Every year as the calendar turns to the final week of September, baseball fans yearn for the opportunity to have their club playing for something. However, this isn't exactly what fans of the Cincinnati Reds had in mind.
Reds Country, I was hoping to avoid this subject, but, unfortunately, after dropping seven in a row in September to the last place Pittsburgh Pirates, a 100-loss campaign, for what would be only the second time in franchise history, is staring the Redlegs square in the face.
Needless to say, it's been a horrid final full month of the 2022 season for Cincinnati. The Reds (60-96) are 9-18 in September and have been a dismal 20-35 since August 1st. With six games remaining on the schedule, the Reds must go at least 3-3 to avoid joining the 1982 Reds as the worst club in the franchise's long history.
The Reds limp to the finish line looking to avoid 100 losses.
Is their reason for hope? Possibly. The Reds are 3-3 at the Friendly Confines this season and are 6-7 overall versus the Cubbies this season. However, like the fans of the fictional AFC Richmond club on the Apple TV show "Ted Lasso" like to say, "it's the hope that kills ya."
Let it be known that Chicago fans have little reason to be smirking. The Chicago Cubs (70-86) are in danger of posting consecutive 90-loss seasons for the first time since a three-year stretch between the 2011-2013 seasons.
After finishing first or second in the National League Central from 2016 through 2018, this will be the third time in four years the North Siders have finished in third place or lower in the division.
Nevertheless, credit must be given to the Cubbie faithful. Entering the final weekend of the season, the Cubs rank sixth among the 15 National League clubs in attendance, with more than 2.5 million fans visiting Wrigley Field.