Cincinnati Reds’ Rise to Winning Record Long Overdue

Cincinnati Reds, NL Central, Milwaukee Brewers

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The Cincinnati Reds are trying to make up for a disappointing first half to the 2014 season in a hurry. After reaching the .500 mark for a fourth time, the Reds finally pulled out a win that made them a winning team for the first time this year.

The expectation for the Reds heading into the season was that they would be a winning team long before now. Even with the offseason losses of on-base machine Shin-Soo Choo, the rubber-armed Bronson Arroyo and defensive stalwart Ryan Hanigan behind the plate, the Reds were still expected to win.

But injuries, poor performances and the inability to win close games marred the first half of the season for the Reds.

Now, the corner may have been turned, but the Reds are going to find out if they can recapture that winning drive that has sparked the team to the postseason three of the past four years, including two NL Central titles.

The Reds still have a long way to go to battle all the way back to the top of the division, sitting 7.5 games behind the division-leading Milwaukee Brewers and three games behind the second-place St. Louis Cardinals, but the Reds have won nine of 12 games since reaching a low point of five games under .500 on June 10.

During the 12-game span the Reds have erupted on offense, scoring 80 runs total, including three games of 10 or more. The nearly seven-run per game average is a welcomed change for a Reds team that has struggled all season to score enough runs to reward outstanding starting pitching and win more games than they lose.

If the bats can stay alive for the remainder of the Reds’ current 10-game road trip and the upcoming 11-game homestand before the All-Star break, the Reds just might find the start to the second half of their season looks a whole lot better than the start to the first half of the 2014 season.

Robb Hoff is a Cincinnati Reds writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @NFLNostradamus, like him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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