Time for a recap of tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Cincinnati 7
Florida 0
WP: Volquez (4-2)
LP: Volstad (2-1)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Another outstanding start by Edinson Volquez, who looks like he’s putting it together. Eight innings, 3 hits, no runs, 7 strikeouts. He did walk 4, but two of those were late when it was evident to everyone other than Dusty Baker that Volquez was gassed.

As noted in the game thread, It’s the first time in 3 starts that Volquez has given up more than 1 hit. His ERA is down to 3.47.

–Brandon Phillips had his best game of the year, by far. BP was 3-5 and he tied his career high in RBI, with 6; three of those came on a mammoth homer in the 7th inning. It will be great if Phillips really is coming around; the black hole in the cleanup spot has been killing the Reds. Tonight was a good sign.

–Joey Votto. Again. This guy just knows what he’s doing at the plate, and it’s a joy to watch. Votto was 2-2 tonight, he walked 3 times (that’s right, he was on base five times), and he drove in a run while scoring two.

–Very good game by Jerry Hairston, Jr., and Ramon Hernandez had a couple of knocks too. These are the guys that are going to have to contribute if this offense is going to do anything.

–Laynce Nix pinch-hit and got another double. What does this guy have to do to break into the lineup?

NEGATIVES
–None.

ETC.
–I ain’t no front-runner.

–This pitching staff is really looking good lately, both the rotation and the bullpen. If the offense could score consistently, this team would be seriously dangerous.

–Willy Taveras, Hairston, and Hernandez worked together to gun down a Marlin at the plate, before the score got out of hand. It was a big play, and it’s nice to see the good defense.

–While we’re on the subject of defense, I saw Phillips make a couple of very nice plays.

–After tonight, the Reds have only been outscored by one run this season.

–Tonight was the 6th time the Reds have shut out an opponent in 2009. Last year, the Reds had 6 shutouts all year!