We Missed Ya, Jay!

I’m sure you read my take on exactly how much Jay Bruce has meant to the Reds especially during the last month or so. Someway, somehow, Bruce talked his way back into the starting lineup. Good thing Reds manager Dusty Baker was open to the suggestion.

In the 12 games Bruce missed, the Reds were 5-7 and averaged 4.1 runs a game. That includes playing four games in the “air” of Coors Field. In the games in which Bruce has been on the field, the Reds average 5.0 runs a contest. Last night, the Reds plated seven runs and Bruce was personally responsible for driving in four of those. Of course having two homers doesn’t hurt matters.

Bruce’s oblique strain, or so it has been said, seemed to help Bruce’s approach last night. From Mark Sheldon on Mark My Word.

“It helped me be more relaxed,” Bruce said. “That’s the biggest thing about hitting. You need to be relaxed up there. I guess that’s how I’m supposed to feel all the time. Hopefully I can feel that, know what it’s like and repeat it.”

With Bruce’s pair of home runs last night, he now has 20 for the season. His career high is 22 which was last season. In fact, Bruce has hit 20+ HR in all of his MLB seasons. Bruce also set a career high in RBI as he now has 62 for 2010. His previous high occurred last year (58). He is also on pace for setting career highs in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. Granted, he’s played more games this season than in his previous two, but the increase in average and on-base percentage are opening eyes even more.

But the Reds added three other home runs off the bats of Drew Stubbs (who went back-to-back with Bruce in the bottom of the second inning), Joey Votto (his 34th which broke a 2-2 tie) and Orlando Cabrera. Maybe the bats have risen from their slumber.

Other Notes:
The Reds acquired Willie Bloomquist from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for either cash or a PTBNL. To make room for Bloomquist on the 40-man, Enerio Del Rosario was designated for assignment…Jared Burton was recalled from Louisville. Burton was somewhat surprised it’s taken so long for the promotion since he was 3-2 with a 2.61 ERA for the Bats…After his brief appearance last night, Jordan Smith was tossed from the game after exchanging words with home plate umpire John Hirschbeck. Smith possibly felt he was being squeezed. He threw nine pitches with only one strike. Bill Bray was summoned from the pen to clean up Smith’s mess…Jim Edmonds and Laynce Nix took batting practice, but it is believed that Edmonds is closer then Nix to returning. This is according to Tom Groeschen of the Cincinnati Enquirer…Bronson Arroyo has accumulated 15 wins (ties a career high) for the third straight season.