I'll admit it. I've been a doubter. I've made my share of condemnations and gloomy forecasts, like on June 30, 2009, when I said: "Exactly one year from now, I personally guarantee the Reds will not beat Roy Halladay, who is the fulfillment of human pitching endeavor, especially if he faces Aaron Harang, who will be a husk of his former self. Certainly, if we do score even a run, it will be on an error by Greg Dobbs or something, and not by any prowess of the Reds, least of all Jay Bruce."
There's always room for healthy skepticism, but just not today. The team is in a first place, with a league leading offense that continues to out-cardiac itself and a lovable band of under-the-radar players.
Mark Sheldon has a full detank from yesterday's dramatic win
It's kind of a love-in:
The Reds beat Roy Halladay, who pitched a complete game. They've now beaten two pitchers that have thrown perfect games this season, incidentally. (Dallas Braden at OAK was the other)
Joey Votto moved into a tie for the NL lead with 18 homers when he hit a 1-2 pitch into the right field bullpen. It was a tough pitch low and inside. Not many dudes could have done that there with that location. Votto has reached base in a MLB season-high 38-straight games.
"Arthur was the first one to come in here and say 'thanks for getting me back out there.' I really didn't need that. I was going to get him back out there no matter what. It's apropos that he got the loss last night and got the win today." - Dusty Baker
Relive the magic of Jay Bruce's homerun on the soapscum-screen
(MLB Video) This footage should get prime billing on the season's highlight reel. The distinction may not be fully in evidence here, but after hearing the calls for a handful of dramatic Reds home runs this year, theres line of demarcation in announcing skill when a commentator can resist saying something like "Holy St. Bonaventure" or "Would you believe what just happened just now?"
Bruce reports good pH levels in the Reds clubhouse
For those that doubt the effects of team cohesion or veteran experience, can every baseball player ever be wrong?
“We have a good time,” Bruce said. “We have a blast. We have a lot of guys here who now how to win and have won. It’s almost like when we do it – it’s always a delight and surprising – but it’s not like it’s a true shock because we’ve been there before and we’ve doing it since day one."
Hall o' Famer Hal covers some serious ground his most recent wire
The current pitching depth may be the most heartening thing for those that doubt the Reds can stay in the race for the duration. Volquez is the "silver bullet" if there is one, but if I didn't know any better, I'd say Dusty Baker was giving Chapman short shrift: “Our main bullet is Edinson Volquez. The other guys are unproven. Aroldis Chapman is more name and reputation than it is actual results. Wood was our organization’s Pitcher of the Year last year. Chapman is all 100 miles an hour and what you’ve heard. Volquez is the real bullet because he was a 17-game winner and former All-Star. That’s the real bullet.”
No decision has been made on whether Volquez will pitch one or two more rehab starts
Fay guesses that Volquez rejoins the team just "Prior" to the All Star Game to pitch in Mike Leake's spot.
The Enquirer has a quasi press release advocating for four Reds All Stars
Votto, Rolen and BP deserve to be virtual locks at this point. I would fully support Rhodes' candidacy, but as a setup man, he walks a fine line.
However, if you needed any further reason to get behind Rhodes, here it is
If you're predisposed to thinking the McPaper is all fluff and no tough, let down your guard just this once:
Worry not for Strasburg. He should one day have a reserved parking spot at the All-Star Game, no matter what happens this year. But Arthur Rhodes? The stars have aligned this once in the part of his life that gave him shelter from the storm. The endless joy of pitching to a batter — only now, after scratching out two letters in the dirt.
By this point in the Reposter, I expect we'll need a cold compress, because our collective heart might burst if we're forced to love Jonny Gomes more than we already do
"Jonny Gomes says teammates are surprised when they go to a restaurant and Gomes is the one picking from the wine list."
Atlanta boosted our Civil Rights Game
We've still got the Creation Museum. That's not going anywhere.
Who are the All-Stars of baseball literature?
A lineup of the best players who never really were.
NY Times: How Mariano Rivera Dominates Hitters
This is cool.