He’s the anti-Graves, or the Bizarro Danny.
He’s Randy Keisler, and he’s the newest Red…and he couldn’t have done a better job of introducing himself to Cincinnatians as Graves’ replacement than he did last night:
On the next pitch, Keisler, using Luis Lopez’s bat, sent his first major league hit through a drawn-in infield and past diving shortstop Jamey Carroll to score Jason LaRue and give the Reds a 4-3 victory against the Washington Nationals.
It was a mob scene at first base, and Keisler was in the middle.
“That was exciting,” said Keisler, who was called up from Class AAA Louisville on Monday to replace former closer Danny Graves and made his first appearance in the big leagues since May 25, 2003. “I’ve always wanted to have something like that happen. I never thought it would.”
“He had been (complaining) all year round that he wants to hit,” said Lopez, who played with Keisler most of the season in Louisville and who doubled in the bottom of the 14th to send LaRue to third base. “Believe me, he can hit. He showed me something down there. He hit the ball hard. He gets the ball on the bat. And he’s a pretty good pitcher too.”
He proved that Tuesday.
After replacing Ricky Stone in the top of the 13th, Keisler had a 1-2-3 inning, and in the 14th, he issued a walk to Marlon Byrd before inducing Brendan Harris and Gary Bennett into fly outs that ended the threat.
What a game. First, a reliever comes in and shuts the other team down — not Graves’ strong suit. Of course, we had to endure Gas Can Weathers blowing the save in true Graves’ style (of all the pitchers in the pen, why would Dave Miley choose the worst of them to give two straight save opportunities?)
But this isn’t a day to complain (too much). It’s a day to celebrate the fact that the Reds have won two straight games, last night’s in spectacular fashion.
I really want to enjoy Reds baseball again. And I’m trying.