As of June 14, 2014, the Cincinnati Reds sit just 2.5 games back of the leaders for the National League Wild Card. Despite a start to the year that many would rather forget, the Reds have somehow managed to remain relevant within the playoff race.
Sitting in front of the Reds are six teams, including the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals tied for the first wild card spot while the Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals sit even for the second. While Cincinnati still faces an uphill battle to reach the playoffs, such a feat now seems within reaching distance — something that didn’t even seem plausible recently.
For the Reds, a return to the playoffs lies within their ability to beat winning teams going forward. Their recent split of a four game set with Los Angeles was a step in the right direction for a team with a sub-.500 winning percentage against successful teams. The return of Mat Latos to the team in their current Milwaukee series will be the latest fresh bill of health and the first time Cincinnati has played completely healthy the entire season.
However, it remains to be seen if the Reds can overcome such a obstacle that has plagued them for many recent seasons. A victory in game one against the Brewers was a promising step for the Reds. However, in a season full of many inconsistencies, Cincinnati will look to establish its first true winning streak of the season — an event that could have huge ramifications on the NL playoff race if it is able to pull it off.