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This is no ordinary summer

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By Matt Birkholtz

When the dog days of August come rolling around, many sports fans turn to football and the upcoming fall sports. This year may be a little different with the season the Cincinnati Reds are having.

I am a die-hard baseball fan and for the past 15 years of my life, which is a majority of my life, the Reds have had 13 losing seasons. Many people in the area start looking at football once July arrives, partially because Bengals training camp is upon us and the Reds are 10 games out of first and no chance of overcoming that deficit.

This is no ordinary summer.

The Reds have been in either first or second place for the majority of this season and are currently in first place with a 2 ½ game lead over their rival, the St. Louis Cardinals. The turning point of this season is beginning to look like the series with the Cardinals Aug. 8-10.

If you didn’t get a chance to watch the series, the Aug. 9 game is one to look back on as a decisive turning point to the Reds season.

Prior to the series starting, Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips made some comments on how the Cardinals always whine and complain about playing at Great American Ballpark, whether it be the pitching mound hurts their pitchers backs or Reds starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo has a substance on the bill of his cap.

When Brandon Phillips came to bat in the bottom of the first inning, he tapped the shin guards of Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina causing a brawl to begin at home plate.

As the fighting ensued, the Reds found their leader of the ball club in Scott Rolen. He immediately grabbed Molina to keep him from fighting.

It began to settle, until Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter started jabbing at Reds skipper Dusty Baker, causing the fighting to continue to the backstop in front of the Diamond Club seats at the ballpark.

Reds starting pitcher from the game Johnny Cueto, was stuck between all the players and the backstop. He began to kick to make room between himself and the backstop, but at the same time got Cardinals catcher and former Red Jason LaRue in the face and Carpenter in the back.

After the fight ended, the Cardinals ended up and defeated the Reds in line to a three-game sweep of the Reds and claiming first place back in the National League Central.

The Reds have won eight of the last 10 games since being swept by the Cardinals and were currently 72-53 on the season going into the Aug. 24 game with the Giants. The amazing part of this season is that the Reds are a whole month ahead of where they were at this point last season.

So whether you’re a die-hard baseball fan like myself or just an avid fan, football is still in the back of our minds, while the Reds look to play well into October.

(Matt Birkholtz is the sports writer for the Grant County News. He can be reached at mbirkholtz@grantky.com.