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Jay Bruce Walkoff Home Run, Cincinnati Reds Clinch Division

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 28: Jay Bruce #32 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates a walk off home run against the Houston Astros at Great American Ball Park on September 28, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Reds won 3-2 to clinch the NL Central Division title. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Illya HarrellAnalyst IISeptember 28, 2010

Dusty Baker said, "We were hoping to celebrate here. It's better to do it at home, in front of the home people."

Jay Bruce tanked the rest of the NL Central with a solo-shot over Great America Ball Park's deep center field wall.  Quite fitting for a team that has rubber stamped this season on last at-bat heroics.

The home run came on the first pitch from tough lefty Tim Byrdek.

Edinson Volquez pitched six quality innings, striking out eight. He left after the sixth inning on the losing end of a 2-1 score.

After scratching a run across in their half of the sixth, the Reds tied the ballgame.

Then...

The bullpen took over. Seventh inning zeros by Arthur Rhodes. Nick Masset nailing the eighth. And in the top of the ninth, Aroldis Chapman.  A dominant three innings, one from each, and in that order. Three innings, no runs, no base runners, and four strikeouts.

In the bottom of the ninth, not a sole in Reds' country wasn't thinking the same thing when they saw Bruce step to the box.

Rarely do fan dreams and their player expectations come together in such perfect synchronicity.

Tonight was different. Bruce's walk off home run sent the stadium into a state of pandemonium celebrated only vicariously through other teams for 15 years, and for the first time since the stadium was constructed in 2003.

The most exciting play for Reds' fans until the Bruce jack, was a first-inning, home-run stealing defensive play courtesy of Drew Stubbs

Tonight provided a microcosm of the Reds season. Good pitching, great defense, and their 45th come from behind win.

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