I guess we can give a little bit of credit to those in the MLB scheduling department (if there is such an animal) for giving the Reds a day off before and after the trek to Miami. From the looks of things, it might be needed. As the Good Guys head to Wrigleyville, there are some positives moving forward…
1. Magic number is 5!
As in Johnny Bench #5. The Reds hold an opportunity to clinch on the road if things go their way. A sweep in Chicago along with two Cardinal losses against the Houston Astros. Or teh Reds take two of three and the Astros somehow sweep the Cards at Busch, take your pick. Before you drop to the floor and begin to laugh endlessly at those prospects, look what the ‘Stros did to the Phillies. Houston won three of four against the surging Phillies. So much for that surge.
I said it the other day that I thought the Astros could have an impact on the wild card scene and they already have. Some Phillies fans were putting the season to rest after yesterday’s loss.
2. Dodgers-Reds series has attention of the nation.
Maybe that’s a bit of a stretch, or maybe not, but it will be important series for a three reasons.
First, if the Reds should fail to clinch the NL Central while in Chicago, they will be in prime position to do so at Great American Ball Park.
Second, the Dodgers are in a heated race with the Cards for the final wild card spot, and neither team is exactly running away with it. Both the Cards and Dodgers are 3-7 in their last ten games.
Finally, all three games of the series will be televised (in some form or another) nationally. The first game of the series was recently added as an MLB Network featured game. Saturday’s game, slated for a 4:05 PM start, will be one of three national telecasts for FOX. Sunday’s game is ESPN’s Sunday night game with a start time of 8:05 PM.
That ought to get GABP rocking.
If this cannot get you geared for the postseason, I’m not sure anything could. This three-game series may re-live the past (for some older fans) when the Reds and Dodgers were always contending against each other for the old NL West title. The Reds could knock the Dodgers out of playoff contention as well.
3. And on attendance…
One subject that is seemingly mentioned on a daily basis is in regards to the attendance at GABP. Reds fans constantly read and hear that if the Reds don’t sellout a home date, the fanbase is horrible. Well, it might not be as bad as you are being lead to believe.
One thing that goes along with this would be that (as has been stated numerous times) Cincinnati is MLB’s smallest market. Yes, you can always point to the fans in Milwaukee and what they draw at Miller Park, but that is more against the norm. Small market teams do not normally draw nearly as well as the Brewers.
The Reds average attendance is 16th among all 30 MLB teams. They are 15th in total home attendance. If the Good Guys can average a shade less than 30,000 over their last six home dates, they will set a GABP attendance record which is 2,355,259. As of today, there have been 2,175,669 fans at GABP. To eclipse that mark by only one fan would mean that a total of 179,591 would have to attend the season’s final six home dates.
With the three-game set against the Dodgers holding division-clinching and possibly even further playoff implications (like the a shot at having home field throughout the NL playoffs), this is a real possibility. Cincy is currently only a game and a half behind the Nationals for best record in the NL.
And we owe a lot to the Braves for that…
It also won’t hurt that after the Dodgers series, the Brewers will visit and their season could be spoiled on the field of GABP. I know, that might mean the Cards could well be the second wild card team, but as Herm Edwards says…
Yep…I got nothing after that…