Boy, the Cardinals sure did a good job of building on all that momentum they picked up last week when they swept the Reds, didn’t they?
No, not so much.
Just when some people thought Cincinnati was ready to fold – despite the fact the team was just a game out of first place – the “Resilient Reds” rip off four straight wins, including Tuesday night’s 6-2 win over Arizona (which actually ended Wednesday morning in the Eastern time zone).
Meanwhile, the Cardinals have lost three-of-four, including two to the lowly Cubs, and another tonight against the Brewers.
West Coast trips have been historically rough on the Reds, but the Diamondbacks are down this year, the Dodgers aren’t nearly as good as they were the last two years … and then the Reds will have to face off against a very good Giants team. But if they can have a winning record on this West Coast swing, things will be shaping up very well for the stretch run. And tonight’s win over Arizona after the Reds got down two runs early was a great way to start the trip. The D-Backs are one of the worst teams in all of Major League Baseball and the Reds need to treat them as such if they want to prove they are a playoff team.
Kudos to Paul Janish tonight – and really for the way he’s been playing all season. It’s time for me to stand up (or even sit down) and admit I was wrong about Janish. I thought his defense was solid, but didn’t think he had anywhere close to the stick to be able to play at this level. But he’s more than holding his own at the place and is playing Gold Glove-caliber defense at shortstop. In other words, he has clearly proven to me that he is better than currently-injured Orlando Cabrera. When the latter returns from an oblique injury, manager Dusty Baker will likely give him the majority of the starts again. But if he struggles, Janish has proven he can get the job done.
Hey, I love when I’m wrong if it means good things for the Reds. Janish provided the go-ahead run with a home run against the Diamondbacks tonight, and also added a double (which should have been an RBI-double, but Drew Stubbs missed third base and was called out following an appeal).
This is the key to teams having great seasons. Sure, you need star players to have stellar years – and Joey Votto is providing that. But you also need the role players like Janish and Miguel Cairo to step up and they have done that and then some.