While fighting for their lives in the wild card race, the Cincinnati Reds have now lost five straight series and six of their last seven. We can continue to be optimistic about the “easy schedule”, but three of the five teams the Reds have lost to in those recent series had records below .500. The team simply isn’t taking care of business.
With that being said, the Reds are still very much in the playoff hunt. In fact, they are the favorites to earn the wild card spot based on many prognostications. With a day off on Thursday for both the Reds and the Padres, the ball club will go to sleep still just one game out of the second wild card spot. That perspective is important. Just keep watching those standings.
After the scheduled off day, the Reds will pick back up for game number four of their nine-game road trip. They will travel to St. Louis for a three-game weekend set with the Cardinals. Tyler Mahle takes the ball at 8:15 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday night. The Cardinals are lurking just 2.5 games behind Cincinnati Reds in the wild card standings.
Now let’s dive into this week’s series recap.
Reds Suffer Pair of Brutal Losses
Despite the favorable schedule, the losses are starting to pile up for the Reds. Since a four-game sweep of the Marlins from August 19th-22nd, the Reds are 5-10 during their five consecutive series losses.
On Monday and Wednesday, the pitching was good enough to give the team a chance to win, but the offense continues to struggle. A costly error and poor baserunning didn’t help the cause in Monday afternoon’s loss. On Wednesday though it was simply a lack of hitting. Since August 1st, the Reds have scored only one run on nine different occasions.
For the rest of the season, the goal just needs to be to win the series in front of them and watch the standings. At 74-67, the Reds are one game behind the Padres with 21 games to play. It is a race to the finish line at this point.
Wade Miley Tosses a Gem
Wade Miley threw a no-hitter earlier this season and has been consistently excellent. However, on Tuesday night, he accomplished a (near) career first in an otherwise normal victory. The veteran left-hander tied a career-high with 21 swings and misses. Normally one to pitch to contact, Miley racked up eight strikeouts which also tied a season-best.
Miley earned his 12th victory of the season with a seven-inning performance where he allowed just one run on five hits. The 34-year-old now leads the team with a 12-5 record and a sparkling 2.89 earned run average.
His performance throughout the season has been one of the best stories in Major League Baseball. This is a pitcher that should garner some Cy Young Award votes when all is said and done.
Rookie of the Year: Jonathan India
This award might as well go ahead and get sent to Cincinnati. After a tough month of August, it was fair to wonder if the Reds’ second baseman had hit the rookie wall. India hit “just” .243 in August after back-to-back months over .300. Now, he has responded with a .313 average in September following back-to-back multi-hit performances.
On Tuesday evening, India connected on his fifth leadoff home run of the season to bring his total to 19. He also leads the national league rookie class with 62 runs batted in. While other Cincinnati Reds batters begin to tail off, India has found his stride once again at the plate.
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