The Cincinnati Reds have just clinched the NL Central with a 6-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers. It is the Reds second divisional title in the past three years.
It would come as no surprise to me if the Reds were to go on and win the World Series. The Reds played their best baseball when their star player Joey Votto tore his left knee. Between July 6th and August 4th, the Reds went 22-3. So Brandon Phillips, Ryan Ludwick, Jay Bruce and rookies Todd Frazier and Zack Cozart more than made up for Votto’s absence. It also didn’t hurt that their starting rotation of Johnny Cueto, Bronson Arroyo, Mat Latos, Mike Leake and Homer Bailey stayed healthy all season with a nearly invincible bullpen of Sean Marshall, Jonathan Broxton and 100 MPH flamethrower Aroldis Chapman. This is a deep team.
The Reds won the division by 11 games over the St. Louis Cardinals (who hold one of the two NL Wild Card berths at the moment).
Unfortunately, manager Dusty Baker was unable to be with the club to see this triumph. Baker was hospitalized during their last road trip in Chicago with an irregular heartbeat. Bench coach Chris Speier has been the acting manager the past few games. Baker may return to Cincinnati on Sunday.
The Reds last won the World Series in 1990.