The doom and gloom that has permeated most everything in the world of the Cincinnati Reds has been relentless of late. The string of losing series, the unraveling of a would-be playoff chase amid a schedule that suggested they’d be coasting, the litany of injuries, and the surging &$@@%%$#!! St. Louis Cardinals have made the last few weeks a true pain.
Sunday’s outing against the Washington Nationals seemed to put a band-aid on that, at least.
In the final weekend baseball game in GABP for the year, the Reds broke out the big bats, with a Kyle Farmer grand slam fronting things. Tyler Stephenson homered as part of a big day, while Nick Castellanos continued his late-season surge in to free agency with another big fly, too. That all backed Tyler Mahle in yet another rock-solid outing for a pitcher the Reds long ago should’ve signed to a contract extension, as he rolled past the 200 K mark on the season and, in all likelihood, cemented a 5+ bWAR season.
The biggest news of the days was, of course, that the Reds logged their 81st victory of the season, meaning they mathematically cannot have a losing record this year. Considering they played 62 games in 2020 and won exactly half of those - a 31-31 record including the 2-games in the expanded playoffs - it would be incredibly fitting if the Reds just find a way to finish this year 81-81, too. That’d be best for draft position while they don’t play playoff baseball, after all.
For the time being, though, celebrate the victory today and prep for the final home game of the year tomorrow, one that will come with a 1:10 PM ET start time against the Pittsburgh Pirates. It’s a make-up game, but if you look at their remaining strength of schedule...