Cincinnati Reds: This is the team we expected to see this year

CINCINNATI, OH - JUNE 07: Jesse Winker #33 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates with teammates after hitting a two-run home run to win the game in the 13th inning against the Colorado Rockies at Great American Ball Park on June 7, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Reds won 7-5. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - JUNE 07: Jesse Winker #33 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates with teammates after hitting a two-run home run to win the game in the 13th inning against the Colorado Rockies at Great American Ball Park on June 7, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Reds won 7-5. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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The Cincinnati Reds are a National League-best 8-2 over their last 10 games. This is the Reds team that fans expected to see when the season began.

The Cincinnati Reds are playing their best baseball of the season. They’re coming off back-to-back series-sweeps and are 8-2 over their last 10 games. That’ tops in the National League. Are the Reds showing signs of the team that we thought we’d see this season?

Okay, while trying not to be a prisoner of the moment, I have to admit that I’m very impressed with the record that the Cincinnati Reds have put together over the last month or so. In fact, the Redlegs are 12-8 (.600) during the month of June.

The Reds’ lineup, top to bottom, has been flat out getting it done of late. Scooter Gennett (.332) leads the National League in batting average. Eugenio Suarez is first in the NL in RBIs (58) and second in home runs (16). Joey Votto has been, well, Joey Votto.

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But everyone expected the middle of the Reds’ order to hit, granted no one thought Gennett would be leading the league in batting average, but still it was assumed that the heart of the batting order would be solid. But, take a look at what other members of the Reds have done lately.

Tucker Barnhart has an on-base percentage over the past 10 games of .367 with 2 home runs and 6 RBIs. How about everyone’s favorite punching bag, Billy Hamilton? Hamilton currently has a 7 game hitting streak. Over his last 10 games, Hamilton is hitting .333 and an OBP of .389. He’s also stolen 5 bases.

Now, what about Jesse Winker? Well, I think every Reds’ fan, and even the front office, will now agree that the thought of benching Jesse Winker was not a smart one. It lasted all of about one day, but never the less, the idea was floated out there. Winker, against the Cubs, hit .500 with 2 home runs and 7 RBIs.

But it’s not just the hitting that’s propelled the Reds of late, it’s the pitching too. The Reds starters have been getting deep into ballgames, handing the ball over to a very capable bullpen, and Raisel Iglesias has done the rest. Iggy’s nailed down 4 saves in the past 6 games and pitched a scoreless ninth inning today to help the Reds sweep the Cubs.

Next: What Nick Senzel's injury means moving forward

While it’s highly unlikely that the Reds can make any sort of run at the postseason, stranger things have happened. The Cincinnati Reds currently sit at 32-45 and are 10.5 games out of the Wild Card spot in the National League.