It's getting better, Reds Country. What seemed improbable a couple of weeks ago has happened. The Cincinnati Reds (7-24) have won back-to-back series. Following yesterday's slugfest, a 14-11 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers, the Redlegs are now 4-2 in their last six contests.
Before we get too excited, Cincinnati remains in the basement of the National League Central trailing the first-place Brewers by 12.5 games. However, they're just 4.5 behind the Chicago Cubs for fourth-place in the division. Baby steps, right?
What's even more encouraging is that the Reds offense has come alive. Cincinnati has scored four or more runs in eight straight games and topped nine runs three times over that span. Infielder Colin Moran has rocketed four round-trippers and 13 RBIs in his last seven games.
The Reds visit the Pirates having won 4-of-6 games.
Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Pirates (13-17) have turned a few heads this week as well. The Bucs are coming off a series victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers and currently reside in third-place in the NL Central, six games back of the Brew Crew.
Offensively, the Pirates are hardly an intimidating bunch. Their 24 homers as a team ranks 13th in the senior circuit, and they're dead last with just 104 RBIs through play yesterday. However, even though he's yet to go deep, third baseman Ke'Bryan Hayes is hitting .320 with an impressive .410 on-base percentage.
As play began yesterday, Pittsburgh hurlers rank 14th in the league with a ghastly 4.91 team ERA. Additionally, four of the five starters in their rotation sport an ERA north of 5.50. Believe me, Reds Country can certainly relate.
Cincinnati has captured the season series the past two years versus the Pirates, however, PNC Park has been less than hospitable recently to the Redlegs. Since David Bell took over as manager in 2019, Pittsburgh owns a 15-8 advantage in the Steel City.