Walking the Plank: Cincinnati Reds Enter 10 Game Road Trip on a Bad Note

Michael HammonsCorrespondent IMay 19, 2011

CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 19:  Ronny Cedeno #5 of the Pittsburgh Pirates tags out Brandon Phillips #4 of the Cincinnati Reds while he attempted to steal second base during the game at Great American Ball Park on May 19, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The recently completed sweep over the Cardinals was a cathartic experience for both players and fans, as the Reds finally proved that they had the mental fortitude to deal with a team that had been tormenting them for years.

The Cardinals aren't anyone's versions of "baseball darlings" anymore, as they have one of their aces shelved for the season and the Albert Pujols contract situation hanging over their heads.

Against the Reds though, it didn't matter who was playing or who was hurt. 

St. Louis walked with a swagger and the Reds, a normally very solid team fundamentally over the past year, seamed to weaken at the sight of Cardinal Red.

The mistakes the Reds made against that team were downright goofy, and essentially occurred only against the Cardinals, so with past history working against them, a sweep of the Cards was something that many thought wouldn't have been possible.

Well, over the past few days the impossible has happened again, but this time not in the Reds favor. 

They were swept in a two game series against the Pirates, and they may have undone a lot of the good that came from the sweep of St. Louis.

To be honest, the Reds really didn't play that well in the Chicago series either, especially Tuesday night, as the Cubs, with their comedy of errors, practically gave the Reds that game.

What awaits the Reds now is a brutal 10 game road trip that will take them to Cleveland, Philadelphia and Atlanta.

The Indians have the best record in Major League Baseball (did I really just type that?), the Phillies are the best team in the National League record-wise, and the Braves are a good team that will be in the thick of things all year.

Needless to say, the Reds have their work cut out for them.

As I examined the mini series this week against the Cubs and Pirates, I was aiming for a 3-1 record, and to finish that at 2-2, especially with what is coming up, feels pretty disappointing.

I'm not trying to disrespect the Pirates. Under Clint Hurdle, they seem to be an improved team and I don't think anyone hits against Charlie Morton the way he was throwing Wednesday night.

But if you look back to last year, the Reds owned the Pirates, who played very well against the Cardinals, who, of course, had our number.

At least for the moment, the division has been turned on its head somewhat.

Good luck figuring this game out.