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Reds Play to Level of Competition, Win Anyway

Updated on July 23, 2012

Reds Play to Level of Competition, Win Anyway

by Robb Hoff

July 23, 2012

The Houston Astros are playing their way through the 50th year of the franchise like they started as the Houston Colt 45's when the team debuted with a 64-96 record.

Furthermore, the lowly Astros are leaving their mark on the National League like a stain in their final year there before shifting over to the American League.

There's definitely no bang of any caliber and barely a whimper.

Still, the Cincinnati Reds somehow managed to give the Astros the impression that they could compete against a first-place juggernaut like the Reds.

Fortunately for the Reds, the inevitable eventually prevailed and both the Astros and the Reds managed to show their respective real colors.

Following a hiccup by Reds starer Mat Latos that allowed the Astros to sniff the distant memory of winning a game, the Reds eventually nickeled and dimed their way to a comfortable lead before dealing the Astros their 20th loss in their last 23 games.

Long gone are the days when the Astros actually vied for a division title on a frequent basis. And that's likely to stay that way for a considerable time longer no matter which league the Astros play in.

As for the Reds, the Pittsburgh Pirates appear to have finally blinked, allowing the Reds to stake a 1-1/2-game lead heading into another showdown at the no-show corral in Houston tomorrow.

As long as the Reds beat who they are supposed to beat, they look poised to continue their march to the post-season.

Without first baseman All-Star Joey Votto in the lineup, the Reds have managed to win six of eight games and show no signs of slowing down yet.

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