return along with Brandon Williamson soon to make his 2024 debut, this rotation is phenomenal when healthy. Their returns will also boost the bullpen, as Nick Martinez will surely be joining the bullpen at some point and they may even experiment with Williamson. Montas, Greene, Ashcraft, Lodolo, Abbott, Williamson, Martinez….That is some quality depth! With the loss of Antone in the pen, this team will need an additional arm to join Suter, Farmer, Pagan, Cruz, Diaz, Wilson, and Sims in the pen. Let’s cross our fingers for Lodolo to return to his healthy self and let’s win some ball games, Go Reds!

This column appears in several newspapers in southwest Ohio.

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