Tuesday, February 27 2024
The Reds' Nick Senzel homered against Mets lefty Jose Quintana Sunday in New York.

The Reds’ Nick Senzel homered against Mets lefty Jose Quintana Sunday in New York.

NEW YORK — It wasn’t intentional, but on Saturday night Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell found himself watching wild-card rivals play a late game in Arizona after his Reds won earlier.

“My son and I were watching that game,” said Bell, whose son Gus is on the trip. “What a game, extra innings, DBacks and the Cubs.”

So he does scoreboard watch?

“I was just enjoying it as a fan,” Bell said. “I didn’t know who to root for.”

That’s the thing about National League wild-card race that has stirred memories of the 1967 American League pennant race among baseball old-timers – when the Boston Red Sox finished one game ahead of both the Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers, three ahead of the Chicago White Sox, after jockeying in a tight, four-team pack throughout the final month.

Bell still wasn’t sure who to root for in the NL scoreboard-watching game after thinking about it Sunday morning

“Not really,” he said.

“Us.”

Exactly.

Even as the Reds’ remaining schedule ticked down to 11 games as they headed out of New York Sunday night, it became even more obvious how little sense it makes to hang on the results of other teams in other cities – no matter how impactful it might seem in the moment.

When some of these guys use terms like “roller coaster” to describe the emotions of this long-shot September thrill ride, they’re talking about days like Sunday – which opened with the Reds in the third wild-card playoff position on the strength of five wins in six games and trailing the Cubs by just a half-game for the second spot because of the Cubs’ loss to Arizona.

And then the New York Mets beat the Reds 8-4 to avoid a series sweep as a close game got away in the seventh with first-month big-leaguer Carson Spiers on the mound for Cincinnati.

Just like that, the Reds went from eyeing a possible move up in playoff position to getting knocked out of playoff position altogether – for now – with the Miami Marlins routing the Atlanta Braves to pass the Reds.

Unlike their status against the Cubs and Diamondbacks, the Reds do not hold the tiebreaker advantage over the Marlins for a playoff spot.

See where this is headed?

Of course not. That’s the point.

“Especially this time of year, it’s more about every single game,” Bell said.

Every single one of 11 that are left.

Every single game, for now, looking like an opportunity to swing the entire playoff picture for the Reds.

Just 4 1/2 games separated the Phillies in the No. 1 wild-card spot and the Marlins four spots back as teams took the field Sunday.

The San Francisco Giants were just two games back of the Marlins.

“Day by day,” said veteran Joey Votto, who singled and doubled Sunday, advising against the scoreboard gaze. “Long way to go. Too long to go.”

How long?

How much impact each game?

Here’s the rest of the schedules for the six teams vying for three NL wild-card spots, starting Monday (remaining games in parentheses):

Phillies (13) — Monday-Wednesday at Atlanta Braves (3), Thursday-Sunday vs. New York Mets (4), Sept. 26-28 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (3), Sept. 29-Oct. 1 at N.Y. Mets (3).

Cubs (12) — Tuesday-Thursday vs. Pirates (3), Friday-Sunday vs. Colorado Rockies (3), Sept. 26-28 at Atlanta Braves (3), Sept. 29-Oct. 1 at Milwaukee Brewers (3).

Reds (11) — Monday-Wednesday vs. Minnesota Twins (3), Friday-Sunday vs. Pirates (3), Sept. 26-27 at Cleveland Guardians (2), Sept. 29-Oct. 1 at St. Louis Cardinals (3).

Diamondbacks (11) — Tuesday-Wednesday vs. San Francisco Giants (2), Friday-Sunday at New York Yankees (3), Sept. 25-27 at Chicago White Sox (3), Sept. 29-Oct. 1 vs. Houston Astros (3).

Marlins (12) — Monday-Wednesday vs. New York Mets (3), Friday-Sunday vs. Brewers (3), Sept. 26-28 at N.Y. Mets (3), Sept 29-Oct. 1 at Pittsburgh (3).

Giants (12) — Tuesday-Wednesday at Arizona (2), Thursday-Sunday at Los Angeles Dodgers (4), Sept. 25-27 vs. San Diego Padres (3), Sept 29-Oct. 1 vs. Dodgers (3).

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Cincinnati Reds out of MLB playoffs for now after loss to Mets

Source: Yahoo Sports

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