How the Reds Stack Up with National League Contenders

Postseason baseball is a different beast. Each pitch comes under intense scrutiny from a national media, magnifying the failures and over-hyping the positives.

The Cincinnati Reds could have been apart of the fray had injuries not struck the roster like the plague. There are four remaining clubs; here is how the Reds faired against those clubs during the 2014 regular season:

San Francisco Giants


Head-to-head record: 5-2

The two teams met only in the month of June in 2014. On June 3-5 at home in Great American Ball Park, the Giants took the final two games of the series, giving them the slight edge when the two clubs met up at the end of the month.

Unfortunately for the Giants, the end of June/beginning of July was right when the Reds were finally reaching their peak and playing their best baseball of the season. The Redlegs came storming into AT&T Park out in San Francisco and laid a beat down on the Giants, sweeping them in a four-game set.

In the series finale on Sunday afternoon, Homer Bailey nearly no-hit the very same club he had a year prior. While the Giants still own recent Postseason supremacy, the Reds took care of business during the regular season in 2014.

Washington Nationals


Head-to-head record: 3-3

In six total matchups against what is widely considered to be the deepest rotation in the National League, the Reds scored a whopping total of 14 runs. Their first two games of the year against Washington both saw them score four runs (the first game was a 15-inning behemoth, as well), before scoring six runs over the final four games.

Having played the team with home-field advantage throughout the Postseason in the National League to a dead heat during the regular season is a victory within itself. If the Reds can play .500 ball against the elite competition, they should be able to take care of the lower-level competition and springboard themselves back towards relevance in 2015.

Los Angeles Dodgers


Head-to-head record: 3-4

Hell, they beat Clayton Kershaw.

The series in Los Angeles on the week of Memorial Day was memorable due to the fact that although the club would go on to lose the series, Homer Bailey would get the better of Clayton Kershaw for one of his three losses all season long.

Then, after losing the front two of a four-game set at home on June 9-12, the pitching would shut down Los Angeles over the final two nights, allowing just one combined run en route to a split in the Queen City.

Considering the heavy star power that the Dodgers put on display on a nightly basis, finishing at 3-4 can be considered a success—so long as it’s not a seven-game series.

St. Louis Cardinals


Head-to-head record: 7-12

Notorious are the struggles the Reds have had in Busch Stadium over the last handful of seasons. A gorgeous ballpark in theory has turned into a house of horrors for Cincinnati, unable to so much as win a series there.

Heading into September, the Reds were 3-9 against the Redbirds on the year, meaning they would win four of the last seven meetings between the teams as St. Louis battled for the division championship. Any small sliver of momentum headed into 2015 will be needed.

In order for the Reds to climb back to the top of the Central division, they will have to take down St. Louis head-to-head. No longer can they wait for other clubs to do the damage—the Cardinals are the hunted, and the Reds the hunters. In 2015, it’s time to go hunting.

* * *

The Reds combined record against all four National League Postseason clubs? 18-21. Meaning, should Cincinnati be able to continue to play near .500 against the “big boys” of the league and find their form against the bottom feeders, they just may be destined for yet another playoff berth in 2015.