Jay Bruce: Has He Found His Streak, or Just More Flashes of Brilliance?

Tim DanielContributor IIIAugust 13, 2011

CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 12:  Jay Bruce #32 of the Cincinnati Reds connects for a three-run go-ahead home run during the game against the San Diego Padres on August 12, 2011 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio.  The Reds defeated the Padres 5-3.  (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
John Grieshop/Getty Images

Jay Bruce sent Cincinnati Reds' fans home happy again tonight from Great American Ball Park.

In the bottom of the eighth inning against the San Diego Padres, Bruce hit a three-run home run to give the Reds a 5-3 win, extending their winning streak to three.

What a five-day span Jay has had. In the Reds' last two home stands against the Colorado Rockies and the San Diego Padres, Bruce has homered in three games while having a .533 average and  driving home 10 RBIs.

If that isn't National League Player of the Week, then I'm not sure what is. Bruce has had well-documented hot streaks this season. His month of May is one of the most impressive streaks I have ever seen, which also played a big role in getting picked as a reserve for this season's National League All-Star team.

With that being said, when Jay struggles, oh does he struggle—which leads many Reds fans shaking their heads and wondering exactly who is the real Jay Bruce. Is he the guy we saw in May and so far in August, or is he the guy we saw in June?

Bruce is an extremely young, talented player who many people around the league say is yet to tap into his full potential. People point out that he struggles keeping his elbow down. and if he's able to control that, his swing will be much smoother and his contact will vastly improve.

Watching Bruce play is exciting. He has one of the most impressive arms I've ever seen, and was even compared to Jim Edmonds, coming through the minors. To be fair, though, I've talked to Jay before and he seems to be a way nicer person than Edmonds.

General Manager Walt Jocketty seems to have plenty of faith in Jay as well, giving him a nice six-year contract this past offseason. Walt only signs the good players to long-term deals, so that helps me to believe we're going to continue seeing Jay improve. 

I hope to see Bruce continue to crush the ball for years to come at Great American Ball Park, but not so much on Penn Station commercials.

What do you all think? Has the Jay Bruce we all heard about arrived, or still just flashes in the pan?