Sure it’s the Cincinnati Reds, but the Cardinals couldn’t have drawn a tougher assignment. In a three game series, they had to face three of the better starting pitchers in the National League in Johnny Cueto, Aaron Harang, and Edinson Volquez. Not an easy task for any team, but the Redbirds gave it a shot, already missing their slugging third baseman Troy Glaus, and now short a power hitting outfielder in Rick Ankiel.
Coming into this series, St. Louis hoped to widen their lead over the rest of the NL Central. Instead, they leave Cincinnati with a record of 20-12, and a slim two-game lead over second place Milwaukee.
The Cards lost the first two games of the series, much in part to the lackluster performances from their starters, Joel Pineiro and Kyle Lohse. Although they escaped with an extra innings win today, the performance from their starter was far from impressive.
Adam Wainwright entered the game still trying to find his form from a year ago. He struggled through six innings this afternoon, allowing four runs on seven hits, two of which were home runs. Now with seven starts under his belt in ‘09, Wainwright has only collected two “quality starts”.
So far this season, the Cardinals have lucked out, not having to face many of the opposition’s best pitchers. I thought the Cincinnati series would be a good test for the club to finally see an ace (or three) to get a better understanding of how good the offense really is. Red’s pitchers owned the Cardinal hitters in the first two games, so maybe the jury is still out.
One thing is for sure, I still hate Cincinnati. Even though this weekend of bad baseball may have added to it, I already had some pretty good reasons.
What about Adam Dunn? He hasn’t been with the Reds in over a year, but in my mind his all or nothing approach at the plate, combined with his complete inability to play defense will always be associated with Cincinnati, adding to my hatred of that city.
And most recently, my own personal experience, from all the way down here in South Florida, put me over the top. It may not be directly related to baseball, but it fits in this case. Let me give you the prelude:
Last month, on my way home from a crazy night of St. Patrick’s Day partying, I stopped to get a bite to eat at Skyline Chili. I’ve never tried it, but have seen the commercials every time the Cards play the Reds, and have heard countless Cincinnati fans rave about the place. It’s even called the official chili of the Cincinnati Reds. Anyway, I got some crap to go, went home and ate, and thought it was one of the worst meals I’d ever eaten.
Then today, during the game, I see the stupid commercial again. I start to think that maybe my recollection of Skyline Chili was inaccurate. After all, the first time I was drunk out of my mind. Combine that with the fact that Skyline is only about 50 yards from my front door, and I’m convinced to give it another try. I hustled back with a pair of chili dogs, hoping I didn’t miss the entire inning. My god was that stuff terrible. Without hesitation I can say that the two worst meals I have ever eaten were provided by Skyline Chili.
Does that have anything to do with baseball? No. But damn Cincinnati, not only for beating the Cardinals two out of three games, but also for charging me money for a stomach ache. They’re still in business, so I guess people eat there, but I have no idea why. I promise you if anyone comes up to me and says they enjoy that place, I’m going to punch them in the face.
Anyway, back to baseball. The Cardinals enjoy a much needed day off tomorrow before heading to Pittsburgh for a three game series. The key for the Birds will be starting pitching. They’ll need a much better showing than they had this weekend if they want to stay atop the division.