I don’t want to give anything away here, but the headline to the series previews this year are just a silly joke for the most part. This one isn’t. It’s not silly. It’s not jokey. This one is serious. The Cardinals should destroy the Reds.
There are now just seven games left this season, and these four games against the Reds represent the Cardinals best chance to take hold of a playoff spot. It’s hard to believe there is just 4.32098765% of the season left. If this were a game, we would be in the bottom of the ninth with roughly one out. If this weren’t a close game, many would have already checked out.
Of course this is a close raced, and these last few games will determine if the Cardinals get to keep playing beyond Sunday. They might only get one more game after that, but the important thing is to give themselves a chance.
The Cardinals are 8-7 against the Reds this year, which has to be considered disappointing given how the Reds have performed this season. The Cardinals rolled their way to 100 wins last season by beating up on teams like the Reds, but they have not been able to do so this season. Of all the teams they have played the only teams they are more than two games above .500 are the Brewers (13-6), Angels (3-0), Padres (6-1: Gyorko’s revenge), and the Phillies (5-2).
Of course, they also haven’t really taken a beating from any teams this season. The only team they are more than two games under .500 against are the Nationals (2-5) and Rangers (0-3). They have played everyone else pretty evenly. You could say they played up to the competition against the Cubs and Giants and Mets, but they’ve played down to the competition (not that they aren’t trying, but that their record isn’t reflective of the relative talent. Over 15 games, 8-7 is a reasonable outcome) against the Reds. The Cardinals need that to change over these next four games.
Keys to the Games:
- Play like there’s no tomorrow
- Play for tomorrow
- Don’t let Joey Votto beat you
- Don’t pitch around Joey Votto
- Never bunt
- Pitchers executing their bunts
- Give a quick hook to a struggling starter
- Don’t overuse a tired bullpen
- Be aggressive
- Be smarter on the bases
- Don’t change your plan at the plate
- Don’t rely on the home run
- Hit home runs
- Seriously, hit a ton of home runs. Have you seen how bad the Reds are at giving up home runs. They are literally the worst of all time. Hit so many home runs that the record will never be broken. All the dingers. All of them.
- Have fun out there
Monday’s game is at 7:15 pm CT and will air on FOX Sports Midwest.
Tuesday’s game is at 7:15 pm CT and will air on FOX Sports Midwest.
Wednesday’s game is at 7:15 pm CT and will air on FOX Sports Midwest. it is also the MLB.tv free game of the day.
Thursday’s game is at 6:15 pm CT and will air on FOX Sports Midwest.