I'm afraid to say it, afraid to believe it, but I can't deny that it's there: that sense that things are finally starting to roll. Today's game was freakin' awesome. Let's go on about it to some length:
- It all starts with Eric Milton. What a night for him, man. Eight innings with one earned run. Didn't give up his first homer until the sixth. Two hits, an RBI, and a run scored. I had a great fake news piece that would have only been really funny if Milton had sucked, but I'm plenty happy to never ever get the chance to use that one.
- Then there's Jason LaRue with his big hits, including his second homerun of the year. I have been bummin' too much lately to give LaRue his just props for improving his defensive game: according to Jon's calculations, LaRue had less than half the number of passed balls this year compared to this time last year. Now it looks like he's cleaning up those ugly at-bats and there's just nothing bad left to say about him.
- Austin Kearns demonstrated a serious slide to score the first run of the game in the second. Way to learn from other people's mistakes, Kearnsy. The Reds would go on to put together four consecutive scoring innings.
- William Bergolla and Ryan Freel each contributed a fantastical infield play of the type that keeps the excitement high and the energy flowing.
- David Weathers got 'em 1-2-3 in the ninth. When did we last see one of those? Seems like last year.
A lot of the guys were sad today to see Graves go, and I imagine that maybe a little part of some of them didn't want to succeed without him. But if the Reds can turn the loss of Graves into the galvanizing event that draws everything into focus, then he will have made a bigger contribution today than he could have all season on the field.
I look forward to seeing Brandon Claussen keep it rolling tomorrow.