One week ago the Cincinnati Reds seemed to be sliding into the National League Central cellar. What a difference one week and a home stand can make.
The Cincinnati Reds now sit at half a game back from the NL Central lead. They are currently three games above a .500 record. With an 18-15 record going into a road trip starting on Thursday night. The Reds lost twice during their nine game home stand. Several factors helped lead the Reds towards this turnaround.
Part of the Reds success during this home stand was due to their opponents. The Reds beat currently two of the worst teams in the National League. Winning three out of four games against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Then sweeping the San Francisco Giants, scoring 31 runs in a three game series. Both teams, thanks partly to these series are currently in last place in their divisions.
A big contributor to the Reds winning ways in the last week was the offense. The team kicked into high gear at the plate in the last seven days. As evidenced especially in the Giants series this past weekend. At the moment, 13 Reds have a batting average of .250 or higher. Zack Cozart ranks seventh among this season’s MLB batting leaders.
With the nine game home stand in the books the Reds head out west. Starting with a four game series against San Francisco. Then the Reds will face tougher competition during their series against the Chicago Cubs. If the Reds hope to have a successful road trip, good offense will be a factor. It will also be interesting to see what impact the Reds pitchers have.
The Reds pitchers mostly stayed strong during this recent home stand. With their toughest outing back on Monday against the New York Yankees. Along with a 12-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 2nd. Earlier today the Reds sent Rookie Davis down to Triple-A. Days after the Reds sent Amir Garrett and Cody Reed to the Minor Leagues.
These demotions could give those pitchers a chance to improve. So far the offense has given the pitching staff some breathing room. The Reds were not able to really have that opportunity last season. In terms of their record, the Reds are still faring well so far. The main battle for the Reds now will be keeping it that way.