1. Reds rookie Connor Phillips keeps playoff hopes alive.
This is not an exaggeration. Connor Phillips start on Monday night against the Minnesota Twins was the most impactful start for the Cincinnati Reds all season. The rookie gave David Bell seven innings in a must-have game, and looked dominant doing it.
While you're not going to see double-digit strikeouts, Phillips was able to keep the base paths relatively clear while getting swings and misses when he needed them. The right-hander allowed two runs, both on solo shots, while striking out seven batters.
More importantly, Phillips walked only one batter all night. The bugaboo for Phillips in the minor leagues has been his command of the strike zone. The 22-year-old is known to have an electric fastball, but too many walks have haunted Phillips all season.
In his last start, Phillips struck out just three batters and walked four. On Monday night, Phillips was firing on all cylinders. But most importantly, Phillips was efficient and was able to to help give the Cincinnati Reds bullpen a breather.
The Reds bullpen has been overworked all season, and with Fernando Cruz starting the next game, getting seven innings out of Phillips was crucial as Cincinnati remains in the playoff hunt with only 10 games to go.