Jay Bruce Walk-Off Homer Wins NL Central for Cincinnati Reds

Adam BernacchioAnalyst IIISeptember 30, 2010

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

I would imagine that when Cincinnati Reds OF Jay Bruce woke up on Tuesday morning, he had no idea how special of a day it would be.

With the game tied at two in the bottom of the ninth inning, Bruce took the first pitch he saw from Houston Astros reliever Tim Byrdak and launched it over the center field fence to give the Reds a 3-2 win, but more importantly send the Reds to the playoffs.

The Reds clinched the National League Central title with the win and their first playoff appearance in 15 years.

Bruce, with his walk-off HR, joins Steve Finley, Alfonso Soriano, Hank Aaron, and Bobby Thomson as the only players to clinch a playoff berth for their team in such fashion. I watched the Bruce HR as it happened, and it was a really cool moment. The best part about the HR was that he knew it as soon as he hit it.

Now that the Reds are headed to the postseason, it’s time to answer some questions. I am going to venture to say that the Reds have more questions to answer than any other team that will be or may be participating in baseball’s postseason tournament.

The biggest question for the Reds is who will start Game 3? Bronson Arroyo and Johnny Cueto will start Games 1 and 2. After that, it’s anyone’s guess.

Do they go with Homer Bailey, who has a 3.71 ERA in the second half? Do they do with Travis Wood, or do they go with Edinson Volquez? Mike Leake is not an option anymore, as he was shut down for the remainder of the season.

I would say they would most likely go with Bailey in Game 3.

Other questions the Reds have are is Brandon Phillips' hand going to hold up throughout the postseason? How reliable can Francisco Cordero be in the ninth? Has Arthur Rhodes run out of gas?

I’ll attempt to answer all of these questions during my postseason preview on Monday.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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