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Pirates manager likes Cards in NL Central race

Posted on: August 5, 2010 9:06 pm
Edited on: August 5, 2010 9:10 pm
 

John Russell The Pittsburgh Pirates have played back-to-back to the top two teams in the National League Central, getting swept in St. Louis and winning one of three against the Reds in Pittsburgh.

After seeing both teams up close, Pirates manager John Russell says he likes the Cardinals down the stretch. From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 's Rob Biertempfel :
"Because of the experience,” Russell said. “They’ve got a lot of guys who’ve been there and who’ve been through it. They know what to expect. They’ve got two horses in their rotation who’ve been to the playoffs and know what those games are like.”

Russell rated the teams’ bullpens as even. When it comes to bats, he gave Cards sluggers Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday an edge over the Reds’ Joey Votto and Scott Rolen. “Those two (Pujols and Holliday) have consistently shown they can put up great numbers,” Russell said.

Even with Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright anchoring the St. Louis rotation, Russell said Cincy’s group could be the better of the two.

“The five guys they run out there are pretty good,” Russell said. “The potential downfall is the two young guys — (Mike) Leake and (Travis) Wood. As they get close, how those guys react when it’s time to make a push for a playoff spot.
Maybe the best reason to like the Cardinals -- St. Louis has nine games remaining against Russell's Pirates to Cincinnati's three. Six of the remaining games between the Pirates and Cardinals are in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh travels to Cincinnati the second week of September.

The Reds are 8-5 this season against the Pirates and the Cardinals are 5-1.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Pirates manager likes Cards in NL Central race

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