The Reds haven't been playing very good baseball recently and perhaps this is what led to them sliding three spots in the latest edition of MLB Power Rankings from ESPN.
Cincinnati ranked No. 11 this week after dropping two out of three in San Diego and getting absolutely pummeled by the rival Cardinals over the weekend. The offense has been stagnant, the starting pitching has been suspect, and there appears to be virtually no fight in Dusty Baker's bunch right now, who currently find themselves 6.5 games back of first place.
The team who is in first place, the Pirates, claimed the No. 2 overall spot in the rankings, while the other team ahead of the Reds in the National League Central standings, the Cardinals, dropped one spot to No. 5.
In other division-related news, the Cubs slipped two spots to No. 25, and the Brewers held steady for the third straight week at No. 27.
This week's voters were Jim Bowden of ESPN Insider, Tim Kurkjian of ESPN The Magazine, David Schoenfield of the SweetSpot Blog Network/ESPN.com and Jayson Stark of ESPN.com.
The Reds will aim to right the ship this week when they play host to the Oakland A's for a couple of games and then the San Diego Padres for a three-game weekend series. Cincy will get the benefit of two off-days this week, Monday and Thursday, so fatigue shouldn't factor into their performance.
If the Reds want to make a legitimate run at winning the division, they are going to have to start producing wins and fast. Otherwise, they might have to settle for a one-game playoff in St. Louis, or worse no playoffs at all.