Tag Archives: Jay Bruce

Jay Bruce hits milestone home run #200

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Amid the trade rumors, and the slumps, and the hot streaks; Jay Bruce is carved in Cincinnati baseball history books now with an elite number next to his name. He’s ninth all-time on the Reds career home runs list, and last night off of Adam Kennedy he lined a line drive out of Petco Park to reach the feat. It was not a majestic tape measure blast; although he did hit the piss out of it.

The home run of course snapped one of those typical 1 for 21 Jay Bruce disappearance act slumps. If he could just eliminate those he would be a star. He would probably have the contract Joey Votto has and go on to continue to climb the all-time list. He’ll soon pass Eric Davis (203) and Ken Griffey Jr. (210) if he can get hot. There’s a good chance Bruce is dealt this offseason for no good reason other than the Reds want to trim payroll and ‘want more consistent production’ out of their right fielder.

It was the only game that the Reds scored in a 2-1 loss. Against Adam Friggin’ Kennedy. This has really been a tough year, I can’t say it enough. There has been little to no magic after that abbreviated hot start that saw them jump out to 4-0.

Last night I gave pause and thanks that Jay Bruce somewhat etched his name in stone as one of the best Reds ever; in the same way I feel that Adam Dunn was one of the best Reds ever. Of all the players who have crossed the white lines and worn the Reds uniform, the guy has hit more home runs than most of them. That’s to be commended.

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Jay Bruce survives the deadline

I woke up to tweets like this:

And around dinner, kind of like back when rapture was supposed to happen; the deadline passed and we caught this:

What a day of roller coaster emotions. I thought this was going down, then I thought it wasn’t. Then it looked like it was. I think we’ll come to find out the Reds came very close and their owner blocked a trade of Bruce.

He was after all, the guy who gave us this:

I’m very thankful for whatever amount of time I have left to watch Bruce as a Red. His last couple months; let’s call it six weeks or so, have been six of the better weeks of his Reds career.

One More for the Core

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If the Reds are torn apart sometime in the next 48 hours with key members of this core from the playoff run stripped from the roster and fan base, then let it be written that the Redlegs went into the sea of red that is St. Louis and shut out the best team in baseball for the second night in a row, winning 1-0.

Jay Bruce hit his 17th home run of the season off a very good John Lackey, and Aroldis Chapman locked down his 21st save of the season.

It was so baseball. These guys going out and in the midst of all kinds of rumors that have them shipped all over teh globe; they go out and play a sound game to beat a much more sound team.

Anthony DeSclafani threw seven shutout innings and improved to 6-7 on the year. The Reds collected just two hits.

And maybe; just maybe, this is the type of win that tells ownership it’s not time to let the sun set on this group yet. Maybe they look towards next year and aggressively decide that by adding a key arm or two to the rotation, they’ll have the lineup to attempt to make a run at things.

But if not – if they do decide to sell off these guys who were being rumored in deals before the game started tonight – it was perhaps one last signature win to remember them by. It’s the kind you don’t forget.

Jay Bruce’s last (Cincinnati) ride?

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Every time Jay Bruce homers, I wonder if it’s the last time I’ll see him round the bases in a Cincinnati Reds uniform. Tonight in Cincinnati, he hit a monstrous clout to right center for his 15th home run of the season. It allowed the Reds to beat the Cubs 5-4. Bruce also doubled and is now hitting .255 on the season.

I really hope that the sun hasn’t set on Bruce’s Reds career. There’s no doubting he is an enigmatic player. But Bruce is in one of the best stretches of his career. Since May 16th he’s hitting over .310 with an OPS well north of .900 and a slugging percentage over .550, all hallmarks of a quality middle of the order hitter.

In a perfect world, Bruce continues to progress and the Reds don’t get quite the offer they hope to by broadcasting to the baseball world that he can be had. They work out a reasonable extension for him to remain part of the solution in Cincinnati – players like Bruce could make the ‘rebuild’ just a bit shorter. Plus, I still want a reason to go to the park. Bruce is at the core of the guys I have a personal attachment to. He has 197 career regular season homers as a Reds player. If you get an offer that brings a top tier prospect, make the deal. If not – you don’t trade a productive player like Bruce just to trade him.

I am a bit puzzled at why the Reds have made Bruce so willingly available but a guy like Todd Frazier whom is under team control similarly until 2017 is not available. You can’t have it both ways. Both should fit the profile of a guy who can be moved, or neither. The Reds have no viable replacement for Bruce being roadblocked in the minor leagues, so I just don’t see a reason to up and move him.

That said, the things are falling into place as I thought they would. The perfect storm for Bruce to be moved. The Reds aren’t very good, the All Star Game is completed, and Bruce is playing pretty well. This is kind of what I saw coming down the pipeline back in March. I think we’re seeing Jay Bruce’s final days as a Red, and it kind of sucks.

It’s kind of shitty being the fan of a small market team. There are teams in the game who have the ability to keep a homegrown talent if they so choose. It seems like the Reds are following some unwritten rule, almost conforming to think because it’s time to rebuild, you move a multiple season All-Star corner outfielder just to get something done. And for the fans, it does suck. We’ll see how this plays out, and eulogize his career in Cincinnati properly should we have to in the near future.

The Reds shut out the Marlins on an overcast Friday Night

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[Reds 5, Marlins 0]

It didn’t look like a paid attendance of 33,379 on a decent but cloud-covered night in the Queen City when you looked up in the stands. But those who turned out to see the Reds take on the Marlins in this mid-June contest got what they wanted, a Reds win. The Reds are now 2-0 this season when we attend the game.

I took my wife, sister, and dad to the game. When my dad and I were walking down to our seats the PA announcer came over the loud speaker and asked for a moment of silence in honor of fallen Cincinnati Police Officer Sonny Kim. The announcer said Kim had been killed in the line of duty earlier in the morning, marking the first police officer killed in the line of duty since 2000. Very sad story and solemn start to the night.

It was a great night though, the weather held up and my family had a great time. My dad said it was the best seats he had ever had and a perfect start to Father’s Day weekend. If this is the last game I get to attend with my dad, we had a great time.

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I banked so heavily on Christian Yelich having a big year for me in fantasy baseball, and he’s hitting .233 on June 19th’s ending. He went 1 for 4, and was rang up looking to end the first inning just after this picture was taken.

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Proud to say I got to see Giancarlo Stanton play during this legendary season he’s having. He went 0 for 4 though.

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The fastest man in the big leagues aside from Billy Hamilton, Dee Gordon. He’s hitting .355 and leading the National League in hitting in stark contrast to Yelich.

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Mike Leake was real good last night. He had a no-hitter into the 6th inning when Derek Dietrich singled to break it up through the left side. Leake went seven innings, allowed only two hits, walked three and struck out seven. Leake improved to 4-4 on the year.

Jay Bruce had a big double to put the game on ice late.  Marlon Byrd had a big home run to get the Reds on the board early. Todd Frazier made an insane stop at third base.

All in all, really good night at the ballpark. The Reds sit at 31-35, and hopes have not completely faded yet of them getting to .500 on the season.

The Best Reds win of 2015

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[Reds 8, Tigers 4 (13 innings)]

It’s been such a frustrating season. But last night, the Reds had the magic going. As I watched them and the innings wore on and they squandered opportunities with bang-bang plays at the plate to win the game; I knew in my heart they were going to win the game.

It ended with a Todd Frazier walk-off Grand Slam in the bottom of the 13th off Joakim Soria. It was Jay Bruce’s first five-hit game of his career.

They overcame two big home runs from Miguel Cabrera and Tyler Collins that looked like the dagger.

The Reds got three scoreless innings from some guy named Donovan Hand – a guy who hasn’t thrown in the big leagues in a number of years. And look at the names the Reds are running out of the pen out of nowhere: Hand, Carlos Contreras, Ryan Mattheus, Burke Badenhop. It’s not like these are guys who have came up through the Reds system. If you think back to when the Reds were a good team, they had the same bullpen arms the whole year pretty much. They had dependable guys and you knew the names and there were several guys who had came up through the system together. That has faded away.

But on this night the Reds were just meant to win. Frazier hits home runs 21 and 22, including a dramatic blast that won them the game.

After the rain delay, it was hard to remember it was Johnny Cueto and David Price who started this game. But the story was more about Frazier, Bruce and the unlikely late-night magic of the Reds.

The last great Jay Bruce in a Reds Uniform Memory?

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[Reds 4, Padres 0]

The Reds season is a mess, and they’re going to blow this thing up. But on this Sunday, Johnny Cueto and Jay Bruce turned back the clock.

Cueto threw seven shutout innings and struck out nine for his fourth victory of the year. It kind of stinks because days like today are just auditions for a contender.

And we can’t begin to figure out Jay Bruce, we’re absolutely done trying. We cut him from one of our most important fantasy teams late last night. It figures that he would have a day like he did today. There’s probably no salvaging things for Bruce long-term in a Reds uniform at this point. He either plays poorly and he’s a goner, or he plays well and the Reds move him shortly after the All-Star game. You look at the calender, and it’s June 7th. It’s possible that Jay Bruce could just have over a month left in a Reds uniform, and it’s kind of a sad realization to accept that he’s never going to become a franchise cornerstone.

That said, the guy is still making memories. He drove in all four Reds runs today with a towering solo homer to get them on the board, and a three run blast later in the game to cement the win. He’s up to nine home runs on the year.

There will come a day that we’ll have to eulogize Bruce as a Red on this blog. But today is not that day.

We just wish the Reds were playing meaningful baseball games at this point. But they’re stuck in the mud as we suspected. Today was just a three hour lapse in what is sure to be a season of pain.

Happy Jay Bruce Day!

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What? You thought we wouldn’t recognize this holiday in the Queen City because a guy is hitting .225? That’s a .225 on the rise, to be exact!

On May 27th, the day that Jay Bruce made his splendid debut in 2008; he’s always been pretty close to money in the bank. Last year he went just 1 for 4 and did not leave the yard in Los Angeles against Zack Greinke. But Bruce has homered four times on this date in his career, and has a couple huge performances to his name on the day he made his big league debut.

You look at the slate tomorrow and everything is coming up Bruce: Right hander on the mound in Kyle Kendrick – CHECK. Game in Cincinnati, where Bruce has been significantly better in his career – CHECK. Afternoon getaway game where Bruce seems to do most of his damage – CHECK. Date on the calendar is May 27th – that too.

Can’t believe Jay Bruce has been in the big leagues seven years now. Time absolutely flies. Here’s to Bruce finding the seats tomorrow with at least one and continuing to enjoy May as his best historical month. And maybe the Reds can win two in a row for what seems to be the first time in two weeks.

If indeed this is the last Jay Bruce day we are to celebrate with #32 in a Reds uniform, we want it to be a memorable one. We’re calling it now, Bruce gets a couple of knocks and homers. Reds win.

Summoning Power from the Baseball Gods

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If such baseball Gods exist, we are summoning their healing powers for one Jay Bruce. Hopefully, this was the swing that changes Bruce’s season and maybe his career.

Yes, the Reds were trounced at home for the second night in a row 11-2 by those pest Giants. Brandon Crawford hit a grand slam and Baby Giraffe Brandon Belt homered for the second straight night.

But Bruce hit a hanging pitch from Ryan Vogelsong into the seats, singled, and almost homered in his first at bat, flying out to the wall in right center. He looked a little better.

This was Bruce’s 188th career homer, all as a Red. This was game number 1001 in a Reds uniform. We are hoping that the final chapter has not been written for Bruce in a Reds uniform. We’re almost to Memorial Day; and it’s simply time to get going. Time to circle the wagons. Ride or die time. Now or never.

Each game represents sands in the hourglass. Every pitch, every at-bat. As Mo Egger recently pointed out, it’s not a young player finding his way, nor is it an aging veteran we are discussing here. This is an integral part of the Reds core.

This is a guy we love. But the numbers never really lie. Here’s to the baseball Gods bringing some of that magic to Jay Bruce’s bat from here forth and sending him on one of those customary hot streaks that only Jay Bruce has (we’ve all seen them) which makes us question the bane of our existence and defies everything we had seen before it.

Is Jay Bruce’s career as we know it over at age 28?

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Jay Bruce went 0 for 5 tonight – striking out three more times, and ending his night with a horrible at-bat with the bases loaded that could have won the Reds the ballgame (they inevitably lost in the next inning). Bruce is down to .164 on the year; and while the ‘it’s still only April’ crowd can be heard, we’re starting to wonder if Jay Bruce as we knew him; the perennial All-Star Jay Bruce, is never to be heard from again.

Our greatest fear seems to be realized with Bruce. It is that; an offseason and time off simply does not fix a player trending the wrong way. Some can rebound, and some continue to corkscrew. While it should normalize to his career 24.6%, his strikeout rate sat at 32.8% before factoring in three more strikeouts tonight. Normalizing to strikeout a fourth of the time is by no means good.

In short, right now Jay Bruce looks like a 12-year old kid who went to the batting cage; and that kid’s parents are very poor. He’s put his quarter in the machine and he’s going to swing the damn bat. It doesn’t matter if the pitching machine is serving them up high or not.  He contains no regard for where he’s hitting the ball or his surroundings. He’s going to swing as many times as he can before the quarter tells him he’s out of swings.

We see a dead-pull hitter right now, who is so deep in his own mind; we wonder if he can right this ship. What in the Hell happened to the .300 hitter who came out of the minor leagues using the entire field? Where did he go? Where did his regard for a good approach go? The legendary hot stretches are waning, and the slumps are becoming prolonged. His everyday play for the last year has been a slump.

We could show you his stats for his last 153 games – but we don’t want to. We don’t want to see it for ourselves because it might shed more light on a horrifying reality. A reality that; at 28 years and 22 days of age, one of our favorite players ever is done. A player that was supposed to lead the Reds into the next generation with his talent has somehow had his best days move behind him.

We are rooting for you Jay – we hope you find whatever has become lost.

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The Toddfather, Bruce, Cueto make it a Reds Opening Day to Remember

[Box Score]
[Cincinnati.com]

This might have been the last one – so I hope you enjoyed today. Actually, take away the ‘might’. If you’ve followed the game long enough, you know in your heart this was the last time that this current core will take the field on Opening Day in Cincinnati as a group. Today almost told us that much. It was a beautiful win, a great start to the marathon that honored Opening Day in the city it should most be honored in. But on more nights then not, the Reds aren’t going to get the type of outing Johnny Cueto provided them with.

When they don’t have that type of performance, it could be a rough go for them. And it was almost a tough day anyways with their lack of a set-up man. When Andrew McCutchen homered to that little spot in right center that he always seems to sneak one out to in Cincinnati (he kills the Reds more than Billy Hall ever did), it seemed like the Reds were going to waste Cueto’s great outing and Bruce’s laser into the Moondeck in right.

Todd Frazier would have none of it – he hit a ball into the upper tank in left in the bottom of the 8th off Tony Watson that would claim the day for Cincinnati. It came after Billy Hamilton and Joey Votto singled to apply some pressure to the lights out reliever.

And one more time, the core of Bruce, Votto, Phillips, Mesoraco, Frazier, Cueto, Chapman had one once the Cuban came in and dominated the ninth inning like he usually does. But if things go bad like we think they might – the Reds will make some moves and some of the veteran faces we’ve all grown the love and attachment with won’t be here on this day next year.

So we appreciated today for what it was, a great memory that we’ll always have and at least a day in first place in this season where the world seems to be doubting the Reds.

You just knew Jay Bruce and Mat Latos didn’t get along

Jay Bruce is back at Spring Training camp, and he’s doing some talking. For a quiet guy, he actually said quite a bit.

In summation, he said the knee feels 100 percent and he doesn’t want to talk about it anymore. He’s not interested in being the Jay Bruce of 2011 or 2012, he wants to be better than that. We’ll never fully know exactly what he meant with the Latos quote, but it probably stems from the dugout incident last season and some other dust ups behind the scenes.

It’s a lot of the same talk from Bruce. He still seems to say the same things we’ve always heard him say – that talk is one thing and going out and putting up the numbers between the white lines are another. I think the biggest question that remains unanswered and the most important; is whether or not Bruce truly believes that he’s capable of still peaking and being close to a superstar in this game. Only Jay Bruce knows the answer to this in his own mind, and if it’s not a resounding ‘yes’, if there’s any self doubt, it’s unlikely to ever happen at this stage.

Time is ticking, and if the Reds are going to be better than ever, they need Jay Bruce in the worst way to go off and stay hot one full season.

Obviously, we’ll be living and dying with every Bruce at-bat of 2014. Naturally.

Mat Latos slams Reds Organization

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My thoughts on Mat Latos’ comments on the Reds are; 1) you can never trust a ‘Matt’ with only one ‘t’; I maintain. And 2) the Reds are in rough shape as-is, they don’t need a guy with the make-up and propensity to slam a team after he’s gone anyways.

After all, he’s the guy who gave up the grand slam to Buster Posey that this current core will never recover from. We all remember it, it was the death blow. He served that one up. That’s his place in Reds history in my book.

Now for his comments:

When Scott was there, we had guys doing exactly what they were supposed to do. After Scott left, we had guys with two years in the big leagues, in the clubhouse, on their phones, laying down in the video room, just hanging out during games, not in the dugout, not cheering their teammates on. Our dugout looked like a ghost town.

After Bronson, the same exact thing. We had starters in there roping our (clubhouse attendants), like, cattle-roping our clubbies. Guys on their computers, buying stuff, hanging out in the clubhouse. We had a guy with a year-and-a-half in the big leagues wandering around the clubhouse, hanging out. We had a closer in there sleeping until the seventh inning. We lose that veteran leadership, that’s what happens. You can’t have that . . . it turns into a circus.

I thought the Reds mostly responded in a professional manner, taking some underhanded shots at Latos in the process without crossing too many lines.

That said, I think Latos’ tirade has some shreds of truth in it. I do think the Reds clubhouse lacks a true leader, and they have some guys who probably spent the game screwing off on their iPad and social media. I have no issue with Chapman sleeping until the 7th inning; he’s an odd bird and he throws 103 MPH. He can do whatever the Hell he wants.

But the Reds’ lack of a backbone showed last season as their sheep of a manager led them to slaughter. Votto and Bruce have never shown the ability to lead or to really want to be that type of persona in the locker room. I think they’re in desperate need of a veteran who can be a leader – it’s not going to be Marlon Byrd.

It all points towards a season ahead in which you’re probably looking at around a .500 team if everything goes right. And everything hardly ever goes right.

The Reds disappointed and failed to win a playoff series with Mat Latos; good as he thinks he is. They can do the same without him. There is probably a fair degree of hard feelings here as Latos pointed out that the Reds chose to try to re-sign Johnny Cueto rather than him. I doubt a Cueto deal ever comes to fruition, but the choice is easy.

I liked what Homer Bailey said best about it – which is telling without saying much:

“If this was a court of law,” said Reds starter Homer Bailey, “the cross examination would go after the credibility of the witness.”

I also remember an incident where Latos and Bruce got into it in the dugout pretty good. Bruce and Bailey are two guys who get along with pretty much everyone and by all signs are well-liked in the Cincinnati clubhouse. For there to be no love-loss with Latos means Latos probably wasnt the best ingredient in the clubhouse himself.

Most surprising is Latos’ admission that the MILF Hunter himself, Bunny Arroyo was a key clubhouse cog! I know Arroyo was an awesome guy but never knew he was a leader – even though he reportedly took his job very seriously and notoriously pitched through an entire season with mononucleosis.

We still love you, Jay

We are hoping (and praying) that this is not the case, but it is a very real possibility that Jay Bruce is somehow inconceivably entering his final two weeks as a Cincinnati Red. It is sad, and it makes us a little sick to our stomach. This was the player we had hoped that our kids would grow up watching in Cincinnati.

There are whispers that the Reds ownership wants to clean house, and perhaps Bruce is atop that list.

From disappointing, to dispiriting to disastrous. Again: Losing a lot now is a good thing. The more the Reds lose, the less likely those in charge are to dismiss this season as an injury-bombed aberration. Insiders have suggested to me this will not be the case, that the Big Man is sufficiently hissed to do some serious housecleaning. That is good. Boldness is required, if only to change the blood. We know what the current blood can do, at its peak. It’s past that now. Time for a Keith Richards-esque transfusion. (Excellent, OG-based reference, right?)

Gulp.

While we’ve had to check out of doing the Reds every night for our own health (this is just really depressing and hard to watch) we wanted to note that Jay Bruce won the Reds a game last week with his glove, preserving a 1-0 Cueto shutout over those rotten-assed Cardinals in a game St. Louis desperately needed.

If indeed this is it – Bruce’s last ride into town – we will have a lot more to say about it at a later time. Let’s put it this way: no matter what we’re doing that final Sunday of the regular season, September 28th; we’re going to make sure we soak in Bruce’s last three or four plate appearances.