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Best to Keep Loosening

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Huh:

The win set a pair of season highs for the momentum-gaining Reds: It was their sixth straight, and it propped their lead to 3 1/2 games over the Cardinals in the National League Central. It also loosened up what, in one sense, had been the tightest pennant race in Major League annals. While that may sound like a preposterous statement for a game with the rich history of baseball, the Elias Sports Bureau folks have discovered that the Reds and the Cardinals had kept company at the top longer and closer than any other two teams ever.

Until the final out Thursday night, either the Reds or the Cardinals — they have had 19 lead changes — were ahead of the other by three games or fewer for 101 consecutive games. That broke the me-and-my-shadow record of 98 days set in 1964 by the Phillies and the Giants.

The Cardinals came into Great American last week and just mauled the Reds. While we tend to be inclined towards materialist analysis of baseball at this blog, it felt as if the upstart Reds had been given a good thrashing by a veteran team with pennant race experience. That the Reds have managed to turn it around and win six straight is quite impressive; Great American is actually starting to sell out.

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