The 2007 Cincinnati Reds

May: Textbook case of how to dig a hole

Let the slide begin.

The Redlegs lose seven of the first 10 games to start the month.

They follow the seven losses of 10, with seven more losses out of 10.

The ballyhooed and badly struggling third baseman Edwin Encarnacion is optioned the Louisville to think thinks out. At the time of the demotion he was hitting just over .200. The trickle down effect of Encarnacion being demoted is that journeyman Juan Castro gets more playing time at the hot corner. Known for his slick glove work, he produces even less than Encarnacion.

The bullpen rears its ugly head over and over again in May. Example: The mlb.com Reds headline for May 5, following a 7-6 collapse in Houston, "Bullpen Trouble Continues."

At times, the defense was suspect as well. Following another loss in Houston, "Errors Cost Cincinnati."

Headlines like this become typical in may. Cincinnati finishes the moth with only 9 wins. The majority of the losses came from a late-inning collapse.

Take the good with the bad

Aaron Harang is still pitching strong at 5-1. He is beginig to grow into an honest to god stopper.

Adam Dunn is still hammering the ball. At the end of the month he has 11 homeruns and is carrying the Cincinnati offense.

The bad news is that above is the only good news. The bullpen is historically bad. The defense has the consistency of Swiss cheese. The starters outside of Harang are struggling. Bronson Arroyo has not built on his All-Star season. He's detracted from it. At the end of the May he is 2-6, with a balloning ERA.

May: 9-21

Season: 21-34

Last place, 9.5 games back