Cincinnati Reds: Does It Matter How They Enter the MLB Postseason?
There has been a lot of chatter pertaining to the relatively uninspiring play this month by the Reds, and how their lack of " momentum" could lead to a short postseason run.
Well, based on history, there isn't really any "right" way to get into the final field of eight.
All that matter is getting there, and it doesn't matter if your mode of transportation is via a Corvette, or Geo Metro.
Lets look back to the recently completed decade, for examples of teams who crashed and burned to the regular season finish line, only to turn it around once the lights got brighter:
In 2006, the Detroit Tigers struggled horribly in the final month, losing 15 out of their final 26 games.
A huge division lead was completely lost, as they lost their final five games of the year to the Toronto Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals, of all teams.
Having the daunting task of facing the New York Yankees in the ALDS, they shocked many people by winning that series, and carried that momentum all the way to the World Series.
Their opponent that year, the St. Louis Cardinals, were 11 games over .500 on September 5th (74-63). They staggered to the finish line, finishing the year on a 9-15 skid.
In that mix was a seven game losing streak, but once October rolled around, they put all that aside and became world champions.
Earlier in the decade, the Yankees finished the regular season losers of 15 of their final 18 games, but won the 2000 World Series over the Mets regardless.
Conversely, there are teams that used all their energy up in just GETTING to the postseason, and once they were there, all the "momentum" in the world didn't do anything for them.
On July 2nd of the 2009 season, the Colorado Rockies were an average team, as they were sitting at 42-39.
They caught fire to the tune of 50-31 the rest of the way. I mean, you couldn't have PICKED a better scenario in which to enter the postseason under, supposedly but their NLDS run was short lived, as they fell to the Phillies in 4 games.
Also, there are teams that dominate the entire season in stunning fashion, but flop in October, such as the 2001 Seattle Mariners.
Those record breaking 116 regular season wins helped propel them to the ALCS, but they couldn't advance beyond that, losing in a quick five-game series to the Yankees.
Certainly, there are teams that peak at the right time and use that to their advantage, such as the 2007 Rockies and 2004 Boston Red Sox, but that doesn't mean it's a yearly occurrence to parlay great September play into something more meaningful.
Just get there. That's all that matters.
Everyone starts over at 0-0 next week.
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