Votto shows off MVP credentials in Sunday win in Los Angeles

When those lovable 1999 Reds went out west at the end of July they had a really nice series in San Francisco followed by a really nice series in Los Angeles. That was when I knew they had something special (other then winning seven in a row on the road in late May to June 6th).

I think that the Reds proved that this is no ordinary group of Cincinnati Reds in this series, and on a much smaller scale; this game out in Los Angeles. This is the signature game in terms of Joey Votto winning the MVP award. He’s cementing himself as the leader in the clubhouse; and of course Albert Pujols and Ryan Howard among others have a chance to make some noise.

But the Reds are showing us this is no normal group. A normal Reds team on getaway day out in the California sun finds a way to lose this one. They don’t score insurance runs in the top of the 9th inning and then close it out 1-2-3. The normal Reds don’t do this. But these Reds do. Playoff teams do.

Bronson Arroyo pitched his ass off and found a way to win his 14th game of the season. I’ll tell you what, I’ve never been so glad to have Bunny Arroyo as a member of the Reds. Arroyo is going to end up with 18 or 19 wins this season and lead the staff. And they’re going to let him walk. That’s the only thing that seems sure to me. They have ‘too many arms’ and they’ll look at the $11 million price tag and just bid him goodbye.

Foolish move in my opinion. Arroyo is so solid and has blended perfectly here. I think that if anything you trade one of the young arms. I’d keep Bailey, Cueto, Wood, and either Leake or Volquez. Honestly I think Leake’s future is the farthest from a sure thing of any of them. But it’s very clear to me that not only Harang but Arroyo will not be back next year and I think that’s one ingredient of a winning team that we won’t have next season, a guy who anchors your staff. He’s the most consistent and closest thing to a stopper this team has and I’d hate it if he’s not back next year because that would be one thing that would keep us from re-creating the magic of 2010.

The Reds beat a young Clayton Kershaw when he had his dominating stuff. And the home run that Votto hit off him to the opposite field is going to be one of the bigger swings of the season. Of course, don’t forget his 10-pitch legendary at bat.

The Redlegs are 5-1 on this road trip with one city to go. They’ve taken some good punching and they’re still fighting as we enter some of the final rounds.