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Blog Entry

Cardinals take control of NL Central

Posted on: August 11, 2010 6:26 pm
Edited on: August 11, 2010 6:41 pm
 

So what did we learn from the Brandon Phillips comments about the Cardinals? Just because you're not wrong doesn't make you right.

Phillips fired up the Cardinals by calling them "little bitches." After sweeping the Reds at Great American Ball Park to retake the National League Central lead, the Cardinals are the division's big bitches.

The Cardinals not only swept the Reds -- they outscored them 21-8 and outhit them 35-18. It just wasn't close. It also showed the Cardinals will be a tough out in a short series with Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright and Jaime Garcia lined up -- just as the Reds, who managed just nine hits against those three in the series. It could be the story of the team's series, pre-little bitches and post-little bitches with Aug. 9, 2010 being the turning point of the season.

More than anything, it seems Phillips, who was 2 for 14 in the series, awoke a Cardinals team that had played pretty flat for much of the season, giving them a common enemy.

Sure, Tony La Russa proved Phillips' point about whining by complaining to Reds general manager Walt Jocketty, but the Reds' inability to step up to the plate exposed them as an also-ran in this race.

"Friday is really going to tell the tale," Reds starter Bronson Arroyo told reporters including the Cincinnati Enquirer 's John Fay on Wednesday. "We haven't had a whole lot of big slides this year, where we lose four, five, six in a  row. Losing three to these guys takes a lot out of you physically and mentally because it was so hot, and having to grind at-bats against three of the best starters in the National League. We'll try to get off to a good start against the Marlins. It makes it a lot easier to forget about it if you win one on Friday."

Dusty Baker Too bad for the Reds they face the Marlins Josh Johnson and his 1.97 ERA on Friday.

After the three-game series against the Marlins, the Reds hit the road on a nine-game West Coast swing through Arizona before going to Los Angeles and San Francisco. It's one of three remaining trips west for the Reds, who go to St. Louis and Colorado in the first week of September and then to San Diego at the end of September. The Reds are 3-3 in the Pacific time zone this season. The Reds haven't won in Los Angeles since 2005 and since 2006 they are 25-49 in the Pacific and Mountain time zones.

The Cardinals' don't have a game west of Houston remaining on their schedule.

The Reds are just a half-game out of the wild card behind the Giants and a half-game ahead of the Phillies.

Both teams will likely see some suspensions, including Reds starter Johnny Cueto and possibly third baseman Scott Rolen.

As for Phillips?

"Man, I'll tell you this," Phillips told reporters after the game. "We lost. It's just how it is. They did their job and we didn't do ours. That's basically it. What happened, happened. We look forward to the Florida Marlins coming in."

Maybe it's a sign of maturity, but he didn't call the Marlins meanies.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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