The Cincinnati Reds could not be a hotter team than they have been over the last twenty or so games. As a huge Reds fan myself, I must admit it has been incredible watching them go from floundering to fantastic so quickly. Now, they are on top of many Major League Baseball power polls and on top of the National League Central. Despite all of this, the Pittsburgh Pirates are only three games behind the Reds. As unnerving as that is, I still feel strongly that we will outlast the Pirates and the Cardinals behind them. Here are five good reasons why:
Joey Votto is coming back
Votto has been on the shelf with a torn meniscus throughout most of this surge forward, but the Reds just kept on chugging along. That creates incredible confidence in a team and that will only increase once they get him back. Votto will be huge for them at some point during the race. The Pirates will take notice.
Drew Stubbs is red hot
Stubbs is a solid guy that has been underwhelming through most of the 2012 season. He has caught fire lately and should be on a roll throughout the most important part of the season. Stubbs can be incredibly effective when he is hot, so that is a big deal.
The starters are stable
Not many teams have the pitching that the Reds do, and the starters have all made their moments known on the mound in 2012. When you have the same starting five this far in the season, you know you have something special going on. The Reds are ready for big things in the off season. I would not want to face any of these guys in the playoffs.
The bullpen is stable
As solid as the starters have been, the bullpen has followed suit. We have a shut down closer and several guys that can hold the lead. What more can you hope for in a bullpen?
Dusty Baker seems to be getting it
Baker gets a bad rap most of the time, but he certainly earns some of the jeers. He is much smarter than he gets credit for sometimes though. Baker is coaching solid lately and taking on more of an aggressive stance. He had been coaching re-actively instead for the first part of the season. Now he is pushing the action instead. Hopefully he will continue to do that for the rest of the season.
*Southern is a life-long Cincinnati Reds fan that grew up watching Pete Rose, Johnny Bench and the boys dominate the Major Leagues. He longs for those days once again in Cincinnati.
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