17,964 showed up to watch Jay “The Batman” Bruce begin his major league career. I decided myself that this kind of opportunity didn’t come along everyday and decided to risk being struck by lightning for a chance to see Jay take his first major league at bat. And for my faith I was rewarded.
As I’m sure you have read around the web, “The Bat” had a major league debut very few others will enjoy. Three for three, two walks, two runs scored, two RBI’s. Not too shabby for the first night on the job.
But past the numbers, I looked to become more impressed with this young phenom’s birth. He handled the cold gloomy night with the skill and patience of a veteran major leaguer.
In his first major league at bat Bruce showed patience beyond what I ever have. Four straight pitches from Ian Snell, four straight balls and Bruce didn’t even lift the bat off his shoulder.
Now I don’t know about you guys, but I would have been swinging out of my shoes at the first pitch that even came close. But I guess that’s why I’m the writer and he is the player. Some of you may not find that as impressive as I did, and if that is the case please continue.
In his following three ABs he proceeded to hit two singles and draw another walk. Both singles were hit to the opposite field showing that this kid knows what to do with a ball on the outside corner. Slap it between the third baseman and shortstop into left field.
One of those singles came with the bases loaded and everyone in the stadium not wearing a Pirates uniform praying for a monster Grand Salami. But Bruce kept his cool and worked with what he got, lining an RBI single past the outstretched arm of Jose Bautista at 3rd off of lefty Damaso Marte.
Every time he stepped to the plate, the crowd got to their feet, letting him know that he was their center field and the city's new superhero. It only became more official when Corey Patterson pinch hit in the bottom of the fifth. He got an ovation from the crowd alright. Strikingly similar to the one that Bruce had been receiving all night.
Only the crowd was booing him not chanting “BRUCE”. Sounds very much alike when coming from a large crowd. But that’s what you get when you are an overpaid coach’s pet and everyone knows it. This is officially Batman’s town and the people aren’t going to let this Joker’s stay be a pleasant one.
An RBI double in the seventh with two men on was just icing on the cake. A chance for Batman to flex his muscles and show he can do more then hit singles to left. And that he did, with a rocket over the head of right fielder Xavier Nady that bounced to the wall.
Maybe Nady misjudged the ball coming off the bat, or maybe it didn’t matter because he barely had time to take a step before it was over his head. But either way it was Jay’s night. And we all know how bats love the night.
So words of wisdom for the rest of the NL Central, Batman is here! And with Robin (Votto) at first and two young flamethrowers in the rotation with one more two hours south just waiting to come up, there looks to be many Dark Knights for those who cross the Reds path for years to come.