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Cincinnati Reds: Making September Count

CINCINNATI - AUGUST 29:  Francisco Cordero #48  and Ryan Hanigan #29 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrate after the 7-5 win over the Chicago Cubs at Great American Ball Park on August 29, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Craig SimpsonContributor IAugust 31, 2010

Yup, September is upon us already. I can't remember the last time a baseball season went by so fast. Well, probably ten years ago when the Reds were playing well for an entire season. It's been a blast and there is one month to go with Cincinnati riding a six game Central Division lead.

Outside of tonight's (Tuesday's) game, the Reds have posted an 18-9 mark in August, which is typically the time most Reds teams have starting to run out of gas and shut down. To add to that, there is the buzz about Aroldis Chapman's big league debut (possibly tonight against the Brewers), Jay Bruce is batting lead off and swinging the bat like his hair is on fire, the Reds are 21 games over .500, and a playoff berth in Cincinnati is as close as Roger Clemens is to prison time.

Sure, you can tell me to chill out and not put the Marge before the Schottzie. I would totally understand. Though this has been a decade in the making, I had a full head of hair the last time the Reds had a whiff of the postseason! I am by no means putting the Reds in as division champs and playoff bound now, but you can't help but see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Unfortunately, there is still work to do.

Cincinnati must keep the gas pedal to the floor. Prior to Monday night's game, Manager Dusty Baker was asked about the lead the Reds have on the Cardinals. His reply was, "Let's try to make it six and get as many as we can. We're playing the way we can. Let's try to get greedy."

Hell, yes.

St. Louis may be in a slump right now, but that veteran lineup can, and will, take your legs out in an instant. And though the Reds may have a half-dozen game lead, there are still 31 contests to go. That's a month's worth of chances.

The key is to not focus on what the Cardinals, or anyone else, is doing. After Monday's game, Jay Bruce said it like a pro, "You know those guys aren’t worried about six games. It’s going to be a battle until the end. That’s what we expect.”

Cincinnati must focus on themselves and play the brand of baseball that has allowed them to finish each month thus far with a winning record. Imagine what could happen if Jonny Gomes decided to get off that roller coaster ride & hit the damn ball or if Aaron Harang (as he is off the DL now) could master his command and keep opposing offenses off kilter!

There is this hoopla football kicking off this month and I am excited about it. Though, nothing football wise compares to what I have experienced this year and I am expecting that to fully continue through October 3rd at the very least.

I honestly would love to see the Cards find their momentum and make the playoffs, just as long as the Reds are there along with them. Can you imagine the battle if those two squared off in a playoff series? Absolutely amazing, it would be.

In the mean time, Summer has about three weeks left and Fall is banging on the door with all of its might. For you baseball haters, enjoy your halftime: we're preparing for a second season

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