The Reds team that begins the second half of the season is a much different one than the one that began the season 3-18. That team picked up its winning percentage enough to make it to a robust 8-27. That team couldn’t get a quality start from the rotation if it was paying for it, and it was, Homer Bailey in particular.
This Reds team is went 21-10 to close out the first half, the best mark in the NL during that period, and had twice as many wins from the starting rotation in their last 48 games (18) than in the first 48 (9). (I guess I could have let you do the math.) The rotation, five guys who can each give that offense a fighting chance at a win every day, had the third best ERA in the NL over the last month, and they only seem to be getting better.
The team they are right now still doesn’t have much chance of doing anything with this season, other than play their 162 games and try to win as many as possible. They do, however, have at least a slim chance of earning a wild card birth; no one would have ever thought that possible when we were 3-18.
Some guys it’s going to be interesting to watch in the second half:
Peraza finished the first half by raising his average to .293, after setting a team record with 11 hits in a three-game series. He had five hits the first game, and then he started sucking; he only had three in each of the next two games.
Before finishing the first half with his worst start of the season–they all have at least one or two stinkers a year–Mahle had had the lowest ERA in the league since June 1, 2.04; he really might turn out to be the gem of these young pitchers.
And it’s always interesting to see what Votto does. He’s still in the top few in OBP in the NL (.422), but he just hasn’t made the turn or gotten really hot for a while like he usually does. He’s batting .289 at the break, but you gotta think he’s gonna find his way back to the .320 range by the end of the season; he always does.
Scooter and Gino: one of them will potentially bring home a batting title.
Jim Riggleman: Isn’t it time to take the “Interim” title away from him and offer him a deal?
So, for a team that was 3-18, there’s a lot to be excited about with the second half of the season. Expect great things.
Until soon, my friends, play fair.