Bell on Reds’ wild card chances: ‘We have time to get it done’

After losing two of three to the Twins, Reds get an off day before playing Pirates

Four of the five teams competing for the final two wild cards in the National League lost Wednesday, softening the blow for the Cincinnati Reds, who blew a 3-2 lead in the ninth inning in a 5-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins.

“They’re all important at this point,” manager David Bell told reporters after the game. “There’s no question about that. That’s a great thing. Playing games that mean this much, they hurt when you don’t win them, but at the same time, we remain really excited and positive about your chances. It all comes down to how we play. Yes, they’re increasingly important. We have an off day (Thursday) and we come back and we have time to get it done. That’s all you can ask for.”

The Reds have stayed in the race while playing .500 baseball for most of the second half. The same can be said for some of their competitors. The Reds are 15-15 in the last 30 games, as are the Miami Marlins. The Chicago Cubs are one game better in the same stretch, at 16-14.

The Arizona Diamondbacks have surged ahead of the group with a 19-11 mark in the last 30 games, while the San Francisco Giants have faded with 12 victories in their last 30 games.

The Reds have eight games remaining. Here’s a breakdown of the wild card standings:

Who’s leading: The Philadelphia Phillies (83-69) have all but locked up the first wild card. They had a four-game lead through Wednesday.

With five victories in a row, the Diamondbacks (81-72) have staked a strong claim to the second wild card. They’re 1½ games ahead of the Cubs (79-73), who are in position get the third wild card.

The Marlins (79-74) trail the Cubs by a half game, and the Reds (79-75) trail the Cubs by one game. The Giants (76-76) are three games behind the Cubs.

If the season ended today: The Atlanta Braves (97-55) and Los Angeles Dodgers (93-58) would earn the top two seeds and first-round byes.

In best-of-three wild card series, the Cubs would earn the No. 6 seed and play the No. 3 Brewers in Milwaukee, and the No. 5 Diamondbacks would play the No. 4 Phillies in Philadelphia.

What’s next: The Reds play their final three home games of the regular season this weekend. They start a series against the Pittsburgh Pirates (71-81) on Friday. The Reds are 4-6 against the Pirates, who were 10-8 in September entering a game Thursday against the Cubs.

Andrew Abbott (8-5, 3.68 ERA), Connor Phillips (1-0, 5.74) and Brandon Williamson (4-4, 4.47) will start the three games for the Reds.

The Reds close the regular season next week with a two-game series in Cleveland against the Guardians (72-81) and then three games on the road against the St. Louis Cardinals (67-85).


Pirates at Reds, 6:40 p.m., Bally Sports Ohio, 700, 1410

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