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Jay Bruce carries the Reds to latest victory

Sep 4, 2012, 11:08 PM EDT

Jay Bruce Getty Images

Jay Bruce‘s burden is about to get lighter with Joey Votto expected to rejoin Cincinnati’s lineup Wednesday. Not that it’s bothered him so far.

Bruce hit a two-run homer that gave the Reds’ their only runs Tuesday in a 2-1 win over the Phillies.

It was Bruce’s third straight game with a homer. He’s hit .345 with 10 homers and 24 RBI in 22 games since Aug. 12, with the Votto-less Reds going 14-8 in that span.

Bruce is hardly a realistic MVP candidate with his .261 average and .340 OBP, but he’s been a consistent force in the middle of the Reds lineup for the first time this year. Last season, he busted out by hitting .342 with 12 homers and 33 RBI in May, but he didn’t hit better than .256 or post an OPS over .825 in any other month. This year, his worst OPS in a month is .755.

Barring an injury, Bruce will establish new career highs in both homers and RBI in a fourth straight season this year. He’s currently at 31 homers and 91 RBI after finishing last year with 32 homers and 97 RBI.

  1. biasedhomer - Sep 4, 2012 at 11:13 PM

    His progression has been much slower than expected, after that great rookie season that caught everyone’s eyes.

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 5, 2012 at 9:42 AM

      Sure. But it’s also easy to lose site of how young he was when he broke through.
      He’s still a very young player. He will only get better.

  2. johnnyb1976 - Sep 4, 2012 at 11:30 PM

    Phillies fans griping about the missed call in center field in 3…….2…….1…….

    • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 5, 2012 at 7:40 AM

      The call was missed. There is no disputing that it was a terrible call. Had there been something on the line I would be “griping”. It is just the way the season has gone.

      • badmamainphilliesjamas - Sep 5, 2012 at 8:27 AM

        On the replay, it didn’t even look like it was trapped . . . the ball actually bounced into his glove. Oh, well.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 5, 2012 at 8:30 AM

        Oh yeah, it wasn’t even close. He took it off a short hop.

    • thefacts121 - Sep 5, 2012 at 10:45 AM

      Oh man, I thought the Phillies had a legitimate grievance since the umpires’ incompetence cost them at least one run in a game decided by one run. But you have foiled said grievance by preemptively labeling it as griping. Foiled!

      I do appreciate you clarifying it as the blown call in centerfield though, to differentiate it from the other blown calls during the game.

    • greymares - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:30 PM

      It changes the whole concept of the blog when the 2 run homerun hit by Bruce “AT BEST” tied the game.

  3. whodeytn - Sep 4, 2012 at 11:30 PM

    And Todd Frazier will be on the bench after Wednesday.

    Because Dusty is a genius. I’m sure we’ll see Valdez or Cairo get a start though!

  4. vincentbojackson - Sep 4, 2012 at 11:35 PM

    The Reds are the definition of a complete team. Their top two players (Votto and Phillips) have missed time and they just plug in bench guys and keep on rolling.

    A deep and experienced bench will be huge for them in the postseason.

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 5, 2012 at 9:41 AM

      No doubt Bo. Well stated. I will add though I feel their pitching has been their biggest asset.
      Just a few weeks ago they used (FOR THE FIRST TIME) a pitcher NOT in their season opening rotation. That (in and of itself) is nothing short of amazing. And I haven’t even mentioned the contributions from Frazier and Ludwick all season.
      Hell…even Chris Heisey…when Dusty actually has him in the lineup of course.

  5. farvefromover - Sep 5, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    Bruuuuuuuuuuuuce

  6. mojosmagic - Sep 5, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    Don’t like to blame umpires but that crew was terrible all night. The strike zone changed inning to inning, Missed called are missed calls but at least be in position to make the call.

  7. markcycy - Sep 5, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    let me say that i am a phillie fan through and through. That blown call was horrible. The 2nd base umpire looked to be 12 blew a play at second where valdez slid off the base and should have been called out. It was the same guy who blew the trap call. There is some discussion about replay but what the heck would you rule if the cf play was turned over and it was called a trap. The runner from first to second would have been ruled out on a force? This is a play that needs to be looked at before implementing a replay system,

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