What a way to clinch

That was one moment I will never forget and I’m sure many Reds fans won’t either.

Jay Bruce delivered a huge home run at the hugest of moments in a 3-2 win over the Astros. His ninth-inning blast to center field off Tim Byrdak on the very first pitch was how the Reds clinched the NL Central. It couldn’t have been done much better than that. I’ve never seen or heard GABP erupt like that. I could feel the place rattling and the fans yelling all the way up in the press box.

Here are some stories to check out:

On the long wait for the Reds and the fans — 15 years.

A game story recap, with video of the Bruce home run

Now it’s late. I stink like champagne and beer. I will head home. But I will leave you with a boat load of quotes gathered from the clubhouse.

 

“I really can’t dream of hitting a walkoff to win the division. It’s unbelievable. It’s a great team. I’ve been so happy to be around it. It’s been awesome.” — Jay Bruce

“2010 playoffs, Cincinnati Reds. It doesn’t get any better than that. It’s a wonderful thing, isn’t it?” — Dusty Baker

“It’s an exciting time for the city. You could feel the energy from the first pitch tonight. Everybody seemed to be really into the game. It was like every play, every hit, you heard the oohs and ahhs throughout the game. It means a lot to this city. I know they’ve had a tough time – 15 years now – we have to enjoy this tonight and look forward to the future.” — Aaron Harang

“They’re sticking around waiting for us. It means a lot to them. And we had a good turnout tonight. I’m glad we got the support. It’s a big moment in the Cincinnati Reds recent history to walkoff a game to go the playoffs. I think that’s pretty cool.” — Joey Votto

“This is my fifth year here. It’s been a long drought for just myself. All of these guys never experienced this. The last time I had an opportunity to taste some champagne was in 2005 [with Boston] and now it feels like I’ve never been there either. It’s a good time. Hopefully we’ll enjoy the moment and get back to business over the next few days.” — Bronson Arroyo

“I think the main thing for him is that we’ve been talking a lot about just calming down and just taking what they give you. You just have to go out there and take what the situation presents and right there he was just looking for a fastball and he hit it. He’s got tremendous ability and when I first got here I was surprised by how tremendously poised he was and how much he was into the game and how much he paid attention to both sides of the ball. It just goes to show that everything paid off for him tonight. This has got to be a humongous moment for him. I’m happy for him.” — Jim Edmonds on Jay Bruce

“This was just awesome. I mean no one gave this team a chance to win and this team battled all year long. They said we didn’t have enough pitching and then it was too much pitching, then we didn’t have enough veteran leadership and then we had too much veteran leadership. We just have some players who played day-in and day-out, we have a manager who led, a manager who in spring training had all of the guys who had won World Series bring in our rings and show these guys the rings. He said this is what can happen and I feel this is going to happen this year. Dusty’s dad died last year and he said that he had already told him that this was going to be the year for us. The things Dusty has done with this team, telling them that we were going to win and having them keep the faith. He says ‘you know if we have a 25-man roster we’re going to use every one of you. If there is one of you guys in here who don’t believe you’re going to cause us to lose this thing so I want everybody on the same page and the same page was to win. Just to see how these guys played, and to win it how we won it tonight, that’s been going for us all year long.” — 1B coach Billy Hatcher

Follow me on Twitter at

http://twitter.com/m_sheldon

 

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