CINCINNATI -- Reds reliever Nick Masset is aware of the booing he's heard from fans lately. He also knows he's dug himself into a hole that's deep enough to be in the old and abandoned Cincinnati subway system.
"Sometimes when you're getting yourself into ruts or putting yourself in bad situations, you try to do too much instead of less to get better results," Masset said Wednesday. He gave up a pair of two-out runs in the eighth inning during Tuesday's 3-0 loss to the Giants.
Masset has a 7.20 ERA through 31 games, entering Wednesday night with 35 hits, 16 walks and 20 earned runs allowed over 25 innings. His earned runs allowed is equal to the full-season total from 2009 -- when the right-hander pitched 76 innings over 74 games.
In 2009, Masset was 5-1 with a 2.37 ERA, with 54 hits and 24 walks.
"We all know it's been a roller coaster," Masset said of his 2010 season. "I've had a lot of good ones and as many as the bad ones. The numbers don't look like that. It is what it is. I'm out there working hard, looking at video, doing extra work on the mound and trying to find that right feel. I know it's there. I know it's going to get better."
Masset has displayed top-end velocity in the 95-97 mph range and his arm is healthy. But he's missed badly at times with location and hasn't consistently been able to put out fires like last season. And in some outings, like Tuesday's, he has started his own trouble.
With the 27-year-old Masset signed to a two-year, $2.58 million contract in the offseason and out of options, there is no alternative for the Reds other than to keep using Masset and letting him work himself back to form. The club has also shown no indication of moving him out of the eighth-inning setup role.
"I know that everyone here believes in me," Masset said. "I can't say enough about the support everyone has given me. They've had my back no matter what. That means Dusty [Baker], my pitching coach [Bryan Price], my teammates and the bullpen mates. It means a lot. We have a strong competitive team camaraderie and unity. Everyone is rooting for each other. This is probably the best clubhouse I've been in."