After a dicey start to the 2010 season, the Cincinnati Reds are getting hot over the past few weeks as we get about one-fifth of the way through the miserably long MLB season. Cincy was sitting at 7-11 on April 24th, but has since rallied around the flag, going 12-4 over their last 16 games to move within one game of first-place St. Louis in the National League Central.
While there’s no denying that the Reds have picked it up over the last few weeks, they have also been blessed with a fairly soft schedule. A trip to Houston two weeks ago cured the Reds’ ails, as they reeled off a three-game sweep against the league’s worst team.
Since then, Cincinnati has won series against the Mets, who are hovering around .500, and the Cubs, who have struggled coming out of the gate in 2010. Over the past three days, Cincinnati used some brilliant starting pitching to earn another three-game sweep, this time in Pittsburgh over the Pirates. The team got back-to-back shutouts from Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey to close out a series in which they outscored the Bucs by 15.
After a day off on Thursday, the Redbirds will come to the Queens City on Friday to kick off what has now become a crucial three-game series at Great American Ball Park. Thankfully, the Reds will not have to face Chris Carpenter in any of the three match-ups, as St Looey will throw Jaime Garcia, Adam Wainright, and Brad Penny. Cincinnati will counter with Aaron Harang on Friday, followed by Mike Leake, then Bronson Arroyo in a Sunday day game.