It sure looks like this is going to be a fight to the finish between these two teams....we're obviously evenly matched.
The difference could very well come down to the moves the two teams make.
Not that it means much, but the Cards are "rumored" to be involved with many more high-leverage players than the Reds.
Our starting pitching looks good now...actually, very good with Volquez back in the fold. We have more starters than slots. The Cards are getting two starters back soon and they're not pitching badly as is. However, they are rumored to be heavily involved with both Dan Haren and Jake Westbrook. I would cringe if they acquired Haren, but wouldn't blink an eye if they grabbed Westbrook. However, Westbrook would be a great fit for the Reds if we needed a starter - sinkerballers do well at GABP.
We need bullpen help, as do they. Sorry, but Masset, Ondrasek, Bray and Herrera do not give me much confidence. We're both looking at Isringhausen, but a rational person would have to give them the edge as he pitched there before. We have several prospects we could move for a middle reliever. I hope we make a move there. BTW - I know many Reds fans are running Micah Owings up the flagpole because of last night's outing. It's simply not possible to be sharp when you only pitch every two weeks. Get the guy some frequent activity and you'll see a marked improvement.
Positional needs....Cards don't really have many, especially with the emergence of Jay and Craig. Perhaps a power-hitting OF, but that would be it, IMO. As for the Reds, I'd like to see us grab a good utility-style IF that could supplant Cairo. Rolen is who Rolen is - he will be injured eventually and I don't like the idea of Janish/Cairo at 3rd while he recovers. Many will say we need a better SS but I am higher on Cabrera than most. I don't see a need there, especially with Janish already on the roster. Can't see an upgrade coming at C with Hernandigan and Corky. I could see us making a move to acquire a stud OF with Stubbs being a centerpiece in the deal. Defensively, we have an awesome OF but offensively, it is simply league-average. Don't think a move is coming there but would not be shocked.
There it is...my summation, anyway. I think the Cards will make a major move - possibly for Haren - and I think we'll probably grab a bullpen arm and otherwise stand pat. Considering we're already a 1/2 game behind them, that's not encouraging. However, they're playing out of their minds right now and the other shoe has to be close to dropping.