ST. LOUIS (BaseballStL) – July 16 was a day of jubilation, deflation and injury for the top three teams in the NL Central. It was a day when the Cardinals had a stunning comeback, the Pirates dropped their third game in its last four played and news broke about Joey Votto’s injury. It might have been the most important day of the season.
The Cincinnati Reds will be without slugger Votto for at least three weeks after having surgery to repair a torn meniscus – it’s the unfortunate news that will keep the Cardinals and Pirates alive in the NL Central race.
Votto is arguably the best hitter in the game and it will be a tremendous loss for a team that is currently in charge of its own destiny as it leads the Pirates by a game.
After a three-game sweep of the Cardinals over the weekend, it was easy to consider the Reds as favorites to win the NL Central, but the team lost its first game without Votto and it is yet to be determined how many more they might lose without him. Now it opens the discussion to which team will take the division this season.
To add more spice to the mix, the Pirates, like the Cardinals, have lost three of their four games since the All-Star break and have fallen from atop the NL Central lead.
And now the Cardinals may have the advantage after a thrilling ninth inning comeback on Monday night over the surging Brewers. All of this could make July 16 the day everyone looks at as the day the NL Central changed should the Cardinals make the playoffs.
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