On Sunday, the Cincinnati Reds' quest to tank harder than anyone has ever tanked hit a new low. Rookie phenom Hunter Greene combined with reliever Art Warren to throw a no-hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Unfortunately, the Reds lost the game 1-0, becoming just the sixth team in MLB history to throw a no-hitter and lose. It was yet another example of how bad things have gotten in Cincinnati.
Sunday's loss dropped the Reds to 9-26, which is the worst record in baseball. The scary part? At one point last week they won five of six games -- four of those came against the Pirates, so take that for what it's worth. Despite that winning stretch, the Reds are still the worst team in baseball by a wide margin. The lineup and pitching staff are woeful and there are very few bright spots.
As a team, the Reds currently rank 27th leaguewide in batting average (.216), 25th in on-base percentage (.291), 25th in slugging percentage (.350), 25th in OPS (.641), 21st in home runs (30), 22nd in total bases (396), have the seventh-most strikeouts (318) and are 18th in walks (106). Individually, Joey Votto's OPS is in the tank at a woeful .413, while only two players (Tyler Stephenson, Brandon Drury) boast an OPS of .750 or better. So yeah, it's all bad on offense. But, if anything, the pitching has been worse.
The Reds currently rank dead last in ERA leaguewide. Their mark of 6.04 is more than a full run higher than the next contender (Colorado Rockies, 4.91). Cincinnati is also last in WHIP (1.55), 29th in opponent batting average (.265), have allowed the most walks in baseball (157), and the most home runs (49). And in 35 games this season, Reds starters have logged only three quality starts. If that isn't enough, the Reds' bullpen ranks 29th in ERA (4.93). There are no silver linings to be found here.
The Reds may not be the worst team in baseball history, but they're going to give some records a run for their money. This is what happens when Major League Baseball refuses to actually punish teams for tanking and tacitly approves of it. The Reds barely missed the playoffs in 2021, then proceeded to sell off or refuse to re-sign a number of key players in the offseason in order to cut payroll. It was an obvious attempt to tank and make a ton of money while doing so. Hell, Reds president Phil Castellini brazenly boasted the team's fans would just have to deal with a few awful seasons and continue to support the franchise.
What happening in Cincinnati is wrong. It's a great baseball town and the fans deserve better. And we'll continue to call out the absurdity of what's happening in the Queen City as we have all season.