Three Aces + Two Jacks = Series Loss for Reds in Sweep

By Steve Engbloom

That’s what happened to the Cincinnati Reds over the last three days. Swept in their own backyard. Not just swept. Embarrassed would be a better term to use. When you go against three aces and two jacks in poker, you hold a full house and you will win way more than you’d lose. That happened to the Reds as they held nothing in their hands but rags and the Cards held the full house.

A Cardinals “full house” proved to be the difference in the series. The “three aces”:

  • Chris Carpenter: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
  • Jaime Garcia: 5.1 IP, 2 H, 4 ER, 5 BB, 2 K
  • Adam Wainwright: 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
  • Combined: 19.1 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 8 BB, 11 K

That translates into an ERA of 2.79 with a 0.879 WHIP. The Reds could not get to these guys. The Reds starters had an ERA of 9.00 and a WHIP of 1.786. They could keep the Cardinals of the bases.

The “two jacks” were the grand slams by Skip Schumaker in the first game and Colby Rasmus in the series finale held today. Schumaker’s came on the first pitch while Rasmus worked harder for his. After falling behind 0-2, he worked the count full before cranking his granny.

There’s one other area to look at why the Reds were swept. The 3-4-5 hitters told everything. For St. Louis, the trio of Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday and Colby Rasmus combines for a .389 batting average, 12 runs and 15 RBI. Contrast that to the Reds 3-4-5 of Joey Votto, Scott Rolen and Jonny Gomes/Jim Edmonds. They hit .097 and accounted for only 2 RBI and 2 runs. Hard to win any games when you lack any production from your big guys.

And the “ignitior”? Brandon Phillips was 2-14 (.143) with 1 RBI and 1 run scored.

The total crowd for the series was 106,681. Too bad they couldn’t have seen better ball from the home team. Hopefully, they can bounce back this weekend, but it doesn’t get any easier for the Reds. After a day off tomorrow, which they need, the Reds face the Florida Marlins…and Josh Johnson.

There’s still time and we’re only a game out. Put this series in the rearview mirror. Go about your business, win the Marlins series and cheer for the Cubs. The Cubbies are next on the Cardinals schedule and we know things can get heated between these teams.

Carlos Zambrano starts in the middle game of the series. Just sayin’.