Importantly, this short series was a showcase of the two best teams in all of baseball over the past year. Oakland and Cincinnati have the top two records in in MLB since last July 1st. The A’s are 103-60 over that time; the Reds are 99-65, best in the National League. Thus, it’s not overreaching to say that this was an important test for both teams.
For the Athletics to walk away with two victories against the Reds—a team with a winning record—means quite a bit. Including Wednesday’s victory, Oakland owns a 14-17 record against teams that currently have above-.500 records. Much has been said about the A’s beating up on the lesser teams in baseball, while not living up to expectations against winning ball clubs.
For Oakland, sweeping the Reds is indeed a statement. No, it’s not an exclamation; but it still says something about the A’s as a team. They can run with the big boys. And they can beat them.
What this means in the long run, who knows? Right now, the Athletics can boast they beat one of the NL’s top teams. That’s got to count for something. Let’s take a look at five standout moments from the Athletics’ series against Cincinnati.