Even in a six month long season, one week can make a significant difference in baseball. The last week gave Cincinnati Reds fans reasons to feel hopeful.
Going into last week, the Reds were trying to break out of an eight game losing streak. Losing all but one of their first nine games of the season. The Reds broke out of their losing streak last Tuesday in a rout. Battering the Miami Marlins 14-0 at Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park. Scoring more runs in that game than in the Reds previous six games combined.
The Reds followed that up with a series sweep over the Marlins. Winning 2-1 last Wednesday thanks to the eighth inning efforts of Jose Iglesias and Jesse Winker. Both hit solo home runs in that inning to propel the Reds to victory. If not for those homers, the Reds seemed likely to lose their fifth one-run game of this season. Instead, the Reds won their first one-run game of this season.
Cincinnati wrapped up the sweep with a 5-0 shutout over Miami last Thursday. Five is a number that stands out from last week’s Reds games. The Reds scored five runs in both of their weekend games in Monterrey, Mexico. Splitting their Mexico series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Winning 5-2 on Saturday, then snapping their four-game winning streak with a 9-5 Sunday loss.
Plus, the Reds are now 5-9 going into their upcoming series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. This upcoming series against the Dodgers will be significant for several reasons. First and most importantly, this series is starting on Jackie Robinson Day. Marking the 72nd anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s historic Major League Baseball color barrier breaking debut. Robinson spent his entire Major League career with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
This anniversary comes weeks after the deaths of two Reds legends. Both breaking color barriers in different ways. Chuck Harmon became the first Reds African-American player in the 1950’s. Frank Robinson was a legend on the field for the Reds in the 50’s and 60’s. He later made history as Major League Baseball’s first African-American manager in 1976.
There are more reasons why this series will be significant for the Reds. This will be the first time Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp and Kyle Farmer face their old team. After being traded by the Dodgers to the Reds last December. As if that wasn’t significant enough, Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw will start Monday’s game. Making his season debut after recovering from a shoulder injury.
West coast road trips tend to challenge the Reds; these factors will add to the challenge for them. Winning this upcoming series in Los Angeles could be a momentum boost for the Reds. Coming after the Reds best week of the season so far. The Reds will follow up their Dodgers series with a series against the San Diego Padres. Wrapping up their road trip with a four game series from Thursday through Sunday.