The series against Washington showcases a problem that has plagued the team all year.

The Reds got swept in their first series after the all-star break, by the Washington Nationals. Cincinnati lost the last game 6-1, and the pitching staff as whole looked good.

Sure, they were never going to win by only scoring once against the Nationals high-powered lineup. However, the bats weren’t the biggest problem. Once again, as has been the case all year, it was the starter.

Scott Feldman only lasted one inning, giving up five runs in the process, all of them earned. While the line up only managed one run, the Reds bullpen only gave up one as well.

The Reds rotation has been the problem all season. The lineup and bullpen are both in the upper half of the league, but the rotation is the worst in the majors.

The Reds have scored the 12th most runs in the league through July 17th. The bullpen ERA is only 4.16, while the rotation ERA is 6.04.

With a solid rotation, the Reds would be in the thick of the playoff race. A rotation with Feldman and Tim Adleman as the only consistent starters to this point was never going to be great. But the numbers are worse than they should be.

Most of the young pitchers are showing promise, but they aren’t ready to be full-time big leaguers yet.

If the trade market for starters is thin, the only way the Reds will be able to improve is through patience.

Waiting on the young guys is tough, given how bad the veteran starters are now, but it could be the one that pays the most dividends.

There may not be an answer for the rotation this season, and Reds fans may just have to live with that.

The starters could go on a tear at some point, but it’s incredibly unlikely. With a lineup that has Joey Votto and Zack Cozart as all-stars, and Raisel Iglesias and Michael Lorenzen in the bullpen, the rotation is by far the biggest issue.

The rotation was never going to be good, but the hope was that it would be good enough. It hasn’t done that either. If some trades could be made to bolster it, they will most likely happen.

The team will also continue to try out the young guys in hopes of getting them experience. Don’t look for much improvement by the end of the year, but there’s hope for the future.

The rotation most likely can’t be salvaged this year, and it has cost the Reds dearly.

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