The Cincinnati Reds had the day off on Thursday. The two teams that they are chasing for the final playoff spot in the National League did not. One of those teams lost. The other team did not complete their game and it’s not sitting well with them, either.
Chicago’s loss dropped them to a half-game behind Miami for the final spot. The Marlins have not completed their game. They trailed 1-0 in New York on Thursday night before scoring twice in the top of the 9th inning to take the lead. Then the skies opened up and it rained, heavily, for the next – well, it’s still raining. With them taking the lead and the home team not getting a chance to bat, the game is not eligible to be called official. It’s a suspended game right now and Miami may have to return to New York on Monday to complete the final four outs of the game if the result of that game will determine a playoff spot.
Cincinnati enters today 81-78. That’s a game behind the Cubs and a game-and-a-half behind Miami. The Reds own a tiebreaker over the Cubs. They do not have the tiebreaker over Miami. In the scenario that the three teams all have the same record at the end of the year, Miami would hold the tiebreaker. What that means is that Cincinnati is going to have to finish with a better record than Miami and at least have the same record as the Cubs.
The Reds and the Cubs both have three games remaining. Here’s what needs to happen for the Reds to get into the playoffs:
If the Reds go 3-0….
That would put them at 84-78. They would then need Miami to go 1-3 in their final four games – including their game that would be completed on Monday where they lead the Mets 2-1 and have runners on in the 9th and are still batting. Cincinnati would also need the Cubs to go 2-1, 1-2, or 0-3.
There’s also the scenario here where if Arizona loses out, and the Reds win out, and it results in a 4-way tie, the Reds and Marlins would get in. Cincinnati also holds the tiebreaker against Arizona in a scenario where they would be the only two teams at 84 wins (which Arizona currently has).
If the Reds go 2-1….
That would give Cincinnati an 83-79 record. The Reds would need Miami to lose out, while also needing the Cubs to go 1-2 or 0-3.
Cincinnati must win at least 2 games….
With the tiebreaker going to Miami in all scenarios, and Miami having 82 wins already, the Reds need to finish with at least 83 wins. Going 1-2 makes it impossible to get in. The Reds will be playing three games against the St. Louis Cardinals. They have the second worst record in the National League at 69-90. They are 12 games under .500 at home. And they are 3-7 in their last 10 games. The Reds need to go in there and sweep the birds and hope they get a little help from Milwuakee (who is facing the Cubs) and Pittsburgh (who is facing the Marlins), and then maybe the Mets on Monday depending on how things shake out in Pittsburgh.
This story has been updated to reflect a potential 4-way tie that would involve Arizona, Chicago, Miami, and Cincinnati.