I’ve pretty much given up on the Titanic Struggle Recaps at this point, but last night’s win over the Cardinals was pretty much what all of us have been looking forward to for a few years. Homer Bailey on the mound, going 7 innings, giving up just one run while striking out 7. Jay Bruce hitting two homers and driving in 5 runs. (That’s not even to mention Joey Votto’s homer.)

These numbers make me happy:

Homer Bailey (since August 23): 4-1 in 7 starts, 1.99 ERA.

Jay Bruce (since returning from DL): .375 batting average, .459 OBP, .813 SLG, 4 HR, 16 RBI.

Small sample sizes, sure, but it gives a Reds fan cause for hope. In Bailey’s case, if he can be a #3-type starter next year, that’s great news.

With respect to Bruce, it appears that working hard to return this season may have been the best thing for him. He’s hitting better and, hopefully, getting some confidence that will help him next year. Heck, his OPS+ is 98, which isn’t good, but it’s just a shade below average, and that’s not bad for a 22 year-old.

Trying to be optimistic here….