Last night I was flipping back and forth between the Monday Night Football opener between the Jets and Ravens and of course the Reds game. I didn’t want to miss Jay Bruce’s return. I’ve got to say, last night’s most compelling storyline to wasn’t the showdowns on Monday Night Football but rather Jay Bruce’s gritty performance.
Bruce reached the 20 home run plateau for the third straight season, becoming the 2nd Red in history (Frank Robinson is the other). When he hit his first one, we looked over to our fiance with surprised eyes of joy. It put the Reds on the board after Bronson Arroyo gave up a couple leaving the Reds trailing 2-0; and it was as if Bruce hadn’t missed a beat in two weeks off. Our girlfriend replied as he rounded the bases “I love Jay Bruce”.
We love him too.
The Reds would hit five home runs on the night. Joey Votto would follow with another opposite field shot, Orlando Cabrera and Drew Stubbs (Stubbs went back to back with Bruce to tie the game at 2) would also join in the fun.
This night was a special night not just because the return of the guy who could take the Reds to the next level in the postseason but because the Reds now cannot be a losing team at season’s end. The magic number shrunk to 13 with another Cardinals loss. And postseason baseball is in the air now.
We purchased our playoff tickets this morning through a friend who won the drawing, so we’ll be there if the Reds hold up their end.
If Jay Bruce never hits another home run in a Reds uniform, last night’s return from a long strange injury bout was another warm memory in his young Reds career and a long successful season for the Cincinnati Reds.