Reds vs Twins: Three games in Minnesota will determine playoff berth

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 29: Tucker Barnhart #16 of the Cincinnati Reds slides into second unsuccessfully while Ehire Adrianza #16 of the Minnesota Twins trans the double play in the first inning at Target Field on April 29, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 29: Tucker Barnhart #16 of the Cincinnati Reds slides into second unsuccessfully while Ehire Adrianza #16 of the Minnesota Twins trans the double play in the first inning at Target Field on April 29, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) /
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Eugenio Suarez #7 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates after hitting a two-run home run.
CINCINNATI, OH – SEPTEMBER 21: Eugenio Suarez #7 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates after hitting a two-run home run. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

When the Reds have needed him most, Geno has delivered.

This season has not been a smooth ride for anyone, but on the field, it’s provided more than it’s usual challenges for Reds third baseman Eugenio Suárez.  Across the board, Geno is producing his weakest numbers with the Reds since his 2016 season. Even with the slash numbers falling below his normal standards, Suárez is delivering knockout punches in crucial situations.

Twice in the recent three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers, Eugenio Suárez delivered a big fly that essentially decided the outcome. In the series opener, with the Reds trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the sixth, Suárez smacked a two-run round-tripper off Brandon Woodruff to put the Redlegs ahead to stay.

However, Suárez had to don his Superman cape once again in the series finale. With the Cincinnati Reds clinging to a 3-1 lead, Suárez belted a three-run blast off left-hander Alex Claudio in the bottom of the fifth to put the game out of reach and propel the Reds to a must-win series victory. Additionally, there are signs that Geno is returning to his former All-Star self.

Over the last four weeks, Eugenio Suárez is slashing .256/.358/.644 with 10 homers and 26 RBIs. Those are the type of numbers Reds Country have become accustomed to seeing in Geno’s six years in Cincinnati. One more great weekend performance from the Reds third baseman may lead to him playing in the postseason for the first time since his rookie season in 2014 as a member of the Detroit Tigers.

Prediction

It’s been a long time since the term “magic number” was uttered so excitedly by Reds Country, but that’s virtually the only topic of conversation going into tonight’s contest against the Twins. Following the Brewers loss to the Cardinals last night, the Reds magic number is two. As a result, the Reds could conceivably punch their playoff ticket this evening.

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However, something’s got to give this weekend. The Reds are winners of eight of their last 10 games, while the Twins are a mind-boggling 23-5 at home. That’s not a misprint. Nevertheless, there’s no backing into the postseason for the Redlegs, as they take two of the three and begin preparations for Wednesday night’s playoff game.