St. Louis has come and gone and the waves stirred up in lieu of their passing will rock the boat for weeks to come. As these things tend to do, the further we get from the event, the more perspective everyone has on the subject. Being new to twitter I was a bit shocked at the attacks from Cardinal partisans during the games, I guess their is a first time for everything and when you publicly state your allegiance you must expect the lowest common denominator to rise to the forefront.
So here are my thoughts on the weekend that was:
1) Reds starting pitching is beginning to look like I had hoped during Spring Training. If Edinson Volquez can get on track they will be a challenge for opposing hitters to overcome.
2) Something is wrong with Aroldis Chapman, and the fix may not be as simple as sending him to Louisville. Estranged from home, removed from working to be a starter, and simply learning to live money are all going to create hurdles for him to overcome and just because he handles it one day does not mean it is easy to deal with the next. We who live in the United States have learned since birth how to adapt and survive within our own culture. He has only been here a year and a half. I do not know if a stint on the DL will help him but it can only help the Reds by allowing Dusty Baker another real option in the bullpen. That said I don’t really believe he has shoulder inflammation.
3) Not all Cardinals fans are in(s)ane. St.Louis Today Cardinals beat columnist Bernie Miklasz wrote an intelligent wrap up of the series from a St. Louis perspective. The only quote I take issue with is when he suggests, “But just once I’d like to see the Reds react to a victory as if they’d actually won something before.” The truth is we have won things before, but the current Reds player who were a part of the last sweep of the Cards in September of 2007 were Bronson Arroyo, who recorded a win; Joey Votto who went 3 for 8 with a double, a run scored and 2 RBIs, and Brandon Phillips who went 4 for 10 with 4 runs scored, a HR, double, SB, and an RBI. Bill Bray and Ryan Hanigan were on the team but did not play. Scott Rolen did not play in the month of September due to a shoulder injury and actually had season ending surgery on September 11, during the Reds sweep of the Cardinals adding insult to an already injured Cardinal team.
4) The unheralded 2011 debut of Jose Arredondo. As the Cardinals bullpen proved, you need relief pitchers who come in and get the job done and for one inning last night Jose did exactly what was expected of him. 1, 2, 3.
5) Dusty Baker is crazy like a fox, lucky too. I do not understand why he had Brandon Phillips bunt on Friday and I never will, but the ultimate result of the constant walks received by Joey Votto added ABs until St. Louis had no more left handed relief left to face him and he simply took the opportunity to win the game.
6) All the furor last night over Co-Co accidentally hitting Albert Pujols and the weekend long highlight reel Ramon Hernadez put together obscured the fact that the only player hurt by a pitcher was Ryan Hannigan.
7) How jealous of the Reds are the Cardinals knowing we have Walt Jockety who was one of the architects of the franchise they have?
Let’s welcome the Cubs as the deserve this evening and watch Homer Bailey work his magic.
Follow me during the game on Twitter @JohnHeitz