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Cincinnati Reds: Jay Bruce and Others Who Must Step Up to Make the World Series

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Cincinnati Reds: Jay Bruce and Others Who Must Step Up to Make the World Series
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Jay Bruce (#32) and Drew Stubbs are two players the Reds need to play big in order to make the World Series.

As the playoff contenders gear up for the final two months of the season, they're all looking for momentum as they finish the season strong and enter October.

For the Cincinnati Reds—who are looking to reach the postseason for the second time in three year—not only is making the playoffs a goal, but also reaching the NLCS and World Series.

Their 2010 run was short-lived and mostly memorable for Roy Halladay's no-hitter in Game 1.  The Reds eventually got swept by the Phillies behind terrific pitching performances from both Halladay and Cole Hamels.

If the Reds want to snap their seven-game playoff losing streak—dating back to the 1995 NLCS when the eventual World Series champion Atlanta Braves swept them in four games—they must get step-up performances from these five players to help their already consistent stars such as Joey Votto, Johnny Cueto and their dominating bullpen.

These five players are guys who have shown signs of performing at a high level, but also have moments of poor play or long droughts.  When these players are at their best, the Reds come up victorious.  When they falter, the Reds struggle to win.

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