The Reds control their postseason fortunes as they host the playoff-bound White Sox.
How we looking now Reds Country? What a difference a week makes. Last Friday, we were talking about the Cincinnati Reds 2020 Disappointment Tour limping into St. Louis and this weekend we’re thinking about clearing our October calendars for postseason baseball.
That’s what happens when you win 6-of-7 games down the stretch. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, because the Reds (25-26) have plenty of obstacles still ahead of them. If the Reds do, in fact, qualify for the playoffs, they will have earned it.
Cincinnati’s last nine games are against a team already in the postseason, the Chicago White Sox. Another, trailing the Reds by just one game, in the Milwaukee Brewers are up next. Finally, a team who is one the verge of securing a playoff spot, the Minnesota Twins, represent the final three games of the season. Buckle up! It’s going to be a wild 10 days to close out the regular season.
Despite sweeping a four-game set against the dismal Pittsburgh Pirates, there are still plenty of question marks concerning the Redlegs offense. Over the course of those four games, the Reds only managed to score more than four runs once. In fact, the Reds collected only 21 hits and failed to dent the plate for ten consecutive innings between Game 3 and 4 of the series.
What the Reds did well against the Pirates was pitch lights-out baseball. Trevor Bauer and Luis Castillo were masterful in their starts, while Michael Lorenzen, who was making his first start in nearly two years, provided a tremendous boost by tossing five innings of one-run ball and fanning six Bucs without allowing a free pass.
Don’t be surprised if we see the Zen Master make another start, and that’s partly due to the arrival of Archie Bradley. Since arriving in the Queen City following an August 31st deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Bradley has yet to surrender a run in five appearances.
Tossing 6.2 innings, Bradley has recorded five strikeouts without yielding a walk and giving up just three hits. It’s too early yet to tell, but the Bradley deal just may be the missing ingredient for this roster to reach it’s full potential.