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Not even Great American Jay Bruce can save you from the Reds bullpen; Reds lose 8-7

Bruce's big effort goes for naught.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

Before the Reds took the field today, Jay Bruce's .565 OBP ranked second in all of Major League Baseball over the last 7 days. All he did in this one was walk, single, and blast two dingers to help propel the Reds to victory. With that type of performance, Bruce's season line is up to .292/.350/.562 and ALL OF A SUDDEN Jay Bruce is on one of those patented May Bruce! hot streaks.

Oh, by the way, Jay's funkblast in the 3rd inning crowned him the Great American Home Run King, as his 127th homerun in Great American Ballpark passed Adam Dunn for the all time lead. Sources say that he hit 128 just for fun.

In a season like this, franchise milestones are what make it worthwhile. Bruce gave us one tonight and, thankfully, paired it with a huge outing and, unfortunately, another Reds loss. If he keeps this up, he'll play his way out of a Reds uniform via trade. But it's a night like tonight where we can forget about "trades" and "rebuilding" for an evening and just enjoy watching a former Reds top prospect play grown up ball right before our eyes, as we wait for the next crop of Young Reds that'll make us feel that feeling all over again.

So have a trophy, Jay. Hopefully there are many more to come for you this season.

Honorable Mention to Zack Cozart's 3 hits and a run scored, Joey Votto who turned an ugly start into a two RBI, double, 2 walk affair, Eugenio Suarez who belted a 3 run dinger, Billy Hamilton's 2 hit, 1 run scored, and usual ++ defense in CF, Jumbo Diaz, for not giving up the lead out of the bullpen, which is saying a lot, JC Ramirez, for cleaning up the mess that was extra innings. Caleb Cotham didn't suck, I guess?

Key Plays

  • Jose Ramirez started the top of the 2nd with a soft liner that landed right in front of Jay Bruce before Yan Gomes smacked a double to the warning track. Former Red Marlon Byrd finally lifted the 7th pitch in his at bat back at Bruce, who got a horrendous read on it. After he started to move back, he realized that, well, shit, that wasn't where it was going. He corrected his motion and slid in to catch the ball for the first out of the inning, but he was unable to even challenge Ramirez who tagged and scored. The Indians would go quietly out of the inning thereafter, but the Tribe strikes first, 1-0.
  • Rajai Davis blasted a dinger to left field to start the 3rd inning, Finnegan's ninth allowed dinger of the year. Indians, 2-0.
  • Jay Bruce saw Davis's home run, thought, "You know what? That looks fun," and bopped a big bopper himself over the outstretched glove of Byrd in right. Reds cut the Indians lead in half in the bottom of the 4th, 2-1.
  • Jason Kipnis opened up the 6th with a double on a fly ball to left. Francisco Lindor moved him over with a ground out to second base. Mike Napoli blistered a grounder to third base that proceeded to gobble up Eugenio Suarez. That error allowed Kipnis to score easily from third. Ramirez singled to left allowing Napoli to advance to second. Yan Gomes flew out to center, but Byrd blasted a ground ball through the hole between short and second to score Napoli before Brandon Finnegan was lifted in favor of the rejoining Jumbo Diaz. Jumbo ended the inning, but the Indians expanded the lead, 4-1.
  • The Reds began to rally in the bottom of the frame. Cozart singled, Hamilton singled, before Joey Votto hit a paycheck earning two RBI double to center field. Terry Francona brought in lefty Kyle Crockett to nullify Bruce. It didn't work and Bruce banged a hit to left field. Zach McAllister was then brought on to nullify Eugenio Suarez. It REALLY didn't work, as Suarez belted his ninth homer of the season into the seats in right field. Tyler Holt and Tucker Barnhart would strikeout to end the inning, but the Reds grabbed the lead, 6-4.
  • In the 7th, Lonnie Chisenhall flew out to left to open the inning before Jumbo gave up a walk to Davis. Davis stole second, but it didn't matter because Jumbo walked Kipnis, too. Jumbo then chucked a pitch in the dirt that got past Barnhart, moving both runners up, before Lindor smacked a slow rolling grounder to Phillips, scoring Davis. Napoli flew out to end the frame, leaving the Reds clinging to their one run lead, 6-5.
  • Jay. Bruce. YARD WORK. His second homerun of the game started the Reds 8th inning. It basically finished the 8th inning, too, but the Reds added a run to their lead, 7-5.
  • That Reds bullpen, you know? Tony Cingrani was brought on to close the game. He, predictably, didn't. After walking Chisenhall, Cingrani served up a meatball to Davis who, predictably, deposited it into the seats in left field. Game tied, 7-7.
  • Lindor laid into a pitch that Keyvius Sampson left fat, crushing over the wall in center field to begin the 12th inning. That would be enough.
  • The Reds would try to rally in the bottom of the 12th, but ultimately come up short. Indians win, 8-7.

Batman & Bart FanGraph

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • There was some sort of technical difficulties with the replay center tonight, meaning the Reds and Indians were afforded unlimited Crew Chief challenges.
  • I'm not entirely sure what that last Note means, but it was a thing in this game.
  • Brandon Finnegan retired the side in order in the 4th inning. The last time that happened? The 7th inning of last Sunday's ballgame vs. the Phillies. The team went 21 innings without a 1-2-3 inning. That, baseball fans, is less than optimal.
  • Just for funsies, Finnegan done went and did it again in the 5th. The last time that happened? The inning earlier. The team went 0 innings without a 1-2-3 inning. That, Reds fans, is optimal.
  • Fun with 1-2-3 innings! As Slyde informs us on Twitter, Ross Ohlendorf's 1-2-3 8th was the Reds first such 8th inning in three weeks.
  • The Reds will lock up one more time with Cleveland again tomorrow on the banks of the Ohio River. The Reds will send Tim Adleman against Josh Tomlin at 7:10pm EDT.
  • Tunes.