The whole weekend got off to the wrong foot when I got home Friday evening and the power was out. The Reds were coming off a lifeless 5-0 loss on Thursday night. It was around 95 degrees, and all I wanted to do was have a quiet and boring night in watching baseball (what else is new?). My wife and I had dinner, figuring that we would return home to air conditioning and some semblance of power. Instead, both of our phones died while we were out and when I returned and charged mine I got a text from a friend who lives nearby saying that it could be a week before power was restored.
Even though it was after 10 PM, it was still between 90 and 95 degrees. My wife went to bed in a salty mood. I climbed in my truck and began charging my phone, with Marty and Cowboy streaming through the MLB At Bat app. When I got my phone half charged I came in and collapsed on the couch. I fell asleep listening to baseball for one of the first times since I was a little kid. Jay Bruce went 4 for 4 off Matt Cain. The Reds won 5-1. It was only Friday night. Hopefully when I awoke the power would be back on and we could get on with our lives.
It wasn’t. At least not initially. Mat Latos threw a gem though and the Reds were rolling again. All was right with the baseball world. And then my wife made me go see Magic Mike in the theater. As much as I love Boogie Nights (all-time top five movie for me), this was no Boogie Nights. Though my buddy and I got a few laughs out of the Kevin Nash cameo, the highpoint ended there.
And then Sunday. Power restored, life is once again whole. The Reds need a win to take 3 out of 4 to begin a brutal West Coast road trip. As usual, it was a complete struggle and we would learn that it was entirely not meant to be. The Reds struggled and slumbered around all day long, only to tie the game at 3-3 in the top of the ninth. Of course, they loaded the bases with no outs and only got one run out of it. And of course, the Giants had something for them in the bottom half of the frame.
Fly ball to right field, and Jay Bruce misplays it. After a clutch single in the top of the 9th to begin the rally and scoring the game’s tying run, Bruce gifted the Giants a walk-off win. It reminded me a lot of NLDS game 2 back in 2010. Nothing else really makes sense other than Bruce was thinking about the moment and what was at stake rather than a routine that he’s performed thousands of times in his life. The moment became too big for him. I’m still riding with Jay Bruce for his whole career. No matter how much he frustrates or runs cold or looks like he’ll never hit again; he’s our guy.
About 98% of people who watch from their couch have never had to make a play on a ball like Bruce had to with the game on the line. It’s really hard. Whether he’s a professional or not I know exactly what happened there, at least I feel like I do.
You can watch the heartbreaking ending of yesterday’s game unfold here. Or don’t. I hate how the Reds do this to me.