Three wins in four games over the Arizona Diamondbacks gave the Reds a nice cushion for that second wild-card spot in the National League, but as the end of the season draws nearer, it seems the goal is getting much bigger.
Go back to just a few weeks ago, the Reds were seven games back of the Pittsburgh Pirates, and five of the second place St. Louis Cardinals. Now, with the end of August coming quickly, the Reds, although in third place, are just 2.5 games back from first place.
The Reds continue their fight for the central division this weekend with a three game set against the fourth place Milwaukee Brewers, a team that has given the Reds some fits in their last two series played.
Friday: Homer Bailey (8-10, 3.68 ERA, 161 K) vs. Yovani Gallardo (9-9. 4.68 ERA, 104K)
Saturday: Bronson Arroyo (12-9, 3.40 ERA, 101K) vs. Wily Peralta (8-13, 4.60 ERA, 98K)
Sunday: Tony Cingrani (6-3, 2.76 ERA, 112K) vs. Marco Estrada (5-4,4.80 ERA, 74K)
For those curious after his injury during Tuesday night’s game, Tony Cingrani is still set to start on Sunday vs. the Brewers.
Homer Bailey’s last outing was against the Brewers. In that outing, Bailey went 8IP giving up 1ER on 3H with 8K and 1BB. Homer had previously had his share of struggles against the Crew so last Sunday had to be a big confidence booster for Bailey.
As far as the Brewers, a team that really is beginning their transition to the future we begin to see some of their young talents getting an opportunity to play for the big league club.
Norichika Aoki is still a very solid leadoff guy for the Brewers and has had his share of success against the Reds as well.
After this weekend, the Reds will head to St. Louis for three games with the Cardinals. This could arguably be the biggest series between these two in years.
Take care of the Brewers and continue the momentum into Busch Stadium? Sounds like a good idea to me.