The Reds took all three games this weekend from the Cardinals and are now in first place in the National League Central by 1.5 games.
It was definitely a fun series, and a great series for Reds fans. I saw game two on Saturday, a 7-3 drubbing by the Reds.
But the real fireworks, which continues to reinforce the fierceness of this rivalry, came in Sunday's game. In the top of the ninth, with the Reds leading 9-7 and one out, Reds pitcher Francisco Cordero hit Albert Pujols with a pitch.
Pujols took first base. The Cardinals had runners on first and second at that point. The next Cardinals' batter, Matt Holliday hit a sure double-play grounder to Reds' shortstop Paul Janish, who flipped to second baseman Brandon Phillips for the first out. But Albert Pujols slid hard into second, forcing a bad throw to first.
The Cardinals were left with runners at first and third, and two outs. Right fielder Lance Berkman came to bat. Cordero struck him out, giving the Reds the series sweep.
That's when the real fun started. Following the Berkman strikeout, someone yelled at Cordero from the Cardinals' dugout. Cordero reacted, yelling something pretty close to f**k you in Spanish back to the Cardinals. OK, I might be embellishing that part, but Cordero definitely had some choice words for the Cardinals.
Ultimately things calmed down. But in typical fashion, the Cardinals whined again after losing to the Reds. Reports are that someone (Cordero fingered Gerald Laird, but TV replays showed Cardinal pitching coach Dave Duncan) took umbrage to the fact that Cordero had hit Pujols with the pitch.
Why would Cordero purposely do that? Holliday and Berkman followed Pujols in the batting order. Hitting Pujols put the winning run at the plate with one out. Even Albert Pujols himself told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he didn't think it was intentional.
But the Cardinals are whiners, and they continue to show it. John Fay, the Reds' beat writer for the Cincinnati Enquirer (check out his twitter account johnfayman) covered the situation along with reactions very well in his blog. Check out these posts:
Reds win 9-7, teams trade barbs afterward
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