Big stress buster for the Reds

For a little while, I thought I slapped a whammy on Jay Bruce because I wrote a pre-game notebook item on how he’d been on a nice offensive tear. Then he took a 0-for-4, three strikeout game into the ninth inning.

With the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth, Bruce delivered a three-run double to the right-center field wall. The Reds won 6-3 and finally snapped a six-game losing streak.

Bruce came in 1-for-19 this season with RISP and two outs. Reliever Ryan Madson had allowed one run in 19 innings all season. Madson was the one to give. And Bruce delivered in a clutch moment.

“It’s huge,” Bruce said. “The big thing that I’m going to learn from that is staying focused. Just because you don’t do it the first time, you may get a chance and you have to be prepared and ready the second time. You can’t let things linger. I am learning a lot about driving in runs and really getting them when they’re there. I’m not good yet but getting better at that aspect of it. I have a long way to go but…tonight it worked out and I plan on doing it a lot more.”

This was a very big win for the Reds. Had they not won here, the tension dial would have really been upped as they have to face Halladay and Lee the next two games. And in Atlanta, Hanson, Lowe and Jurrjens are looming.

“It sure relieves a lot of pressure,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “We’ve got some more tomorrow with Doc Holliday. But we’ll enjoy this one tonight. It’s the first game we’ve won in a week and on the road trip. And the first one we’ve won here in two years. It was a rewarding night for us.”

Notes:

*Bruce is 9-for-16 (.563) with four homers and 10 RBIs in the last six games.

*Drew Stubbs had a big bunt single to start the ninth inning rally. It was such a surprise because it was his first bunt hit this season.

*Bill Bray has not allowed a run in 22 of 25 appearances. He worked 1 2/3 scoreless innings tonight.

*Francisco Cordero had a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his ninth save and career save No. 299.

*The Phillies nine-game winning streak over the Reds at Citizens Bank Park is over.

Quotes:

“There’s some significance – not because they swept us in the playoffs – but because they’re a good team. They have a really good chance on winning their division. To play these guys tough and beat these guys is important because they’re a really good baseball team.” — Jay Bruce on beating the Phillies

“He did it on his own, it wasn’t a play. I urge these guys to do a lot of stuff on their own. These guys can play. I try to give them freedom to play. The happiest man on the whole ballclub was probably Hatcher, because he’s been working with him on that for two years and urging him to try it.” — Dusty Baker on the Stubbs bunt.

3 Comments

Awesome for Bruce and awesome by Stubbs. Yes, big win!

I may not be mature enough to root for a team. When they win, I think they’ll never lose again . When they lose, I think the season’s over and can’t watch or listen anymore. Same with the hitters and so forth. Jay strikes out with men on base and hanging’s too god for him. Drives in runs in the ninth and he’s my fair-haired boy again! Oh, well. Great win last night; I get to listen again tonight! Go Reds!

It was nice to see Stubbs bunt for a single, something I’d like to see him attempt a little more. He’s got the blazing speed for it. I know Dusty likes to let guys play and make decisions on their own but I wish he’d be take a little more control of the decisions being made. Especially with the younger guys. It was nice to see Heisey in the lineup too. He adds some defense to left field and he’s got a big upside if he’d get a little more playing time. It felt great to get a win in Philly.

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