So Far, I Much Prefer The Second Half
It was a classic battle between the Reds' offense and pitching. The pitching struck first when Eric Milton allowed three runs in the fourth inning, but the offense came right back with three runs off Felipe Lopez's double, Rich Aurilia's homerun, and Ken Griffey Jr's homerun.
The pitching made valiant attempts by giving up a run in each of the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings. In fact, the pitching appeared to have it sewn up when, after Adam Dunn and Jason LaRue matched the runs in the fifth and sixth, the offense did not score the in seventh. Colorado was up 5-6 going into the eighth.
In a surprise move, however, the offense outscored the pitching in the bottom of the eighth. The offense plated two runs when Adam Dunn walked, Wily Mo Peña doubled him in, and Ray Olmedo came up with the clutch double to bring in Dunn and bring the score to what would be the final: 7-6 Reds.
Milton didn't give up any homeruns, but did allow three runs over the course of five innings. He was pinch-hit for by Anderson Machado in the sixth inning. Machado, whose AAA batting average is approximately fifteen points lower than Milton's major-league average, bunted out on Milton's behalf.
The Reds would send up six pitchers over the course of the game, and Jason Standridge put in an inning of scoreless work in the eighth to get the win.
Ray Olmedo again came up big tonight. Ryan Freel has already started some probably rather uncomfortable rehab time in AA Chattanooga and hopefully is soon to be back. When that happens, the mettle of the Reds management will be tested. As they make the decision of whether to send Olmedo back down, they should consider more than options and waivers. There's more than one way to skin this cat.
Griffey and Dunn are giving off a powerful positive vibe. It's as if the two of them got together over the All-Star break and said, “OK, enough of this crap: time to get it together.” Tomorrow will be a big test as they attempt to take down Ramón Ortíz.