Cincinnati Reds Play Washington Nationals

As the Cincinnati Reds open up a three-game set with the East leading Washington Nationals, now is a good time to proclaim make or break games for my team, the Cincinnati Reds.

So far this season the Cincinnati Reds have played up and down baseball.  (I realize that I am stating the obvious here given their record is 16-14.)  That being said though, the Reds have a streak, not counting the home set with the Chicago Cubs that had one game rained out, of winning each series in the last 5, 2-1.  The problem with that stretch is that none of the teams have a record over .500.  That frightens me greatly.

Now, here comes a series with a team in the Nationals that is being played at GABP.  The Nationals are certainly above .500.  They are playing as well as anyone in the league.  They have a formidable pitching staff, one that really thwarted the Cincinnati Reds when the Redlegs paid a visit early in April.  The Nationals have hitting and great team speed, again something that the Reds had problems with in DC. 

The Cincinnati Reds are a different team then the first time the two teams met.  The Reds are hitting more consistently.  Their starting pitching have been providing quality starts – most of the time.  Their bullpen, last two games excepted, has been stellar in the last three weeks.  Again, I am going to bring up the fact that Aroldis Chapman and Logan Ondrusek still have not allowed a run this season.  Oh sure, Sean Marshall scares me terribly, but if the line-up will put up more than 3 runs in the game, the Reds will not have to rely on Marshall at the end of the game as much.

The Reds are scheduled to throw Mike Leake, Mat Latos and Bronson Arroyo.  Given my opening sentence of a make or break series, 2 out of the 3 listed above are very upredictable.

So while the 2012 season is still young, the Cincinnati Reds must make a good showing against a club with a winning record.  We will know more about where they stand after this weekend series.

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