The Redlegs responded.
After a crushing loss Monday night, and a flat loss last night; the Reds came out with something to prove and hung nine runs on Adam Wainwright in the first two innings. Jay Bruce drove in five of them – with three being on his 26th home run of the season.
The Reds went with the lineup I’ve been crying for all season: Choo, Phillips, Votto, Bruce, Ludwick. Any combination from there doesn’t matter much. The Reds need to go down shooting with that order.
Homer Bailey fired 7 and 1/3 innings of shutout baseball to get the win. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bailey go 5-0 in the month of September to finish with a really strong season. Bruce now sits on 85 RBI for the year needing just 15 in the final month to top the century mark.
I just read a recent article on Bruce by John Sickels over at Minor League ball. The article touches on the notion that Bruce has never really taken off and isn’t going to be a superstar; merely a solid big leaguer. I get it. I watch the guy every day and have seen his progression. The stats might not end up showing it but I definitely feel like Bruce is the best he’s ever been in the big leagues. He will be just 27 next season. He’s got a few more seasons to still have that jump-off-the-page, superstar season or two. For right now, he’s been the stability the Reds need in the middle of the order and has made just two errors in right field all season. He’s been the team’s MVP – and it’s the first time you can really say that.
The Reds are now 3 and 1/2 games out of first place behind the Cardinals. They still haven’t really gotten hot. This team has had a ‘meh’ feel to it all season. They have to find a way to go on their best run of the season int he final month, win the division, and avoid a one-game wildcard playoff. I’m not optimistic about it. It’s just been such a weird season.