ST. LOUIS, MO -SEPTEMBER 4: Chris Valaika #3 of the Cincinnati Reds scores the game-winning run against the Cincinnati Reds at Busch Stadium on September 4, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Reds beat the Cardinals 3-2. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
KMiB may have beaten me to it in the recap, but here's this.
The Reds won their 90th game last night to cut the magic number to three. As absurd and worthless as these little scenarios become, it's still fun to say something like:
If the Reds finished the season 0-13, the Cardinals would have to win 11 of their final 13 to tie.
The Reds eyes are fixed on the playoffs now, even if there are 3 [magic number units] to buy up and 13 games to finish. Everything can pretty much be viewed through that prism. The point of the season is to reach the playoffs. Once you know you will, the point of your team is to prepare itself for the playoffs.
Scrabbles did good work laying out the scenarios for how the Reds might approach the playoffs. They're now only 1/2 game back of the Nationals for the "#1 seed" in the playoffs. But that #1 seed only says they'll probably play the Cardinals or Braves, instead of the Giants. Their dubious "home field" advantage won't improve (2 games away, 3 at home), though they'll get a better deal in the NLCS.
I'm of two minds on whether I want to see the Reds possibly face the Cardinals in the NLDS. But it still seems more wise to get the team lined-up and rested, than to push hard for #1.
Only that's not really a cry to rally 'round. Maybe some howling and generally gloating around town is the way to go. Other cities get to drive the country crazy with their Terrible Towels and other terrible housewares. Now it's our turn.