Quantcast 2008 Battle of Ohio: Reds take 2 of 3 from Indians in Cleveland
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Reds take 2 of 3 from Indians in Cleveland

When the Cincinnati Reds swept the Cleveland Indians back in May, both Reds and Indians fans alike were surprised. You see, the Indians entered 2008 with a 29-22 advantage in the Ohio Cup series between the two squads. As Cleveland rode ace C.C. Sabathia to a 6-0 shutout victory in Friday's 1st game of the series, Tribe fans were hopeful of a winning series. But that was not to be as Cincinnati's bats woke up against Paul Byrd, Aaron laffey and the Indians' bullpen as Cincinnati took Saturday's game 5-0 and Sunday's game 9-5.

Cincinnati Reds hats

Highlights in the "Battle of Ohio" included Adam Dunn's continued mastery of Cleveland pitching. Dunn hs 5 HR in 6 games against Cleveland in 2008 and 15 HR in 73 games against the rest of Major League Baseball. Cleveland's Grady Sizemore and C.C. Sabathia also stayed hot as Sizemore went 5 for 13 in the series with 2 HR and 4 RBI as he now is tied for the American League lead in homeruns with 19 - Not bad for a leadoff hitter. Meanwhile C.C. Sabathia, the topic of many trade rumors due to the Indians' struggles in 2008, is now 3-0 in his past 4 starts while allowing just 4 runs in 32 IP. Bronson Arroyo bounced back for the Reds to pickup the win on Sunday after one of the worst performances by a starting pitcher in MLB history in his previous start.

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Cleveland Indians hatsCleveland falls to 35-47 on the year and is 9 games behind the White Sox in the AL Central pending tonight's Cubs/White Sox game. Meanwhile Cincinnati improves to 38-45 but remains in last place in the NL Central, 12 games behind the Cubs.

The Indians begin a road trip with 8 games in Chicago, Minnesota and Detroit, the three teams immediately ahead of the Indians in the AL Central standings, as they look to string together some wins and give hope to a frustrated fan base. If the team was going to make a move and makeup some ground in the standings, this would have to be the time to do it, otherwise we may see several veterans including C.C. Sabatia, Casey Blake & Paul Byrd dealt before the trade deadline.

Cincinnati begins a stretch of 7 games against two of the National League's worst teams as they host Pittsburgh for 3 games starting on Monday night and then Washington for 4 games beginning on Thursday. If Cincinnati wanted to make any noice in the NL Central this would be the time to do it as a 5-2 or better showing in these 7 games would give them nice momentum as they head into a road trip @ the Cubs and Brewers in the second week of July.


By Michael Shull
MLBcenter.com Guest Writer

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