Daily Archives: May 31, 2011

May 31, 2011

Batting Bruce fourth for all the wrong reasons

Here at the Red Hot Household, there are several phrases you hear during Reds games, such as:

  • Damn, Joey Votto can hit!
  • Shut up, Thom


  • Why is Scott Rolen hitting fourth again??

For, you see, we do not approve of having the guy who hasn’t been able to hit the broad side of a barn since he returned from injury batting clean up. Love the guy, and he’s a great presence. All I’m saying is a guy can demonstrate his intangibles from the 6 hole.

You’d have to be in a coma since April not to realize the Jay Bruce is on-freakin’-fire right now. Not only was the dude the player of the week, but he’s also been the massive bright spot on a team that’s been pretty much in the dark lately. He’s the clear choice to protect our reigning MVP.

But that would put two lefties next to each other in the order, you might say. You might, like Dusty Baker, think that the two will be easy prey for the opponent’s lefty specialist. But here are three reasons that doesn’t matter here:

  • Both Votto and Bruce can hit lefties. Like, better than anyone can. John Fay says, “Votto was leading National League in hitting against left-hander at .426 going into Tuesday. Bruce was fourth .381.” (Baker’s response to that was to not understand it and pretend it wasn’t said, which is his typical response to statistics.)
  • Which, for those of us who have difficulty following a line of reasoning to its logical conclusion, means that it would NOT be effective for the opposing team to use a left specialist against them. The opposing team would either realize this and not even try, or they *would* try and would ineffectively burn through a pitcher. And given the number of extra innings games the Reds seem to be getting themselves into lately, baiting the other team to burn an extra pitcher can only be a good thing.
  • Finally, even if it did work in the opposition’s favor to put in the LOOGY (even these studs get out more than half the time), it would have worked in ONE inning. A team that leaves an average of 7.2 runners on base per game gets plenty of ABs (if not so many RBI), making that one inning less that pivotal.

Besides, you’ve known since little league that you bat your better hitters higher. And no, Dusty, that doesn’t mean have him lead off. Oh lord, you’re going to have him lead off, aren’t you?

May 31, 2011

Jay Bruce Wins National League Player of the Week

Bruce at the plate

Jay Bruce has been the brightest spot for the Cincinnati Reds during a tough stretch in the month of May. And his outstanding offensive showing has been awarded.

Cincinnati Reds right fielder Jay Bruce has been named the National League Player of the Week for the period of May 23-29, 2011. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.

The Reds slugger led the Majors with 13 RBI and 25 total bases, and was tied for first with four home runs last week while hitting .353 (12-for-34) in seven games. His 12 hits ranked second among National Leaguers while his .735 slugging percentage was fifth and his six runs scored were sixth-best. The 24-year-old Texan had four multi-hit games on the week, including two three-hit performances. On Monday, May 23rd, Bruce went 3-for-4 and provided Cincinnati its only offense with a three-run homer in a 10-3 loss at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. On May 25th, the 2005 first round pick (12th overall by the Reds) in the First-Year Player Draft went 3-for-8 with a home run while driving in three runs as the Reds dropped a 19- inning marathon to the Phillies, 5-4. The next day, Bruce went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI as the Reds dropped the third game of their four-game set in Philadelphia, 10-4. The left-handed hitting Bruce homered again on May 29th, going 2-for-3 with a solo shot as the Braves edged the Reds, 2-1 at Turner Field in Atlanta. Jay’s week continued a torrid month of May in which he now has 12 homers and 32 RBI. His 31 homers since August 2010 are tops in the National League. This is his second career weekly award, having previously won for the week of October 3, 2010.

Other noteworthy performances last week included Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun (.529, 9 H, 7 R), right fielder Corey Hart (.400, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 1.200 SLG) and right-handed pitcher Yovani Gallardo (2-0, 0.60 ERA, 15.0 IP, 14 SO); Philadelphia Phillies left fielder Raul IbaƱez (.303, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 7 R, 10 H); outfielder John Jay (.444, HR, 12 H, 5 R, .444 OBP) and right-handed pitcher Kyle Lohse (2-0, 1.93, 14.0 IP, 11 SO) of the St. Louis Cardinals; Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann (.500, 2 HR, .938 SLG) and right-handed pitcher Jair Jurrjens (2-0, 0.57 ERA, 15.2 IP, 9 SO); Washington Nationals outfielder Mike Morse (.375, 4 HR, 10 RBI, .958 SLG); New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes (.519, 14 H, 8 R, .536 OBP, 2 SB); San Francisco Giants second baseman Freddy Sanchez (.440, 11 H, .462 OBP); right-handed pitcher Ryan Dempster (2- 0, 2.08 ERA, 13.0 IP, 10 SO) of the Chicago Cubs; left-handed pitcher Clayton Kershaw (1-0, 0.60 ERA, 15.0 IP, 17 SO) of the Los Angeles Dodgers; Arizona Diamondbacks reliever J.J. Putz (0.00 ERA, 4.0 IP, 4 SV); and Florida Marlins right-handed starter Anibal Sanchez (1-0, 0.00 ERA, CG, SHO, 8 SO).

The National League Player of the Week, Jay Bruce, will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.

Enjoy that watch, Jay! And I hope you’ll have a player of the month award to add to the collection soon.