Local radio talk shows are being flooded with the declaration of the Cincinnati Reds finally turning the corner and returning to success. The offense showed signs of life to finally support the superb team pitching. After winning four out of their last five games, is there reason for optimism by fans?
In short, not yet.
Sure, the modest three-game winning streak is reassuring considering the struggles of the team recently. However, it must be taken into consideration who the Reds were playing — the Arizona Diamondbacks, who are dead last in the NL West and 15 games out of first place. They are ranked dead last in the majors for pitching and 19th in offense.
With that being said, the West Coast has historically been a place of struggle for the Reds. So it is worth noting that leaving Los Angeles and Arizona with a 4-3 record is a success.
For the Reds, the true test will come in the team’s 10-game homestand that features games against the Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers. The Giants and Dodgers present two huge series for the Reds. Both teams are fighting for control of the NL West, and they have the pitching to revert the Reds’ offense back to their struggling ways.
While Philadelphia is the only one of these teams that isn’t above .500 on the season, they still are a dangerous team that took a three-game series from the Reds earlier this season.
The Reds will be sending Homer Bailey to the mound to start the San Francisco series. Coming off a strong outing against the Dodgers in which he gave up just two runs on five hits over seven innings, Bailey will look to keep the Reds on their current winning streak. However, the most intriguing storyline to watch will revolve around the Cincinnati offense and their ability (or inability) to score runs during the homestand.