Saturday, September 02, 2006

After a six-game losing streak, the hunt for Reds October resumed on Friday night as Cincinnati beat the San Diego Padres, 6-2. The win pulls the Reds to within a half game of the Pods in the Wild Card race, with two more games to be played in San Diego this weekend.

I got to watch the last five innings of the game and two things struck me:
  • Reds starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo pitched with the most confidence I've seen in him since the All Star break. Without the albatross of trying to get his tenth win on his shoulders, Arroyo seemed to shake off the only trouble he got into the entire game, that in the fifth inning when San Diego scored its two runs.
  • More significantly, the Reds offense came back to life largely because nobody was pressing as they clearly had been doing over the past three games against the Dodgers. The day between the disastrous series in Los Angeles and tonight's game seems to have helped the Reds relax a bit at the plate.
With the return of three once-injured pitchers to the Reds roster, the team is in good shape for making a run not only at the Wild Card, but also, given the St. Louis Cardinals' injury plague, at the National League Central title.

A sweep of San Diego would make the return to Cincinnati next week something to really look forward to! But even two games of the three in this series would be great.

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