"We need to be much more consistent than we have been to have a chance," Narron said. "When we're pitching, hitting and playing defense, we can play with anybody. But when we have a breakdown in one area, it can get ugly."I'd like to see us be a better defensive club. We give other teams too many extra outs, and we can't do that. For us to get where we want to be, we have to be better defensively." The Reds have also had bullpen issues, but Krivsky attempted to address that last week by acquiring veteran reliever Eddie Guardado from the Seattle Mariners. "He's a veteran guy who has been in that spot before, [someone who] can just come in the ninth inning," Narron said. "We have not had anybody. David Weathers was the closest, but he was always a middle-inning, setup guy. Guardado is the first guy since I [became manager] last June who has been a closer before." The Reds are hoping Guardado will get them turned around, and they'll be tested immediately after the All-Star break. They open a 10-game homestand against the Colorado Rockies, New York Mets and Milwaukee Brewers, and it could be a pivotal stretch. "We need to play well at home," Narron said. But first, he gets to enjoy the All-Star Game, and those who know him understand that he deserves to be here at a game that celebrates the best in the game. "I was excited for him," Rangers shortstop Michael Young said. "He has done a great job with the Reds. Guys love playing for Jerry. He played the game and knows what to expect out of players. I enjoyed playing for him, and I'm sure the Reds players feel the same way."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.