Cincinnati Reds: Three takeaways from walk-off win in extra innings

CINCINNATI, OHIO - MAY 15: Yasiel Puig #66 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates with teammates after hitting a game winning single in the 10th inning against the Chicago Cubs at Great American Ball Park on May 15, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - MAY 15: Yasiel Puig #66 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates with teammates after hitting a game winning single in the 10th inning against the Chicago Cubs at Great American Ball Park on May 15, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Reds
CINCINNATI, OHIO – MAY 15: Yasiel Puig #66 of the Cincinnati Reds hits a game winning single in the 10th inning against the Chicago Cubs at Great American Ball Park on May 15, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

3. The Reds needed this game

Is May 15th too early to call any game a must-win? Not the way this season has unfolded for the Cincinnati Reds. After a 1-8 start to the season, the Reds dug themselves a whale of a hole. Since then, the Reds have gone 18-16 (.529). Had the Reds just gone .500 during those first 9 games, they’d be sitting in the thick of the NL Central right now.

But, games are not played on paper and while I love the Pythagorean W/L statistics, the Cincinnati Reds are a below-.500 team. In fact, the Reds are the only team in the NL Central who have a losing record. Last night’s win could be a springboard towards bigger and better things.

This ball club is not as bad as their record suggests, but 13 one-run losses will put you in a big hole. The Reds are 7-13 (.350) in one-run games after last night’s walk-off win over Chicago. Again, if half those one-run losses were wins, Reds Country would be smiling from ear-to-ear.

As it is, the Cincinnati Reds have another game with these same division-leading Chicago Cubs on Thursday night. Thankfully for the Reds, Luis Castillo is on the mound. He’ll be opposed by Jose Quintana. This has the makings of another one-run affair.

The Cincinnati Reds needed performances from some of their best players last night. If the Redlegs hope to make any noise this season, Yasiel Puig and Joey Votto have to start hitting. José Iglesias and Derek Dietrich have helped keep this team afloat, along with Eugenio Suárez, but in order for the Reds to compete, Puig and Votto have to perform up to their lofty standards.

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With the Los Angeles Dodgers coming to town, the Reds find themselves in another must-win game on Thursday. They should feel better with their ace on the mound, but the bats need to find a way to get to Quintana early and win this series over their division rival.