Where the Reds stand in playoff race with 23 games left

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David Bell interview (Sept. 6, 2021)

Slumping Cincinnati one game back of Padres

The Cincinnati Reds still find themselves in the thick of the wild-card race despite seven losses in their last nine games and a 4-9 record in the last two weeks.

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The Reds (73-66) trail the San Diego Padres (73-64) by one game. The Philadelphia Phillies (71-66), two games back of the Padres, have won eight of their last 10 games to become a serious contender. The St. Louis Cardinals (69-67), 3½ back, are also still alive.

All those teams are competing for the second wild card. Either the San Francisco Giants (88-50) or Los Angeles Dodgers (87-51), whoever doesn’t win the National League West Division, will win the first wild card and host the wild-card game. The Phillies also have a chance to pass the Atlanta Braves (72-64) in the East Division race.

The Reds, who lost 4-3 to the Chicago Cubs on Monday will have to win Tuesday and Wednesday in Chicago avoid their fifth straight series loss.

“There’s a sense of urgency, of course,” Reds reliever Michael Lorenzen said. “We know we’re really good. We’re just showing up and trying to win every day.”

According to FanGraphs.com, the Reds have a 38.1 percent chance of winning a wild card. The Padres have a 42.4 percent chance. The Phillies have an 8.4 percent chance. The Cardinals have a 3.7 percent chance.

The Reds and Cubs continue their series at 7:40 p.m. Tuesday at Wrigley Field.