The Cincinnati Reds have begun a resurrection of sorts.
For the first month-and-a-half, we watched a lineup that couldn't seem to hit when its collective life, and the games, depended on it. The lineup was complemented by a starting pitching staff that seemed to only throw two decent arms out every five days.
But the Redlegs have gone 7-3 in their last 10, and if you have been watching the ol' ballclub of late, you will have noticed a slight change.
Though the lineup is still far from the machine it has the potential to be, it has been producing more runs on a more consistent basis.
A barrage of home runs the past few games (four on Monday and three on Tuesday) is a great sign—the bats seem to be heating up. Joey Votto is leading this charge with a slash mark of .318/.477/.652 through the month of May. Others, like Brando Phillips (.321 BA and two home runs the past seven days) and Ryan Hanigan (.359 BA for the month of May), seem to be following the leader.
If they can solve the problem of hitting with runners in scoring position even slightly, expect things to get fun.
You will also notice that the starting pitching has been rather consistent lately as well. Those questions that we were having with Mat Latos (2-0 with a 2.35 ERA in his last four starts), Homer Bailey (two quality starts in a row against the Yankees and Braves) and Mike Leake seem to be answering themselves. Latos just wrapped up a solid seven innings, allowing only five hits and two earned runs against the Atlanta Braves.
This comes on the heals of Leake silencing critics with his outing on Monday night against Atlanta that saw him only allow two hits over eight innings, with one earned run allowed. Throw in Bailey's six quality starts through his first eight, the continued excellence of ace Johnny Cueto (1.97 ERA on the season) and the solid performance of Bronson Arroyo, and things aren't looking so bad.
The turnaround of late should not completely surprise us, though. This is, after all, what we expected isn't it?
This club started the season with high expectations and got off to an unsatisfactory start. But stay tuned, because there seems to be change blowing in the wind—and it's ruffling the leaves of the St. Louis Cardinals.