The Reds battle the White Sox with the MLB Playoffs in sight

GOODYEAR, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 23: Shogo Akiyama #4 of the Cincinnati Reds dives back to first base as Jose Abreu #76 of the Chicago White Sox attempts to apply the tag. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
GOODYEAR, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 23: Shogo Akiyama #4 of the Cincinnati Reds dives back to first base as Jose Abreu #76 of the Chicago White Sox attempts to apply the tag. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /
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Luis Castillo #58 of the Cincinnati Reds throws a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
CINCINNATI, OHIO – SEPTEMBER 16: Luis Castillo #58 of the Cincinnati Reds throws a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

Reds pitcher, Luis Castillo, has been brilliant recently.

Admit it, Reds Country, you were a little nervous after Luis Castillo‘s first three starts of the season when he started 0-2 with a 4.76 ERA. Following a second half of the 2019 campaign when he was 7-5 with a 4.78 ERA in 14 starts, you couldn’t help but wonder if the dominance he displayed to open last season was aberration.

Breathe easy Reds fans, because the dazzling La Piedra has reemerged in just the nick of time. Over the last month, Luis Castillo has posted an impressive 2.18 ERA in five starts covering 33 innings. But it’s been Castillo’s virtuoso performances the last two weeks that have Reds Country especially excited.

In his last three starts, Castillo collected as many victories and limited the opposition to just three runs on a dozen hits over 22 frames while recording 24 strikeouts without allowing a homer. Luis Castillo might have pitched the best game of his career last Friday with a complete game, two-hit performance against the Cardinals in a 3-1 Cincinnati victory.

As the Reds battle for one of the remaining playoff spots in the National League, it’s safe to assume Castillo will be making two starts before the end of the regular season. There’s no guarantee the Reds will be playing in October, but you have to believe both La Piedra and Trevor Bauer will be making a combined four starts in the Reds final 10 contests which should provide fans with cautious optimism.

Prediction

The Reds won’t face a better team during this 2020 regular season campaign than the Chicago White Sox. They have all the pieces for a club who could be hoisting the World Series trophy by the end of October. It will be a great test for this Reds team.

Even though the South Siders have punched their playoff ticket, I’m sure they would like to finish with as high a seed as possible especially being in a dead-heat with the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland A’s for the best record in the American League.

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However, the Cincinnati Reds will be playing for their postseason lives and that sense of urgency will propel the Redlegs to a series victory by taking 2-of-3 from the White Sox while moving tantalizingly closer to a playoff berth.