Reflecting on 2010: July


In our continuing review of the Reds 2010 season, we reach the month of July.

If you have missed any of this series, you’re in luck. Here are the links to the other months.

April 2010
May 2010
June 2010

And we look at the calendar and see that there are 91 days until the 2011 Opening Day!

On to July…

As July began, the Reds were visiting Wrigley Field for a four-game series with the Chicago Cubs. The Reds won 2 of the first three, but it was July 4th when the fireworks were set off by Drew Stubbs. In a 14-3 win, the Reds clubbed seven homers, three by Stubbs. The Reds center fielder also accounted for five RBI. Cubs pitchers can only hope Stubbs doesn’t have the same numbers in 2011 that he posted against them in 2010. For 2010, Stubss was .333/.357/.719 with 5 HR, 16 RBI and 7 steals. To say Stubbs owned the Cubs is a severe understatement.

A few days later, one of the more defining moments for the Reds 2010 season transpired. Cincy trotted into Citizens Bank Park for four games against the Philadelphia Phillies. All four games would be won by the Phillies in their final at-bat. Two of those games had 1-0 finals. In the third game of the series, Reds pitchers surrendered a six run lead. It was the second occasion in which the Reds staff performed the inauspicious feat. The Reds still entered the All-Star break with a full game up on the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central.

When the NL All-Star reserves were announced, Scott Rolen, Brandon Phillips and Arthur Rhodes had been selected. There was the obvious glaring omission…Joey Votto. Prior to the Phillies series, the Reds were in New York to play three against the Mets. Votto was included in the fans final vote. TO show support for the future NL MVP, Votto’s teammates donned shirts with the phrase “Vote Votto” on the front in support of their first baseman and the perceived snub. Wait. It was a snub.

Well, Votto won the fans vote as the final NL All-Star.

While attending the All-Star Game in LA, a Chicago reporter asked Votto of his thoughts on Chicago Cubs center fielder Marlon Byrd and his defensive play to somewhat seal the deal for the National League. Votto responded with the now famous lines (via ESPN Chicago’s Bruce Levine):

"“I don’t like the Cubs,” said Votto, the first baseman for the NL Central-leading Cincinnati Reds. “And I’m not going to pat anybody with a Cubs uniform on the back.”Asked why he has such disdain for the Cubs, Votto said: “We are Cincinnati Reds. We’re taught to hate everything in the Central Division. That’s just how it is.”"

Votto would later rescind these comments, but he took a great deal of grief in comments on different blogs and articles regarding the situation. One blog, Big League Stew, would rescind its criticism of Votto. Funny thing is that ESPN Chicago never ran Votto’s rescinding the remarks.

After the All-Star break, the Reds would finish July be winning three of the month’s four series. The only series they wouldn’t win was a four game split with the Washington Nationals. In that series, rookie phenom would “grace” GABP with his presence…and provided one of the wins for the Nats, an 8-5 affair.

A 14-12 month saw the Reds slide into second place by the end of month. The standings in the NL Central as of July 31, 2010 looked like this:

For the month of July, Votto led the Reds in homers (9), RBI (17) and batting average (.362). IT would prove to be Votto’s best overall month for the 2010 season and it kickstarted his MVP candidacy. Bronson Arroyo captured four wins to lead the staff and Travis Wood would top the pitchers with 33 strikeouts.