Reds want to end Cardinals' bullying
AUG 03, 2013 5:17p ET
CINCINNATI — Most of the bumps, bruises and scrapes on the Cincinnati Reds these days have been administered by the St. Louis Cardinals, with malice aforethought.
If baseball teams could be charged with bullying, the Cardinals’ treatment of the Reds would qualify on all fronts.
After administering a 13-3 beating upon the Reds Friday night, the Cardinals are 7-3 against the Reds this season — and that is after the Reds won the first game they played this year, 13-4.
Since then the Cardinals have outscored the Reds 57-19 in winning seven of nine. The Reds have given up 10 or more runs six times this year, three times to the Cardinals. In four of the Cardinals seven wins over the Reds they’ve scored seven or more runs.
And that’s why Reds manager Dusty Baker said before Saturday’s game, “We have to start beating these guys. We can’t let them think they can just throw their gloves on the field and beat us.”
That’s the way it has looked so far.
Right fielder Jay Bruce isn’t ready to concede anything because the two teams still have nine games against each other, but his voice drips with respect.
“They have a team full of very, very good hitters,” said Bruce. “They go very deep and they play the game the right way. They take advantage of mistakes and they don’t make very many. It’s a recipe for being a quality team, year in and year out.
“Regardless of who they have on their team they do things the right way, do things the right way, in my opinion,”Bruce added. “They lost Albert Pujols, arguably the best player in the game, and they haven’t really missed a beat. There is a reason they are there at the end every year.
“Obviously, I want to beat them as much as anybody, but I respect them. You have to respect them. They’ve earned that. This should be a good finish to the year — 52 games and a lot can happen in 52 games,” Bruce added.
The Cardinals have long abused Reds starter Bronson Arroyo and they did it Friday by dismissing him after 3 2/3 innings on seven runs and eight hits.
“Those guys are just grinders — they make contact, they go deep in the counts, they won’t swing at bad pitches, they put everything in play,” said Arroyo.
“Many times I have taken a no-hitter or a shutout in to the fourth or fifth inning and suddenly they throw a three-spot on me,” he added. “I’d say the big difference between us and them this year is that we have been too much of a swing-and-miss team (859 strikeouts) and they aren’t (731 strikeouts).
“There is no spot in their lineup on which you can breathe easy,” Arroyo added. “You can’t rest or relax because they all make contact, all put the ball in play.”
When asked what makes the Cardinals so good, outfielder Chris Heisey smiled, shook his head and said, “They just have a good team. I definitely wouldn’t say we are intimidated by them. We go out there and expect to win every time.”
The results, though, do look like intimidation — and bullying.
“Year in and year out they have a good team, as we do, too,” Heisey added. “For sure, they have a good team. But we do, too. The numbers may not be in our favor right now, but we’ll get them turned around.”