Apr 29, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Bruce hits the game winning home run during the eighth inning against the Houston Astros at Great American Ballpark. The Reds defeated the Astros 6-5. (Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports)

2012 Reds Recall: April

As we enter the final week of 2012, why shouldn’t we look back at the Reds season? I know, I know. We’re not happy about end result.

Our journey will take us back to some great moments and performances for 2012. We’ll also peek back at some of BRM’s works from those months as well. Welp…here we go!

Is there any day better in the Cincinnati than a Reds Opening Day? Not hardly, and the Reds began their 2012 campaign in the right way by dispatching the Florida Marlins, 4-0, behind the efforts of Johnny Cueto (7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 SO) and the bullpen combo of Aroldis Chapman and Sean Marshall (2 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 4 SO). The only run the Good Guys would need came in the bottom of the first when Jay Bruce hit a sacrifice fly, plating Zack Cozart. Bruce would add a home run in the 8th accounting for his 2 RBI.

And we were off on an amazing 2012 season.

But all was not well for April. The Reds finished the month with a record of 11-11. After tkaing two of three from the Marlins, the Reds would drop seven of their next nine games and fall to a second-low four game below .500 with a 4-8 record. In the remaining three series of the month, Cincy would win all of those three-game series in a 2-1 fashion. The Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants and Houston Astros would be on the receiving end of those series losses.

The biggest achievement for April wasn’t posted by any one individual. It was truly a team effort and the Cincinnati franchise recorded its 10,000th win. A bit of a game recap can be found here along with additional commentary which should actually surprise no Reds fan..

Player of the Month: Jay Bruce

Question: When the Beaumont Bomber gets on a roll, is there anyone better? You could argue one Joey Votto, but in the last four games of April, Bruce was 8-for-14 (.571) with four homers and 8 RBI. His OPS for those four games was an obscene 2.125. As Reds fans are kind of used to seeing, prior to this four-game outburst, Bruce was coming off a bit of a slump where in 14 games, he didn’t hit a single home run and only drove in four runs and posted a .232 batting average.

Bruce would be awarded the NL Player of the Week for the month’s final week in part because of those four games. He’s starting to amass a nice watch collection. All told for April, Jay hit seven big flies and drove in a team-leading 17 runs. He was atop almost every Reds offensive category upon the end of the month.

Pitcher of the Month: Johnny Cueto

The NL CY Young contender got off the an excellent start. In his five April starts, the Reds posted a 4-1 record with Cueto himself the owner of a 3-0 record. His ERA was 1.39 and his WHIP was 1.052. There was much ahead for the NL to see from Cueto as 2012 continued.

And ponder this for a minute. April wasn’t Cueto’s best month either. He was saving more for later in the season.

And how can I forget that Cueto helped himself on a few occasions with the stick. He added six sacrifice bunts during the month. He’s not the best hitting pitcher on the staff, but he has become almost automatic if you need a bunt.

As April came to a close, the Reds sat with that aforementioned 11-11 record and were lurking in second place in the NL Central division, 3 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals. After the 4-8 start, the Good Guys would go 7-3 over the month’s final ten games and were in the process of a run toward the NL Central’s top spot.

A look back at May 2012 comes tomorrow.

Tags: 2012 Reds Year In Review Cincinnati Reds Jay Bruce Johnny Cueto

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