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Bruce fulfills fantasies, takes us all the way from first base. Reds win 9-3

Jay Bruce hit a homer, Billy Hamilton hit a triple, and a whole buncha other Reds crossed home plate.

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Jay Bruce deserves a lot of love and a lot of respect. I mean, he already receives both, but let's give him some more. He volunteered to play first base for the first time in a decade, and he did basically competently enough to make me forget that the Reds' starting RFer was playing first base. Which is pretty good. He also went 2-4 with an absolutely demolished dawnmaking dinger. The Reds need him to be superhuman without their actual usual superhuman Joey Votto around, and he looks prepared to do it.

That said, Billy Hamilton breaks the laws of thermodynamics, being so cool while being so fast. He went 2-4 with a walk tonight, and his bases-clearing triple in the eighth really put the cherry on the top of the sundae. Props also to Ramon Santiago for going 1-2 with two walks, since he never gets one of these.Todd Frazier went 2-5, which is becoming de riguer, and BP went 1-3 with a walk, which I'll take. Good work all around.

Key Plays

  • Edwin Jackson led off the first by walking Billy Hamilton on four straight pitches. Not a wise move, to be sure. He moved to third on a All-Star attendee Frazier single, and a BP sac fly brought Billy home for the first run of the game, 1-0.
  • There was a, what, 10 minute rain delay in the middle of the third inning? That was a thing.
  • In the fifth, the Cubs 8-9 hitters had easy outs, but Coghlan and Ruggiano got singles each to get runners on first and third. Leake then threw all sorts of slop inside at Rizzo to get him to roll over on one, but Rizzo did. An awkward grounder to Jay Bruce at first (which, yeah, Jay Bruce at first) was muffed, allowing Coghlan to score. Mike Leake struck out Starlin on a high fastball to end the inning.
  • In the bottom of the inning, Skip "D'Yer" Schumaker hit an opposite-field double and was able to go to third on a Ramon Santiago single (keeping Santiago stuck at one RBI for the year). Leake, um, bunted Santiago over, surprisingly, bringing up Billy Hamilton with two outs. No sweat, first-pitch single to bring home Skip. Frazier then took a single into RF to make the score 3-1.
  • In the sixth, the Cubs got a runner to third with one out as Castillo doubled and moved to third on a Schierholtz single. Darwin Barney flew out to Skip Schumaker (playing RF for Bruce), and though the Cubs don't run a catcher on Bruce's arm, they tested Schumaker, who threw out Castillo easily to preserve the lead.
  • Jay Bruce worked a full count before singling hard in the bottom of the sixth. The All-Star attendee Golem then smoked a double to bring home Bruce. 4-1.
  • A two-run dinger by Anthony Rizzo (bringing home the of-course-on-base Coghlan) was a bit expected after the way Leake was trying to dip and dive around hits. It happened in the 7th. It came with two outs, which stung. Still, Reds up 4-3.
  • James Russell terriered his way through Hamilton and Frazier before walking BP. Jay Bruce worked a full count before absolutely gollywalloping a dadoozle. 6-3.
  • Blake Parker, purportedly a real person, walked Ludwick and Santiago around a Schumaker lineout. Cozart was able to get a single between the 3b and SS to load the bases, and Hamilton turned on a pitch to line it down the lf line for a triple, scoring EVERYBODY. 9-3.


Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • Jay Bruce was playing his first game at first base since he was 16 years old. He did make one good play in the fourth -- essentially just getting in front of the ball Dominik Hasek-style -- but his error in the 5th was a bummer. Still, he was about as competent as any of us expected.
  • Nick Howard, the Reds' first first-round pick, is signed and is going to Dayton where he'll start.
  • The doubleheader is tomorrow. The 1:10 p.m. ET game is ol' Boss tWood vs. Daygame Johnny Cueto. The 7:10 p.m. ET game is Tsuyoshi "Me, Yoshi!" Wada vs. David Holmberg, both of which will be making their debuts for their respective clubs.
  • Iggy Azalea is pretty much a pox on our airwaves, but I'm really digging the hook and sax sample on Ariana Grande's jam.
  • What the heck, for old times sake. This song was huge when I first showed up around here. You're welcome, Brendannukah.