Reds vs. Marlins: Pitching preview, prediction, and more

MIAMI, FLORIDA - AUGUST 28: Aristides Aquino #44 of the Cincinnati Reds reacts after hitting a double. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - AUGUST 28: Aristides Aquino #44 of the Cincinnati Reds reacts after hitting a double. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Tyler Naquin #12 of the Cincinnati Reds follows through on his ninth-inning two-run double.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 01: Tyler Naquin #12 of the Cincinnati Reds follows through on his ninth-inning two-run double. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

Reds slugger, Tyler Naquin, has rediscovered his groove.

After getting off to a blistering start and blasting 10 homers through the first two months of the season, Tyler Naquin hit a wall and it was the only thing he hit hard. The months of June and July saw the left-handed slugger go deep just three times, and he especially struggled last month, producing a horrific .218/.269/.299 slash line.

However, in his last 15 games, Naquin has reminded us why he seized the opportunity of being Cincinnati’s primary centerfielder. Slashing .340/.426/.553 with two homers and eight RBIs, the Texas native also established a career-high with his 15th round-tripper of the season yesterday.

But wait, there’s more. Currently, Naquin is also riding an eight-game hitting streak in which he’s collected 13 hits in 31 at-bats. With All-Star outfielder Jesse Winker on the shelf for at least another week, the Reds need someone to help fill the void. To this point, Tyler Naquin has more than answered the call.

Prediction

Let’s forget about all the talk regarding a soft schedule. The Reds blew a golden opportunity by gaining only one game on the Padres. Give credit to the lowly Cubs as they humbled a Cincinnati club they had absolutely no business taking a series from.

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For the Reds to salvage this homestand, they will need to sweep the Marlins this weekend. Will they do it? No. Look for the Redlegs to take three of four from the Fish this weekend, but concluding a 4-3 homestand versus two of the worst teams in the National League can only be considered a missed opportunity.