The Cincinnati Reds‘ 2014 season has been a failure. With expectations high and the small-market window of opportunity creaking shut, the Reds have disappointed thoroughly.
But the rest of the National League just hasn’t quite completely wiped out the Reds just yet.
The Reds have little chance of leapfrogging three teams this late in the season to win the NL Central, but they might still have a fighting chance to beat out one of those teams for the second wildcard spot.
With the San Francisco Giants, Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins all on the ropes, the Reds might just have to outlast one of their division foes — most likely either the St. Louis Cardinals or the Pittsburgh Pirates — to scrape their way into the postseason as the second wildcard for the second year in a row.
Even facing another round of key injuries to players like Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, Homer Bailey and maybe even Todd Frazier now, the Reds still have a chance. With each loss, that chance lessens, but with Phillips starting a rehab assignment in Triple A today, their may be a timely spike in energy and focus when Phillips does return to the Reds next week.
Granted, Votto may not play again this year and the rest of Bailey’s season may also be in doubt. Still, the Reds might muster enough mettle to find one last gasp left in their bust of a season to at least make September more interesting for their fans than just a showcase of call-ups.