By Larry GLicken

The Cincinnati Reds find themselves in a tie for control of the National League Central after the team goes on a five game win streak. The Reds powered past the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals 3-2 without the help of their big hitter Joey Votto who went 0 for 4 in the Reds latest win. The Reds are deadlocked with the Pirates for first place and this is the way it has been all season for the two teams. Neither team has been able to pull away from the other.

Both teams find themselves sitting on top of the N.L. Central at 49-38. The Reds need Joey Votto to step up his offense a little and become one of the teams leading hitters for the rest of the season to mount a charge and pull away from Pittsburgh. Now before you lose your mind and say, hey this writer has no idea what he is talking about take a look at Votto’s last ten games. Votto has seen his batting average fall from .354 to .339. Still a great average, just not the kind of numbers Votto has produced this season.

Joey Votto is only 10 for his last 39 at bats, in his last two games he has gone 0 for 4. This isn’t the red-hot Joey Votto we have seen in the first half. In Votto’s last five games he has only gone five for 17. Votto’s average is falling and the Reds are going to need Joey Votto to get red-hot once again to mount the charge they need to pull away from the Pirates. The good thing is the Reds can still win, they aren’t the one-dimensional team they have been is years past.

If the Cincinnati Reds can continue to win while Votto is slumping, they stand a chance to make a run for the N.L. Central, if Votto gets as hot as he was in the first half, I think we see the Reds on top come September.

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