Some interesting notes from John Erardi of The Cincinnati Enquirier as the Reds look to wrap up a 3-game set at St. Louis in a little bit.
I must admit, I’m in a little disbelief that the Reds have the third-best overall record in baseball, and the best in the National League. As has been noted here, the Reds have done much of their damage against lesser teams in the NL, and particularly against their division. The Reds are 40-23 against the NL Central. The next-highest team in the majors in wins against their division is Houston, from the same division. The highest divisional victory total outside of that is the Minnesota Twins’ 35 wins vs. the AL Central.
A victory over the Cardinals today and a win in that three-game set in St. Louis might cast the Reds in a bit of a new light when it comes to playoff prospects.
Anyway, St. Louis starting pitcher Chris Carpenter, who will face the Reds today and has absolutely dominated them for four years, had some very complimentary things to say about the Reds’ Joey Votto to The Enquirer:
“He doesn’t have any holes. You’ve got to mix it up and try to be one step ahead of him. If not, you’re going to get beat – unless he hits it at somebody. He’s a tough out, and it’s a fun challenge to go against him, no doubt about it.”
St. Louis slugger Albert Pujols, Votto’s competition in the chase for the Triple Crown, also spoke highly of the Reds’ first baseman:
“He’s always been a great hitter and uses the whole field, but now he’s patient and looking for his pitch. As a young player, that’s not easy to learn. . . . You have to keep grinding, and that’s what I’ve seen of (Votto). He’s going to take advantage of every opportunity every day. I don’t know him well enough to talk about his attitude, but from what I’ve seen that’s how he approaches it. As a player, you like to see how other guys improve. And I’ve noticed that with him — he just keeps getting better and better.”