The Cincinnati Reds have been tearing up the National Leaguefor the last 23 games. For those of you who have not been paying much attention to the Red Legs, they have won 20 of the last 23 games. Pretty good, huh?
During that same span of great play, it is important to point out two things. One is that even with the run the Cincinnati Reds have been on as of late, the Pittsburgh Pirates have just been just about as good. Consequently even though the Reds have the best record in baseball at 64-41, they have only been able to open up a 3 and a half game lead on those pesky Pirates. Two is that the Reds have been doing most of the damage on the worst teams in the league. To be fair, the Cincinnati Reds have been winning at an astounding rate without their best player, Joey Votto (and now Brandon Phillips has missed the last two). So the run has been quite an accomplishment.
This weekend, however, will be a real test for the Cincinnati Reds. As they will begin a three-game series with those same Pirates in the Queen City. While it’s true that the Red cannot lose their lead this weekend, we will certainly know a lot more about them by Sunday evening.
Mat Latos, winner of his last two, will take the mound for the Reds in the first game. He is 3-0 in four starts against the Pirates with an ERA of 2.17. The Pirates will counter with newly acquired Wandy Rodriguez. The Reds defeated Rodriguez two starts ago when he was with the Houston Astros. He is 8-10 overall against the Reds and has an ERA of 4.42.
This will be a great opportunity for the Cincinnati Reds to continue their winnings ways as they take their heavily righthanded batting order against the lefty Rodriguez, especially in GABP.
The two teams have 6 more games against each other after this series. The Cincinnati Reds can make it very difficult for the Pirates to catch them with another sweep this weekend.