Hot Reds? Slightly hotter Cardinals

The Reds entered Wednesday at 33-19 after having won seven of eight, 14 of 17 and 20 of their last 27. They have the best record in baseball since May 3.

Who has the overall best record in baseball? The 34-17 Cardinals. As well as they’re playing, the Reds still trailed their nemesis in St. Louis by 1 1/2 games. The Pirates at 32-20 were tied with the Rangers for the third-best record in baseball.

Manager Dusty Baker was asked if he expected the NL Central race to be one that’s tight the rest of the year.

“I’m not worried about all year. I’m worried about now,” Baker replied. “The only thing you can control is now. You can look at it both ways. We haven’t caught them but they haven’t run off from us either.”

“I’m sure they have their eye on us and we have our eye on them. It makes for better baseball. It brings out the best or the worst in you.”

Baker was stunned that the Cardinals weren’t given more respect in the pre-season picks.

“I didn’t understand predictors that picked the Cardinals third or fourth. I didn’t see that,” Baker said. “I don’t know what they’re looking at.”

St. Louis is also dealing with injuries, which included losing lefty starting pitcher Jaime Garcia for the season.

“Have you see what their reinforcements are doing?” Baker said. “They’re coming up throwing 96-97. And they have [Yadier] Molina to direct them, which is a big plus. It puts them on an accelerated learning curve by having a veteran catcher there.”

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