Jay Bruce blasted a solo-shot over the center field wall in walk-off fashion to lift his Cincinnati Reds past the Houston Astros 3-2 yesterday at Great American Ball Park. The 23-year old right-fielder became the fifth player in MLB history to clinch a playoff spot with a home run, allowing the Reds to gain their first NL Central Division title in 15 years.
“I’m sure it means a whole lot to the fans here,” said pitcher Bronson Arroyo. “I was looking up at the banners today inside the stadium — ’75, ’76 and ’90. I know there were a couple years in between that they made the playoffs, but there hasn’t been a whole lot the last 20-some years. So for us to be at this point after 15 years of not making the playoffs is definitely a nice feeling.”
Reds manager Dusty Baker joined Bill McKechnie as the only managers to lead three different National League teams to post-season play. He previously found success with the Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants before taking on his role with the Reds in 2008. “When he hit that one up there, there was a big sigh of relief and the party was on,” he said. “I’m as happy as a man can be. This is sweet. This is a special group, special guys and a special feeling.” Cincinnati Reds playoff tickets are now available!