The sweep over the Cards this weekend is a huge confidence booster for our Cincinnati Reds. The Cards have had their number for years and even though the Reds were the better team last year they couldn't beat them. It was likely a confidence thing. The Reds likely were pressing when they were at the plate and trying to overthrow on the mound. When a team has your number for years like the Cards had the Reds number it's hard to get over that hump.
Now that they finally have it should be easier from here on out and maybe you start to see the Cards pressing a little. The Reds atleast now know they have it in them and can beat this team every time they play them.
They still have a brutal stretch coming up though after the 2 game sets with the Cubs and Pirates this week. They have to go to Cleveland, to Philly, and to Atlanta. They also have a series with the Brewers in there somewhere. That's 20 games in 20 days including the three they just played against St. Louis. Heading into this stretch I said 12-8 would be an excellent record at the end of these 20 games. After the sweep this record should definitely be within reason, if not better.
This Reds team is good enough to play with anyone. Honestly I think the Brewers are going to be the closest competitor in the division as they will be better than what they've shown. In the end though I think the Reds run away with this division and that's where the play with anyone is going to come into play. Are the Reds ready to contend for a World Series Championship right now? Can they beat a team like Philly in a best of seven series with that starting rotation? The answer will be if the Reds pitching can come even close to matching the Phillies starting pitching, then yes.
For now though this is the Reds division to lose and that feels good. The Cardinals are on the decline and with all the young, good talent, they should own this division for a long time. The ownership and Walt Jocketty have done a great job of building the farm system and having them develop home grown talent. It's an exciting time to be a Reds fan as it looks like they'll be on top for a long, long time.