‘Time is of the essence’ for Reds

Reds President Dick Williams remains confident team will get hot soon

Dick Williams has found at least one silver lining in not having fans at Great American Ball Park. It’s easy to get around the stadium.

“It’s been really nice to know that every escalator and elevator and staircase and seat is open and available for us,” Williams said.

Obviously, the Cincinnati Reds President of Baseball Operations would rather have a stadium packed with fans. The coronavirus pandemic has robbed the fans of the chance to see the 2020 Reds, and for the most part, those fans have not enjoyed the product they have seen on TV.

ExploreNEXT GAME: Castillo starts Thursday

The Reds (5-7) lost their second straight game to the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday, 2-0, and entered the series finale Thursday in third place in the National League Central Division, five games back of the Chicago Cubs. Twenty percent of the 60-game season has been played.

“You want to win every game,” Williams said. “I have not wavered in my belief that we have the best team in our division. The results haven’t converted yet, but we have all the confidence that we have a good team. We know time is of the essence. I believe these guys will get hot really soon.

“It’s not fun to lose early in the season. It’s not fun to lose close games, and we’ve had a number of them that could have turned on a sac fly or the bounce of a ball. More often than not, the bounce hasn’t gone our way. That’s part of baseball. Here soon we’ve got to see this team take their destiny into their own hands and they’ve got all the talent to do it.”

ExploreStruggles continue for bullpen

Williams defended the Reds bullpen, which has earned most of the criticism this season. As a group, the relievers are 1-4 with a 5.84 ERA, which ranks 12th in the National League.

“We haven’t scored a lot of runs recently, and that has put a lot of pressure on the bullpen,” Williams said. “The performance of the starting pitching has been so good that when we’ve given up runs later in the game, it’s felt a lot worse because we’ve put up a lot of zeroes there. The bullpen, we’ve got some good pitchers there."

While the relievers have given up a few too many home runs, Williams said, the analytics show there’s a big gap between what the relievers’ ERAs should be and what they are. In other words, the relievers have been a bit unlucky.

Also, the group has thrown 37 innings, the eighth-lowest total in baseball. Williams said it’s a small sample size.

“These guys have track records,” Williams said. “We’re going to put them in a position to win. We believe in our pitching coaches. We believe in these guys as pitchers and players.”

FRIDAY’S GAME

Reds at Brewers, 8:10 p.m., FS Ohio, 700, 1410