Tag Archives: Jay Bruce

Game 4, 2014: Mets 4, Reds 3

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[Box Score]

Another ballgame, another heartbreaker one run loss for the Reds. Another Jay Bruce home run in a losing effort.

Mike Leake provided a very Leakian effort – he went 6 and 2/3 striking out three and walking three, but gave up two two-run bombs to Lucas Duda which was all the Mets needed to thwart the Reds.

Bruce’s home run was the 166th of his career, and his second of the season. It came off lefty John Lannan and put the Reds within a run at 4-3. He drove in all three Reds runs while also adding an RBI single earlier in the ballgame.

The story of the game for me was little Jenrry Mejia who went six innings while striking out eight for the Mets in earning the win. he walked five batters but had the stuff to get out of several jams with the strikeout; he might be a guy to watch as the season goes on because he has exceptional stuff with a plus fastball to go with.

Of course, it was gut wrenching to watch Jose Valverde work himself into trouble in the ninth inning only to get out of it by Joey Votto having a poor at bat and popping out, then dropping a splitty in to Jay Bruce to get the final out of the game and lock down the save.

Jay Bruce got one yesterday

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The Reds dropped another heartbreaker to the Cardinals yesterday afternoon, 7-6. The game featured a rain delay that took the start time from 12:35 PM ET to around 4:35 PM ET.

Jay Bruce hit a towering two-run home run off Lance Lynn in the first inning to put the Reds up 2-0 for his first home run of the season. Todd Frazier followed with a towering bomb to left field and the Reds were out front and running 3-0. Frazier would later add another home run later in the game off Pat Neshek that cut the Cardinals lead to the one-run deficit they would win by.

Overall, Homer Bailey was not sharp. He allowed seven hits and four earned runs over 4 and 1/3 innings. The two-run homer he allowed to Jhonny Peralta proved costly because it nearly erased a three run lead and was foreshadowing for the tough outing that Bailey had ahead of him.

Why Jay Bruce might be the smart money in your prop bet

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Bovada released their player-prop bets for 2014 today, and Jay Bruce checked in at fairly long odds to win the National League MVP at 33 to 1.

This seems particularly insane; when the following players are on the board at such odds:

Bryce Harper 12 to 1
Buster Posey 12 to 1
Yasiel Puig 14 to 1
Freddie Freeman 14 to 1
Matt Kemp 16 to 1

Heck, I would put Bruce’s chances at equal or greater than all of those players. He’s certainly been more consistent despite not having that ‘monster’ year yet on the back of his baseball card.

Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk agrees with us:

Bruce is going to have at least one 40-homer, 120-RBI season before he’s done. I doubt he’ll actually be a better player than Votto, but he’s the one of the two more likely to win an MVP, mostly because he gets to hit behind the guy with the .430 OBP.

Yes, and Bruce is entering that magical age-27 season. He’s either going to go off and have that monster year this year or next while still in a Reds uniform or possibly elsewhere in his early 30′s when he’s playing in his home state of Texas. Or he’ll never have it. We still think there will be a year where Bruce stays locked in all year long and is the unstoppable version of himself.

If he does that, and you lay $300 on him being the National League’s MVP, you walk away with a $10,000 payday in October when you cash in your ticket. Think about that for a bit.

So go ahead, let Jay Bruce fund your retirement account. It will be fun. It will be easy.

Cincinnati Reds 2014 Team Preview

One of the fastest to ever play the game.

One of the fastest to ever play the game.

Since that 2012 season ended and the Reds lost to the Giants in game five of the NLDS in Cincinnati after being up two games to zero on the eventual World Champion Giants, I have really been in a deep and dark depression as a Reds fan.

Some people might get really down on me for saying that – they’ll point to when the Reds were running out Jose Acevedo or Jimmy Haynes or Brandon Claussen as starting pitchers and were a losing team and tell me how good we have it now. How we’ve ‘made the playoffs’ three out of the last four years.

But there’s something that kills you about watching a team evolve from the abyss into what you know is a core’s window – and make no mistake – the last two seasons were the peak of this current group’s window. It didn’t ever hurt like that (like this) back when we were so horrible. It has taken me the entire offseason just to get some feeling back in me after the way we went out. To be fully honest, I’m still not over that 2012 afternoon that Buster Posey hit the grandslam off Mat Latos. I’ve never felt anything like that in a lifetime of watching sports. I don’t know if I’ll ever really get over it. It was like dealing with a death.

It’s made it increasingly tough to write about the Reds. Their passive offseason this year really did nothing to dispel that. If anything, it just made me a little bit apathetic towards their upcoming season. You look at their lineup, and there’s still some thunder. There are things you can find a positive in. If their pitching staff doesn’t have any injury, it features some phenomenal arms.

But this is largely the same group that couldn’t get it done the last few seasons. Something is missing. If I could tell you what that something was I would be doing a lot more than just writing about the Reds; it’s like the million-dollar question. I think the Reds needed Aroldis Chapman to develop into a top of the rotation starter that they could roll out in a must win game in the playoffs. A Randy Johnson type figure who the opposition knows is simply going to always beat them. Someone to get Mike Leake out of there. A lot of guys could close for this team. Few guys in the league strike fear into a lineup like Chapman could as a starter. But that’s never going to happen now.

Maybe that something is a real heart and soul leader. Someone who keeps Brandon Phillips in line. As much as I like Phililps, I’m starting to wonder if he’s not a little bit of a cancer in the locker room. I wouldn’t have cared if the Reds decided to part with him – but almost sheepishly they made the choice to bring him back. And along with that, they brought back the entire group that has failed to win the big one year after year. That’s concerning. You keep banging your head against the same wall long enough, all you’re going to get is a headache. The only thing different is the manager, and Bryan Price isn’t even a new voice. It’s not a shake-up. Everyone else got better, and at best the Reds stayed the same.

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Baseball is Back

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Today, baseball returned to the field (and there was only one collegiate team in play as an opponent).

The Reds beat their friends from around the Cuyahoga 8-3. Jay Bruce was back in right field. Joey Votto manned first base. Billy Hamilton hit lead-off and played centerfield.

Even though it was a long day at work, it seemed all was once again right with the world. Spring is on it’s way. There is a new hope arriving. As the sun shined during freezing temperatures outside today, something just felt different.

That Yasiel Puig guy went 2 for 3 as well.

Jay Bruce, still our favorite Big Leaguer

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Just like in a marriage, after all the years have gone by the ‘freshness’ has worn off. The butterflies aren’t there every time you kiss and your appetite has magically returned on dates (much to the chagrin of your waistline, and those dates end up being more infrequent and less romantic). But even with the chance to stray for all those younger prospects, you never leave the one you truly love.

That’s what it’s like with Jay Bruce. Sure, there are younger flavor-of-the-month players all over the league who are exciting because you don’t know where the ceiling lies. And those guys are a lot of fun to watch. But on a given night, there’s nothing better than buying a ticket and going down to the park just to see Jay Bruce get four hacks at it.

I am at the point where I am settled and comfortable with the player Bruce has become.  That player is a very high-end player, even if it is just short of being the generational superstar we all hoped for.

Bruce plays hard every night and keeps his mouth shut. He’s a franchise cornerstone and consummate professional. He’s a good person away from the field who hasn’t changed much since signing a mega-deal that made him a rich young man.

He’s got his blemishes, but we love the guy for them just like we do his strengths. It’s okay that he’s going to slump for several week periods that make you wonder when he’s going to hit again. That’s because you’re going to get Gold Glove defense during that stretch and he will heat up again. And when he does, there’s going to be Hell to pay.

I also feel like in a year like the one the Reds are about to have – one that will be a mediocre showing without a postseason series win – it will be enjoyable to watch Bruce continue his career milestones. He’s a guy I enjoy going to the park to watch play on an every-day basis. I love having the guy as part of my big league city. It’s been a privilege to watch his career develop from day one.

I hope to see the Reds sign Bruce to some type of contact that makes him close to a career Red. While we wait on that, we’ll keep heading to the park to see him play; in search of the same goal, trying to get that one championship before the sun sets on us. Neither one of us knowing how much time is left to get there. All the while we’ll keep piling up those Bruce Bombs on the page of the blog.

You never forget your true love. We still love Jay as much as we did in the beginning.

Our Top 20 Fantasy Baseball Outfielders for 2014 & Commentary

You never lead with the top guy. Just one of the top guys.

You never lead with the top guy. Just one of the top guys.

Since we’re fantasy baseball nerds, we’ll be running down as much of a commentary as we can prior to your March fantasy drafts. If you’re having a draft before then, you’re violating a major man-law. Don’t do it. You’ll inevitably draft some guy who breaks his nads installing a hardwood floor or something. Here are our top-20 Outfielders for fantasy baseball 2014. We’re running this down similar to the guys at Razzball, though we could never pretend to be of the legendary status they’ve achieved.

1. Mike Trout: Until the younger bull knocks the old bull off the hill (Trout is the old bull in his age 22 season, didn’t you know?) you have to keep putting this guy here and leaving him alone. We just hope you were one of the lucky bastards who snagged him late and were able to keep him after that lackluster cup of coffee in 2011. That was so, so long ago. We figure Trout finally wins that MVP award, hits 30 homers, drives in around his career-high 97 and steals close to 40 while hitting around .320 again. No regression in sight.

2. Andrew McCutchen: There’s just no reason to move an MVP much when he’s entering that magical age-27 season. He wasn’t as Heavenly as his 2012 last season, but he was still remarkable and helped owners win a lot of leagues. What is there to say that hasn’t been said (that’s what we hate about these rankings at the top, everyone has these guys up here). McCutchen is a Ferrari, get him in your garage if you can.

3. Carlos Gomez: This is the guy we’re pretty proud of. He was our major sleeper heading into 2013, and he finally put it all together. What we love about Gomez is he’s a guy who seems to want those stats for you. He steals bases when his team is up big, he challenges for the extra base, he isn’t happy settling with that three-hit night. He plays the game hard and we think the power could enjoy another slight up-tick in 2014. The only thing about Gomez that sucks is when he takes away home runs from your other fantasy players playing center field. He owes Jay Bruce several.

4. Giancarlo Stanton: Big Mike struggled last season hitting .249, but he’ll enter 2014 with major motivation: play so well he can escape Miami for greener pastures and a mega-deal soon following. This will be the year that he eclipses 40 home runs if anyone does in the National league. This will be a .900 OPS season. This will be the year he finally plays like a first rounder. As they say on eBay, bid with confidence.

5. Carlos Gonzalez: 2010 seems so long ago when he finished third in MVP voting. Since then he’s missed time each season but was still spectacular when he was on the field. The only question with Gonzalez is health, if you believe he can stay healthy he will be stellar and steady. He’s not going to go out there and hit .260 at Coors Field. It’s just not going to happen. A solid first-round guy if he can play in 140-150 games.

6. Adam Jones: He’s in a great lineup, he’s in a nice hitter’s park, he’ll be just 28, and he’s baseball’s closest present-day version to Eric Davis. What we like most about Jones is his games played the past three years: 151, 162, 160.

7. Bryce Harper: Someday soon the nagging injuries that drive fantasy owners like us nuts will end, and Bryce Harper will have the biggest numbers of his young career. It’s not too much to ask for a player like Harper to post an average in the .280-.290 range with upwards of 35+ home runs and over 100 RBI and runs scored. We don’t look for him to steal many more than 10 – he’s bulked up – but that power is coming in a big way. He hit .344 and 9 HR in April last season. If he can put that together over a full year like he’s going to try to do……

8. Jacoby Ellsbury: We don’t like that he’s turning 30. We don’t like that he misses monstrous amounts of time about every other season. We do like that he is in that hitter’s park in the Bronx and think he offers 20-50 potential. Solid bet to be very good in the near-term. I want no part of him in a year or two though.

9. Jay Bruce: The Reds are going to have an average year. Jay Bruce is going to have a career year. He’s entering his age-27 season. He’ll get as close to 40 home runs as he has yet and he’ll hit around .275, and with Bruce what you’re buying is the consistency. A lock for 30+ home runs and 150 games played. His slumps will make you want to drown kittens. His hot streaks are other-worldly.

10. Ryan Braun: He’s really not going to miss a beat when he returns from his little hiatus in 2013. He’ll be the same old Braun, which is video-game numbers. It won’t be his career year, but short of that you’re getting one of the top sluggers in baseball with some steals, albeit a few less steals and probably a few less homers. All things considered, a guy we would love to have; even with the cheating!

11. Justin Upton: So now the world knows that he’s not the second coming of Ken Griffey Jr., and that’s okay! What Upton is, is just a pretty good player. And he’s going to be more comfortable in his second season in Atlanta. Something about Upton worries us a little bit; but when we think about it it’s just the poor taste he left in our mouth in 2012. Even then, he was pretty solid. He’s deserving of this high ranking.

12. Shin-soo Choo: He’s going to score a lot of runs out in that Texas heat and don’t be surprised if his numbers improve across the board in a lineup full of threatening hitters.

13. Yasiel Puig: There will be no in between for Puig in 2014. He does not simply maintain; he either becomes full-fledged fantasy superstar or completely collapses in his sophomore campaign. We’re talking .240 or .315ish with power and steals again. Either way, it’s going to be VERY entertaining. Biggest risk factor of anyone in these rankings.

14. Jose Bautista: He may be quickly approaching his decline. He is at an age where it is reasonable for a lot of players to lose bat speed and miss time to injuries. But we believe enough in Joey Bats’ skills to say he will provide one more glorious summer in the sun for fantasy owners. A return to the 30′s in HR, 100 RBI, and an OPS in the .900s for those that believe.

15. Jason Heyward: We don’t really plan to target him – which is why he’ll inevitably break out. If that’s not a good enough reason, keep in mind he’s playing for a monster contract. If you believe what the scouts originally said about Heyward back entering 2010, that huge year is coming this year or next.

16. Allen Craig: The guy with two first names always wrecks shit when he’s in the lineup. He’s a .300 hitting machine in a baseball town where everything seems to line up nicely for that organization. He’ll probably have a DL stint included, but if you can weather that storm you’ll get a .300 average, 20+ homers, near 100 RBI, and peace of mind rotating him between OF and 1B.

17. Matt Kemp: Another guy we don’t want to own, in part because his risk is not worth the overpay it will take to land him on draft day. If for some reason the bargain exists in the middle rounds – take a flier on the guy. The decline might only be a season or two away, but for now Kemp has something to prove and will be taking the field for a team with World Series expectations. It should be a nice year for the back of his baseball card.

18. Starling Marte: A lot of people out there will shy away from putting Marte in their top-20 because it’s too out on a limb. His power numbers should improve and he’ll be a realistic possibility for a 20-40 season. His average should not dip much further than .280 because speed like his doesn’t slump. An .800 OPS player who will be 25. The soon to be Pirates outfield of Marte, McCutchen, and Polanco could be a lot of fun.

19. Yoenis Cespedes: Why do I feel like the guy is probably older than his listed age of 28? He’s probably like 34, but these damn Cubans are ageless wonders with their chicken blood voodoo cocktails. If you want a projection on him an average of his first two seasons is fair to expect: 25ish HR, .265-.270, 81 RBI, 12 steals, 70 runs.

20. Domonic Brown: The bottom line is power comes at a premium these days in baseball. Gone are the days where any number of middle infielders slug 27 home runs for you and drive in 80-plus. For that, you’ll need to pick up a guy like Brown who should continue to hit home runs in bunches. If it wasn’t for an injury he would have easily entered the 30-homer club. He’ll be inducted in 2014.

Examining MLB Futures Odds

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As much as I like to gamble, and as good as I can be at forecasting the sport of baseball; I’ve never been able to talk myself into laying money on a team to win the World Series or the pennant or anything of the sort. I think the reason for it is I’ve seen too much baseball. Too many things have to truly align. No matter how good a team really is; that team will need a fair degree of luck to simply reach those heights. When I start thinking about that, it scares me away.

Now, one of the MLB futures odds that I do like to look at every year are things like the NL and AL home run champion and the Cy Young in respective leagues. That’s something I feel like a handicapper can have an outside shot at really nailing on a gut feeling.

As for how the futures look right now in baseball, here’s a few highlights:

  • The Los Angeles Dodgers are 7/1 to win the World Series as of today. Throw a $100 on the Dodgers, and if everything goes right in October and Yasiel Puig is spraying Clayton Kershaw with champagne and riding Tommy Lasorda around the clubhouse like a midget, and you’ll walk away with $700. Not a great payoff for a lotto ticket. I feel like you’re better off taking that $100 and parlaying it on three teams to win on one given night. The pain and anguish is much quicker that way instead of a long and agonizing crawl to your loss.
  • The Detroit Tigers are not far behind at 8/1. I feel that the Tigers are loaded enough, sure. But a gut feeling tells me they’re not winning it all in their first year under Brad Ausmus.
  • The best value may very well come from teams like the St. Louis Cardinals or Washington Nationals at 11/1, or the Boston Red Sox at 12/1, though I don’t feel a repeat.
  • The New York Yankees equal their rivals at 12/1.
  • The Cincinnati Reds check in at 20/1 to win their first title since 1990. Vegas sees their chances equal with that of the Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Angels and San Francisco Giants.
  • The longest odds? The Houston Astros are 250/1. Please save your money.

As for the Home Run and Cy Young Odds, those aren’t out yet (boo). I’ll give you my early favorites to take home the crowns though – and this is subject to change obviously between now and April.

NL: Bryce Harper, Paul Goldschmidt, Jay Bruce

AL: Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder

NL CY: Stephen Strasburg

AL CY: Justin Verlander

It will be interesting to see where the odds come in on these players as the season draws closer.

Jay Bruce clinches 100 RBI’s in his hometown with a Grand Slam

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Pretty special moment tonight in a guy’s career we’ve followed since day one.

Jay Bruce reached the 100 RBI plateau in Houston (which is not far from his hometown Beaumount, Texas) for the first time in his career. He did it with a grand slam – the second of his career and first since his rookie season in 2008. It was his 30th home run of 2013.

It’s a nice milestone, and you can tell from Bruce’s reaction in the video highlight along with the interaction with his teammates it has been something that has eluded him for too long of a time. He’s finally done it, and it confirms what has been the feeling all along; that this is the most complete season of Jay Bruce’s big league career; advanced metrics be damned.

The Reds won the game 10-0 over the Astros, who lost their 100th game of the season. This was the third season in a row that this has happened.

Jay Bruce hits two home runs off Clayton Kershaw on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball

bruce HR 29

[Reds 3, Dodgers 2]

That was it last night – that was the game I have been waiting for out of Jay Bruce since his debut back in May of 2008.

There have been three homer games, home runs in the playoffs, and huge walk-off home runs. But last night was the most dominating showcase of Jay Bruce’s career. ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball has been where the entire baseball world pauses and convenes for three hours before starting a new week. There were some folks watching the NFL last night, but the people in the nation who love baseball were watching Jay Bruce hit his 28th and 29th home runs of the season off the closest thing the game has to Sandy Koufax. He did it to seal a sweep for the Reds at home over the Los Angeles Dodgers. When I saw Bruce’s second home run land in the right field moondeck, I knew that Reds season in 2013 had reached it’s zenith.

And there’s this: the home runs that Bruce hit off Kershaw were the first and second homers hit off the left-hander by a left-handed batter all season long.

[Bruce Home Run #28]
[Bruce Home Run #29]

Tell them Jay, tell them that the Reds think they’re the best team in baseball:

The Reds sit a game out of first, Homer Bailey threw pretty close to what I would consider to be a gem, and Bruce had his pair of national TV dingers off Clayton Kershaw. It doesn’t seem real.

And it’s nights like last night I feel bad for ever saying a terse word about Dusty Baker. He isn’t perfect, but we owe some debts of gratitude to Dusty for pulling the Reds out of baseball purgatory and giving the Reds back to back winning seasons for the first time since 1999-2000 (yes, the Reds now have 82 wins and will finish over .500).

Proud of you, Reds

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Billy Hamilton’s debut was over quickly – to no surprise.

The Reds won tonight’s game 6-2 in Cincinnati, taking three out of four from the rival Redbird from St. Louis. I’ll be honest, I didn’t think they had it in them. And if you’re honest, you probably didn’t either.

On the heels of one of the worst losses of the entire season, a 5-4 loss in 16 innings; I was thinking they would come out and lose flat. The Cardinals had the split in hand. But Shin-soo Choo went yard, Jay Bruce hit number 27, and Todd Frazier went deep twice. The Reds answered the bell in surprising fashion – and once again, for at least one night – all was right with the world again in Redsland.

This series will also forever be known as the series the Reds rolled out Billy Hamilton for his big league debut. #RunBillyRun was trending on twitter. Hamilton proved to be the ultimate weapon on the basepaths, swiping two on Yadier Molina in back to back nights in a big spot where only a stolen base would get the job done.

And tonight as the game winded down and Aroldis Chapman entered the game like an executioner sent to put the dreaded Cardinals to death, I found myself text messaging my circle of friends who all swore off the Reds after last night’s loss.

“Maybe we’ll win the division after all.”

In a season where I can’t seem to lift myself from the fog of last season’s NLDS collapse to the Giants, the Reds deserve credit. They certainly haven’t been stuck in the moment – if they were they wouldn’t be on their way to another 90 win season. It is through overcoming adversity that we derive the greatest triumphs. Maybe if this crazy bunch with their crazy skipper at the helm end up surprising everyone and writing a happy ending. I hope they have the last laugh.

But one thing is for sure, they proved to everyone that they’re not scared of the Cardinals. Even if they’re not the better team on paper.

Game 134, 2013: Reds 10, Cardinals 0

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[Box Score]

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.

It’s that time of the year where Jay Bruce says “Hop on my back boys, I’m going to carry you a while.”

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[Monday Night Box Score]
[Today's Tuesday Matinee Box Score]
[Bruce Home Run #23]
[Bruce Home Run #24]

Dan Straily and Bartolo Colon learned the hard way, when Jay Bruce decides he’s hot; it’s best just not to mess with him.

The Reds answered my notion that they were dead with two big wins at home over the Oakland A’s, and today on the radio Marty Brennaman brought up a good point. Maybe in this game of such a long season – you never are quite as good as you seem but things are never quite as bad as they seem either.

Bruce hit a big home run last night to the power alley in left center to get the Reds going in a 3-1 win. He also made a terrific running catch in the fourth inning to get Mat Latos out of trouble. Today he hit a two run homer and drove in three total and threw a runner out at home plate.

Bruce is carrying the Reds right now as he has so often through different points of this long and challenging season.

After a day off tomorrow the Reds welcome the Padres to Great American for the weekend with yet another chance to get hot and put their stamp on this 2013 chapter in the book of Cincinnati.

By the way, this was the second Simpsons match up lifetime. That’s right, today at GABP it was Homer vs. Bart just like six years ago (June 14th, 2007) when Colon and Homer Bailey faced off. In yet another piece of evidence that baseball just repeats its own history, neither pitcher has been very sharp when they’ve faced off, like in today’s game.

Reds win in Los Angeles; Snap Dodgers 6-game winning streak

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[Box Score]

The Reds went into the Lions Den and came away with a victory, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-2 in Los Angeles. The win snapped the Dodgers six-game winning streak.

A true barometer of how good any Reds team is (especially at this point in the season) is how they fare on a west coast trip to San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. That is a long trip across the country for the midwest Reds and in the past a pedestrian Reds team would commonly go 2-8 or 3-7 and then head home with their seasons really on the rails.

This year has been different so far. The Reds are now 4-1 on the current trip. Mat Latos picked up his 10th win of the season going 7 and 2/3 innings, striking out four and walking one. Aroldis Chapman got the save in the ninth, his 24th of the season.

The Reds broke the game open with Jay Bruce’s 21st home run of the season, a two-run shot to left center that sucked all the wind out of the crowd when it hit the bat. That’s how Bruce’s home runs have been this year on the road. I didn’t know it was gone off the bat because Dodger Stadium is so cavernous; but I heard what the crowd did and I knew how it looked sitting there live. It’s an impressive home run so make sure you watch it by clicking the hyperlink above. Bruce caught a hanging breaking ball from Zack Greinke – a guy he’s really struggled against in his career – and rode it out to one of the deepest parts of the park. It’s great to see Bruce continue to hit for power to this left center power alley.

Cho0, Votto, and Frazier had two hits each. Devin Mesoraco added a hit and he’s up to .261 on the season. It could be a great weekend for the Reds out in Los Angeles.