The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the ‘Nati Nine that day;
The score stood six to three, with but one inning more to play,
And then when Phillips died at first, and to bat Cozart came,
A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.
A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, if only Bruce could get but a whack at that –
They’d put up even money, now, with Bruce at the bat.
But Cozart, and Ludwick preceded Bruce, as did the 2010 MVP,
But the former was a rookie and the latter had a bum knee;
So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,
For there seemed but little chance of Bruce getting to the bat.
But Cozart worked a walk, to the wonderment of all,
Votto and Ludwick both tore the cover off the ball;
And when the dust had lifted, and the men saw they both were safe,
Zach had scored, and the others hugged first and second base!
Then from 45,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell (Bruuuuuce);
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
For Bruce Almighty was advancing to the bat.
There was ease in Bruce’s manner as he stepped into his place;
There was pride in Bruce’s bearing and a smile on Bruce’s face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt ’twas Bruce at the bat.
A million eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;
A thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.
Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
Defiance gleamed in Bruce’s eye, a sneer curled Bruce’s lip.
And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
And Bruce fouled the pitch straight back to who knows where.
He fouled off 8 more pitches, and took just 2 more balls.
A battle had ensued, to decide the fate of the Reds cause.
He wrapped his hands around the bat, and once more the spheroid flew;
But Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said, “Strike two.”
They saw his face grow stern, and they saw the look in his eye,
And they knew that Bruce wouldn’t let the next ball go by.
The sneer is gone from Bruce’s lip, his teeth are clenched in hate;
He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Bruce’s blow.
Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Cincinnati — Bruce Almighty has flown out.