Now THAT is Pennant Race Baseball

[Box Score]
[John Fay] [The Reds Report] [Red Reporter] [Better off Red]

So this is what a pennant race feels like? The Reds really went out and responded last night with a precious little victory. They’d just been swept by the St. Louis Cardinals. They had to face one of the best pitchers in the National League and perhaps all of baseball in the Marlins Josh Johnson. You figure it would be alright to start a slide; but the Reds didn’t back down. In the end, no matter what happens and what the ultimate fate of this group is; you have to hope that this group somewhat sticks together for a few years and you have to admire they character of this upstart group that simply doesn’t quit.

They might drive us crazy, but for the most part they’re likable. For the most part they’re grinders. This is a pennant race, and they’re now just a game out of the NL Central and a half game out of of the Wild Card race. They’ve had this experience, they’ve played meaningful games; and no one can take what they’ve done to this point away from them.

Jay Bruce singled off Josh Johnson, got a run in on a fielders choice (see Rolen’s great slide above), and homered off lefty Taylor Tankersley. A bomb to dead center field. It was a 35 game homer-less streak for Jay Bruce, the longest of his career.

Mike Stanton homered twice in this game. That’s an impressive youngster right there for the Marlins.

Now, the Reds have to make one final push. There’s 116 games played, and 46 to go. It’s time to let it all hang out and let what you finish with speak for itself. These last 46 will decide where this team spends eternity. In a lot of ways it’s hard to believe that it’s really mid-August and we’re really in this thing.

Song that needs played over the loud speaker at a ballpark near you of course:

  • Actually, this is not what a pennant race feels like. If Cincinnati falls out of 1st, there's still the wild card.With pennant races there is no second chances. You lose, you go home. It's definitely a different "feel" from what you have now.By the way, Cincinnati is in a 3 team pennant race with Atlanta and Philadelphia in the pennant race league.

  • We're not gonna fall out of first Cliff.

  • Ah, a confident fan; and the way the Cards are playing you're probably right. But the fact is, whether you need it or not the wild card is still there.Also the way the leagues are spread out with most games being played against non-pennant rivals hurts the feel of a pennant race tremendously. What you've got is a fairly interesting Division Race that isn't intense enough to illicit national passions. My three team race with two going home and one going on would do the trick. Or with a tie on the last day that would require a three game playoff to find a winner.That kind of September would make baseball fans forget the Division Series forever.