After this next week, the MLB officially goes on their All-Star break and it is a great time to build momentum towards a strong second half of the season. The Reds are coming off another series win against the Chicago Cubs and currently sit at 38-43 which is 5.5 games back in the NL Central and they have a chance to gain even more ground because the Brewers enter for a 4 game series starting tonight. The Reds need to win this series, they somehow need to sneak at least three wins from them and continue their momentum from yesterday’s huge win against the Cubs.
Yesterday, the Cubs fought back from a 4-0 deficit and made it 4-3 after a very controversial pulling of Anthony Desclafani, who only threw 73 pitches allowing 5 hits, 1 walk, and striking out 7. In the bottom of the eighth, the Reds tacked on 4 more runs which showed their fight and gave us a glimpse at how fun this Reds team can really be. Let’s go back to the pulling of Desclafani…David Bell has done this quite a lot where he pulls the starter no matter what the situation is after the 6th and people gave him shit for it but I’ll defend him here.
Bell went to the bullpen for the final three innings and who cares? The Reds have the 3rd best bullpen in the league and Desclafani struggles when he sees a lineup the third time around. This was the right call. You think Bell knew that Lorenzen would suck? Definitely not, he went to who he trusted more with the Cubs lethal lineup and I respect the move. They went on the win but not comfortably, 8-6 after Iglesias gave up a 3 three bomb in the top of the ninth. Regardless, still a huge series win and they remain Cub Killers. Which brings us the the most important week of the year.
The division leading Milwaukee Brewers march into town coming off a series win over the Pirates. The Reds need this series. They need at least three wins out of the four games and it would bring them 41-44 and brings them to presumably 4 out in the division. With the return of Scooter, Geno being Geno, Votto on a tear, Puig waking up, and the 3rd best pitching in the league, this team could put together a run. This could start the push towards October and build the momentum needed for a strong second half…but it has to start tonight. Also huge shoutout to Luis Castillo for making the All-Star game, what a day for him.