Tony Santillan and the Reds looking to close the gap in the NL Central with a visit from the hapless Nats

Cincinnati Reds Tyler Stephenson and Tony Santillan celebrate.
Cincinnati Reds Tyler Stephenson and Tony Santillan celebrate. / Nick Cammett/GettyImages
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Has David Bell found his closer in Reds RHP Tony Santillan?

Reds Country it appears manager David Bell has found his man. After numerous failed opportunities from Art Warren to close games, the Cincinnati Reds skipper has now put his faith in the big Texan, Tony Santillan.

In his last seven appearances, the right-hander has collected three saves. However, he's not exactly looked like the second coming of Mariano Rivera. As a result, his grasp on the closer's role could be tenuous at best.

During those seven games, Santillan has allowed seven hits while issuing five free passes. If you're prone to heart issues, the 25-year-old and former second-round pick is not helping your cause.

Take Tuesday night at Fenway Park, for example. Handed a two-run lead in the ninth inning, Tony Santillan immediately allowed back-to-back hits and eventually a run to score before retiring Trevor Story to end the game stranding the tying run on third base.

Was it pretty? No. Did he get the job done? Yes. And as far as David Bell and Tony Santillan's teammates are concerned, the ugly wins count just as much as the pretty ones.

Prediction: Reds take the series from the Nats

These are two ballclubs moving in opposite directions. The Nationals have dropped three in a row and six of their last 10 games. On the other hand, the Reds have won six of 10 and have not lost a series at home since April.

Those trends hold true as the Redlegs take three of four from Washington before hosting the Arizona Diamondbacks for a four-game set beginning Monday night.