With a 10-3 drubbing of the Toledo Mud Hens last night, the Bats enter a four game series with the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs with everything on the line tonight. See, the Bats trail the Iron Pigs by 6 games in the wild card standings. A sweep of this four game series would obviously put them right in the hunt heading into the stretch run of the season. Even taking three out of four would give them a chance.
When thinking about the Bats’ chances at the playoff I think of the movie “Dumb and Dumber” when Lloyd is asking Mary the chances of the two of them being together. For those of you who do not know what I’m talking about, or for a good laugh, watch the clip here.
Now, while one in a million are extremely slim odds, think about this: Trailing by 1.5 games on September 3 of last season, the Bats proceeded to go just 2-2 only to watch Columbus go 0-4 the final four days to give the Bats their 3rd consecutive division title. And as Roger says in Angels in the Outfield, “It could happen.”
A couple of interesting notes going into this big series:
– The Bats have yet to have a winning month since April (16-7). They are currently 10-12 in the month of August, despite starting August just 3-9.
– The Bats have had 132 team transactions this season, equalling their total for the entire season from last year. With such fluidity with the roster, it’s a miracle they’re still above .500.
– Matt Maloney has be tremendous since coming off the DL. In 7 games (6 starts) Matt is 3-0 with a 1.95 ERA. He also boasts a 5:1 K-BB ratio (25 strikeouts to 5 walks) in those 7 games. It’s beyond me why the Reds did not call him up.
– The light seems to have come on for Juan Francisco. Since coming off the DL, he has played much harder, has played better defensively and is really hustling. In 18 games this month, Francisco has a slash line of .370/.378/.571 with 4 HR, 8 doubles, 1 tirple, and 16 RBI. I’ve been critical of Juan all season, but this recent step up is a great sign. If he keeps playing this way in the field, folks in Cincinnati will soon be asking, “Rolen Who?”
– If the Bats can play solid defensively, the usually win. When committing an error this season, the Bats are 26-41. On the flip side, with playing a errorless game, they are 42-23.
– 8 of the Bats’ final 12 games are at home, where they are 36-28. Also, 8 of those 12 games are against Columbus and Indianapolis, against whom the Bats have a combined record of 21-14.
– If the Bats do make they playoffs, they will have a very formidable rotation (assuming the Reds don’t pluck everybody away from them again): Edinson Volquez, Matt Maloney, Daryl Thompson, Scott Carroll, Chad Reineke.
For updates on all the end-of-the-season drama, be sure to follow me on Twitter @kevingeary10 and BRM @blogredmachine.