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Reds don’t need to panic after first game

CINCINNATI — Fortunately, one game does not a season make.

Don’t push any panic buttons. Don’t determine what kind of team the Cincinnati Reds have put on the field this season based on the 11-6 spanking they took at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals in Monday’s season opener.

But do put out a red flag, and not because it has a Reds’ logo on it and you want to show your fan support.

Aaron Harang pitched well, but as usual, he goes against the other team’s No. 1 starter and the Reds have trouble producing any runs. Harang got touched up by Albert Pujols for a home run, but he’s not alone. Just ask the rest of the National League pitchers.

No flag there.

Chris Dickerson overthrew the catcher on a possible play at home that appeared to have a chance to get the slow-moving Pujols.

Do put up a flag.

The Reds’ outfield defense last year wasn’t good from anyone except Jay Bruce and he sat out a couple of months with a broken wrist. Dickerson and company had too many errors. The group that filled in for the traded Adam Dunn was worse defensively than Dunn and didn’t hit numbers even close to his.

Joey Votto had three hits including a home run. Scott Rolen hit well and played well.

You can keep that giant hankie in your pocket with these two guys, barring an injury.

Francisco Cordero should be an outstanding closer and won’t need any flags, but can the Reds get to him? The bullpen was shaky against the Cardinals and can be at times. Once Chris Carpenter was gone, the Reds scored four more runs and had the Cardinals on the ropes on other occasions.

Ya might want to put a flag on the bullpen fence.

It was just the first game, but some bad tendencies are lingering from last year.

But let’s reinterate, it is still just the first game. The Reds have plenty of time to put things together and contend for the playoffs.

If not, we’ll be putting out the white flag.

—— Sinatra ——

Jim Walker is sports editor of The Ironton Tribune.