Reds trying to avoid joining list of worst teams in franchise history

Reds, who haven’t lost 100 games since 1982, are on pace to lose 126

At a quick glance, the National League Central looks like the best division in baseball because four of the five teams have winning records. Maybe it is that good, or maybe the Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates owe their success to being in the same division as the Cincinnati Reds.

Cincinnati fell to 3-15 against the Central after the Brewers completed a sweep at Great American Ball Park on Wednesday.

The Cardinals would be 10-12 if not for a 7-0 record against the Reds. The Brewers would be 14-12 instead of 19-13 if they hadn’t played the Reds. The Pirates are 3-1 against the Reds. The Cubs lost their only game against the Reds.

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The Reds play three games against the Miami Marlins (11-19) this weekend and then play 22 straight games against teams with winning records. That won’t make it easy for the Reds to turn this season in the right direction.

“We’re just not quite getting over the hump,” manager Jim Riggleman said Tuesday. “That’s where we are right now. That’s why we are where we are in the standings. But we’re going to get out of it. I really feel we’re getting closer, and we’re going to get out of it.”

With a .226 winning percentage, the Reds (7-24) are on pace to finish 36-126. The Reds have never won fewer than 52 games, and they’ve never had a winning percentage below .344.

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The 1934 Reds (52-99, .344), 1937 Reds (56-98, .364) and 1901 Reds (52-87, .374) are the three worst teams in franchise history. However, the worst season in recent memory came in 1982 when the Reds finished 61-101 (.377). Only the 2015 Reds (64-98, .395) have come close to matching that level of losing in all the years since.

Here’s how the 1982 and 2018 Reds compare:

Record through 31 games: 1982 (14-17); 2018 (7-24).

Managers: In 1982, the Reds fired manager John McNamara on July 21. They were 34-58 at the time. Russ Nixon coached the Reds to a 27-43 record following that point. … In 2018, the Reds fired Bryan Price after a 3-15 start. Bench coach Jim Riggleman became interim manager.

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Best players: The Reds still had two key members of the Big Red Machine, Johnny Bench and Dave Concepcion, in the lineup in 1982, plus Dan Driessen, another member of the 1975 and 1976 world championship teams. … The 2018 Reds have Joey Votto, who finished second in MVP voting last season, and is hitting .259 with four home runs and 15 RBIs after a slow start.

Best starting pitcher: Mario Soto (14-13, 2.79) led the Reds staff in 1982. He made the all-star team for the first of three straight seasons. … In the first month of the 2018 season, Tyler Mahle (2-3, 4.32) has a slight edge over Sal Romano (1-3, 4.65).

Attendance: In 1982, the Reds averaged 16,377 fans. Their smallest crowd at Riverfront Stadium in the first month was 10,069. … In 2018, through 15 home games, the Reds are averaging 16,496 fans. Their smallest crowd has been 9,463.

Age of team: In 1982, Reds batters were the 10th youngest group out of 26 teams with an average age of 28.4, and their pitchers were the fifth youngest (27.2). … In 2018, Reds batters are the seventh youngest (27.6), and their pitchers are tied for the youngest average age (26.9).


Marlins at Reds, 7:10 a.m., FS Ohio, 700, 1410

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