2. The bullpen is still rocking
Reds relievers had a rough night Tuesday, but they bounced back with a combined five scoreless innings in the second and third games of the series against the Cardinals. In July, Cincinnati’s 2.45 bullpen ERA was third-best in the National League.
3. Schebler’s been sensational
The only major change since our last edition is the exit of Jay Bruce. The Reds haven't missed the NL's RBI leader yet, though, thanks to Scott Schebler. Bruce's replacement in the outfield scored two runs Thursday and made a spectacular defensive play Wednesday night. And no one in Reds country is soon to forget his first game back with the big club Tuesday night when his monstrous three-run blast won the game in the bottom of the ninth.
4. Finnegan figuring it out?
The winner Thursday was Brandon Finnegan, a 23-year-old left-hander who pitched six scoreless innings against the Cardinals. He struck out four, walked none and allowed only one hit. It was his second consecutive quality start and his fourth win in his last five decisions.
5. Phillips finds his stroke
Perhaps his at-bats would be better used by a youngster, but the 35-year-old Brandon Phillips went 3 for 4 on Thursday and scored three runs. He raised his batting average to .268. The second baseman has a hit in 19 of his last 21 games, and he recorded his 190th career stolen base Thursday.