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Matt’s Take: Forget the Brewers series; keep battling

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I’ll start off this column by stating that I am tired of Cincinnati losing to Milwaukee. After outplaying Milwaukee for 2 out of 3 games and to come out of there with a series loss is brutal when trying to chase down the first-place team.  

By Matthew McAdow
HCP columnist

I’ll start off this column by stating that I am tired of Cincinnati losing to Milwaukee. After outplaying Milwaukee for 2 out of 3 games and to come out of there with a series loss is brutal when trying to chase down the first-place team.  

Cincinnati put themselves in a hole and right when they came into striking distance, they failed to capitalize. The mismanagement of Sims during game three and taking out Candelario when he would’ve had another at-bat still hurts 24 hours after the game. I do believe Cincinnati outplayed Milwaukee during this series. While this one may sting for me for quite some time, the Reds need to get over it fast, as they have a series against the Pirates who hold the same record as Cincinnati at 34-37.  

With Skenes and Keller in their rotation this series, Cincinnati will need to be sharp to come away with a series victory.  

Halfway mark

The goal, in my head, is for Cincinnati to find a way to be at .500 at the break. Currently, that would require some series wins, as Cincinnati has the following before the break: Pirates, Red Sox, Pirates, Cardinals, Yankees, Tigers, Rockies and Marlins. 

The optimism in me sees Cincinnati at .500 or above by the break with the below prediction:
Pirates 1-2, Red Sox 2-1, Pirates 2-1, Cardinals 1-2, Yankees 1-2, Tigers 2-1, Rockies 3-1 and Marlins 2-1.

A 14-11 record would be enough to get this team to .500 and make this team a true buyer near the deadline.

Buyers

While Twitter world is dying for Cincinnati to get a power bat in the outfield, I am much more concerned with viable pitching. Cincinnati is an injury to Abbott, Greene or Lodolo away from being in major trouble, along with having bullpen issues with inherited runners. Sims can’t pitch in big moments currently. Diaz is giving me anxiety every time he takes the mound, and I am not sure Buck Farmer can be trusted either. 

With that being said, Cincinnati needs to be looking for a starter, along with bringing Santillan back onto this roster. While a power bat wouldn’t hurt, Cincinnati will very soon have Marte back on the infield corner, pushing Steer into his outfield role as originally planned.
 
Fast Comments and Facts
    
• Despite the Brewers series loss, Cincinnati has been playing some really good baseball.  This team will be in the hunt for a playoff spot if they continue to have production from their starting rotation.  
    
• Jeimer Candelario has been the best player in all of baseball over the last 15 days, as he is slashing .352 with 6 home runs.  
    
• Cruz makes a couple errors and it absolutely drives me crazy seeing everyone freak out.  Of course they were big mistakes during key moments, but with 8 OAA, I think we all should be quite happy with the 22 year old phenom.
    
• Cincinnati is just 1 game back from a Wild Card spot and have a run differential of +13.  
    
• As much as everyone complains about Elly’s plate approach, he still has the most hits on the roster with 61.  
    
• Jonathan India has drastically improved defensively and with his team leading OBP of .352, he has been a huge reason for the recent success as of late.  

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