Hello, confidence

Not long after his 3-for-4 night with two homers, a triple and four RBIs for a 6-1 Reds win, Jay Bruce personified the Reds’ confidence these days.

“We came in here and took care of business,” Bruce said of the 6-3 home stand that included a sweep of Houston. We’ll go on the road on a roll with some momentum. We plan on coming back in first place.”

Up next: a seven-game road trip vs. the Brewers (three) and Cardinals (four). Cincinnati is in third place in the NL Central, only 1 1/2 games behind first place St. Louis and a half-game behind second-place Milwaukee.

“We have to get after it,” manager Dusty Baker said. “We know it’s going to be tough. They play well in their ballparks. We play well on the road.”

The Reds have every right to feel the swagger they’ve had. They are again a season-high six games over .500 at 26-20. They’ve won four in a row and six of the last eight. They are now over .500 at home at 13-12 and hit the road with a 13-8 away record.

“We’ve played well on the road so far,” Bruce said. “We’ve played these teams tough so far. I always feel confident. We have a great pitching staff. We’re hitting well and hopefuilly Brandon will come back and we’ll keep rolling. It’s been a fun year so far. It’s just getting started.”

I’m no math-lete but I calculated that Bruce is on pace for 49 home runs this season. Right now, he’s batting .241 with 14 homers and 29 RBIs.

What would you consider a successful road trip?

Added question for you: What place do you think the Reds will be in when the trip is over?

See you in Milwaukee. 

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Two wins in Milwaukee and two more in St. Louis would be awfully nice. I’m no math-lete either, but I think that would have to get us really close to the top spot in the central!

I love the enthusiasm and attitude of this team. There is never a “Here we go again” feeling if they get down early.Russhttp://wight4256.mlblogs.com

Two wins against each is a minimum! Another sweep or two would be amazing!!! We’ve got to win every chance we get against the central teams, especially these top teams!

It’s May.

– Max

@Max: It’s also (I think) our best start since 1999. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s a few games better than 1999. We all know what kind of year that was. You’re right, it’s still early. But at the same time, that’s not going to stop me from being excited.

Red – Don’t get me wrong. The way the Reds are playing is exciting and entertaining. And this road trip is important. But, to say we have to win two games each against the B’s and the C’s at a minimum is ridiculous. That’s magic number talk for early September, maybe. The Reds are a work in progress. If they can hang in until late June then maybe they go out to get some missing pieces – LF, bench, middle relief, 5th starter, who kows. Meanwhile, remember how often baseball seasons split themselves into two acts. It really is May.

Exactly! It IS May, and there is no better way to get a good playoff run than to get started early and get ahead of the pack whenever possible. I’d rather take 1st now and try to keep it, than be careless now and try to come from behind in September.

Though completely disappointing, a 3-4 road trip against those two teams is actually what you would expect. To have a winning road trip, inside the division against the top two, would be spectacular.
Nothing against Owings, but getting to a 4-3 road record is helped by having the #5 starter only pitch once.

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