If the Cincinnati Reds could erase the first 35 games of the 2018 season, they would be fighting for first place this weekend at Great American Ball Park.
Since May 9 when they were 8-27, the Reds are 26-19. That’s a half game worse than the Milwaukee Brewers in the same span. The Brewers and Reds, who start a four-game series Thursday, have the best records in the National League Central Division since that date.
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In the true standings, the Reds (34-46) trail the Brewers (46-33) by 12½ game but 12 victories in 15 games have the Reds thinking positive.
“We’ve got a good team,” third baseman Eugenio Suarez said. “We’ve got a good offense. We’re hot right now. We’re playing good baseball, and we’re trying to enjoy this moment. Now we’ve got an opportunity to win a lot of games.”
Here are five reasons the Reds are winning:
1. Strong offense: In the last 15 games, the Reds are hitting .270 and averaging six runs per game.
“I don’t think any club goes along at that pace forever,” interim manager Jim Riggleman said, “but it’s certainly nice to have picked it up.”
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2. Better starts: Reds starters have a 3.43 ERA in the last 15 games. In the last 10 games, they're 7-0 with a 3.77 ERA.
3. Big rallies: The Reds have come from behind in four of their last eight victories. They overcame a 6-1 deficit Sunday to beat the Chicago Cubs 8-6.
4. Individual stars: Suarez is tied for the NL lead with 58 RBIs. Scooter Gennett isn't far behind with 53. Tyler Mahle has pitched like an ace this month. He's 3-0 in five starts with a 2.30 ERA in June.
5. All-around excellence: The Reds infield leads the big leagues in batting average (.289) and on-base percentage (.367). Gennett leads the league with a .336 average. Jose Peraza's hitting .270. Joey Votto and Suarez are each hitting .301. average stands at .301.
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