Big weekend ahead for Reds

Forgive my lack of bloggage, but I obviously didn’t take the trip to Pittsburgh. I guess no one can accuse the Reds of taking the Pirates too lightly this time. It’s funny that when the rotation was set before the start of the season, the club wanted to separate Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey because they were too unpredictable in how long they could go and Dusty Baker didn’t want to overtax his bullpen. That plan got altered when a struggling Cueto needed an extra day of rest a couple of turns ago.

Ironically, for the last two days with Cueto and Bailey pitching, the bullpen door stayed closed.

Now, comes the first-place Cardinals — who are only one game ahead of the Reds but have been a cold splash of water to the face twice already.

The Reds are 2-4 in 2010 vs. St. Louis and the Albert Pujols/Matt Holliday-led division leader was twice a buzz kill by taking two of three in both series. 

Remember all of that fan optimism coming out of Spring Training? That evaporated rather quick when the Cardinals opened the season here. Then a couple of weeks ago, the Reds had swept three at Houston and took one more at St. Louis before dropping the final two.

It’s still rather early to make too much of it — but taking at least two of three from the Cardinals would be pretty big for the Reds going into the summer. It would also put them into first place. With larger crowds expected for the Civil Rights Game weekend, it also might get some returning customers (aka believers, bandwagon types) back to GABP for some of the lesser marquee matchups.

Questions of the day: How will the Reds fare this weekend vs. the Cards? What would be acceptable to you?

*If you haven’t noticed, I’ve done a few stories in connection with the Civil Rights Game. Please check them out.

Kids connecting through Match Program 

Harmon a trailblazer in long history of Reds

There will be another story up today about the Reds Hall of Fame and Freedom Center.

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1 Comment

If the Reds want to compete for the Central Division crown at some point they have to start winning series vs. the Cardinals. And this would be a great weekend to start. Civil rights weekend is a great time to showcase the recent good play and to leave this weekend in 1st place would certainly fuel the buzz around this young and impressionable team.

However will anything less than winning 2/3 be acceptable to me?
I think that it really depends on how the Reds finish the month of May. This weekend could be a spring board towards the rest of the season or it could start a disappointing slide back to mediocrity.

I would make the argument that the next fourteen games after this weekend are probably going to be the most important games so far this season. In these upcoming games we face one bottom dweller after another. (MIL, ATL, CLE, PIT, HOU)
We must do exceptionally well against these teams because the schedule gets increasingly difficult after.

For the Reds to be considered a legitimate contender they need to be in first place by the end of this month.

If they can finish this month strong then winning 1/3 this weekend against the Cards could still be acceptable to me.
But if we leave this weekend in first I would feel a lot better about our chances in the month of Jun. July & Aug.

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