Since allowing 10 runs on 18 hits in 8 1/3 innings on Sept. 1 in a 16-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, the bullpen has a 2.94 ERA in 18 games. Opponents have hit .185 against it in that span.
The relievers played a big part in the Reds (28-27) winning nine of 11 games, climbing back over .500 for the first time since Opening Day with a 6-3 victory Monday. In a nine-day span, the Reds increased their odds of making the playoffs from 17.1 to 77.1 percent, according to FanGraphs.com.
“I’ve always said, ‘Baseball is crazy,’” Garrett said. “You never know what can happen. You’re never out of it. You’ve just got to keep continuing to play and continue to have a positive mindset.”
Garrett took over for Luis Castillo in the seventh inning Monday with runners at second and third and two outs and the Reds leading 2-1. He got a groundout to end the inning.
Garrett lowered his ERA to 2.70. He hasn’t given up an earned run in 10 of his last 11 appearances and has allowed runs in only three of 18 appearances this season.
In part because of Garrett’s success, the Reds are a playoff contender for the first time in his four seasons. Through Monday, the Reds were tied for second in the National League Central Division with the St. Louis Cardinals (26-25) and led the wild-card race.
“It’s way different because the energy in the clubhouse is way different,” Garrett said. “When you know you have a chance to make the playoffs, it elevates everybody’s game. We have something to look forward to. It’s been amazing. I’ve never felt this energy. I’ve never been a part of a playoff-contending team. We’re there right now. We’ve just got to keep having fun, keep playing baseball.”