One year ago, when Jay Bruce launched that home run toward center field, it was easy to imagine that the page had turned on Reds baseball, that a new era of success had been launched, that postseason baseball would be back on an annual basis.

It hasn't turned out that way. This season has been as disappointing as last year's was exhilarating.

No one knows that better or symbolizes it more than Bruce. He says that taste of postseason makes this year harder to take. The home run, which came off Houston's Tim Byrdak in the ninth inning and lifted the Reds to a 3-2 division-clinching win, is a reminder or how good things can be.

"You see it sometimes on TV," Bruce said. "You think about it, especially when it comes to this time of year. You wish we were in the same position. It was great. It really was. It just happened to be me who did it. It was great that I could do it.

"I just wish as a team that we could go back this year. Not playing for anything in September is not the situation I want to be in."