After July 5′s loss to the San Diego Padres, the Reds sat in second place in the NL Central, two whole games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates. Today, we are leading the division, two games ahead.
But to get there, we had to amass a record of 14-2 over the last sixteen games. That’s like September 2007 Rockies shit, right there. That’s 12 more wins than losses! That’s only 2 losses! In 16 games! A .875 winning percentage! I’m really just saying the same thing over again!
Making up four games in the standings is a pretty good result, really – and the Pirates barely overperformed what they had been doing in the season before July 5 – with a 10-6 record in those 16 games. Even if the Pirates went .500 over that stretch, we’d still only be four games ahead. It’s just that after a ridiculous streak, it just feels like you should have put a little more space between you and second place.
But it’s the nature of the beast that we can’t really control what Pittsburgh does – at least not until we face them at home for a series starting on August 3. The next six games leading up to that will be important. Andrew McCutchen, Mighty Pirate, gets to lead his team in a pillage of the NL central basement – three games against the Astros team we just swept, and three against the Chicago Cubs, the Astros nearest neighbor in the standings.
The Reds have a pretty good opportunity here too, though, facing the Rockies and Padres – the two teams in the National League who can give the Cubs and Astros a run for their money in the not-winning department. Obviously, keeping pace with the Pirates or even lengthening our lead is the best case scenario – I mean, obviously because winning is good – but being tied or a game behind as a worst case scenario in that Pirates series will help me breathe a little easier.