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

Milwaukee 5
Cincinnati 6
WP: Owings (2-3)
LP: Looper (2-2)
S: Cordero (8)

–Nice win for the good guys, without Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips in the lineup. Both those guys came down with flu-like symptoms, and were scratched late. No matter; the mighty second-stringers picked up a big win.

–Jay Bruce hit his 8th homer of the season (tied for 3rd in the NL) to get the scoring started. Bruce still has some plate appearances where he looks like a 22 year-old, but overall, you have to be happy with his production so far.

–Free Laynce Nix! Finally able to squeeze into the lineup, Nix hit yet another double, drove in a run, and scored a run. Plus, in every single at-bat, he really looked like he knew what he was doing. It was interesting to hear Thom Brennaman and (especially) Jeff Brantley on the TV broadcast hammering Dusty Baker for continuing to keep Nix on the bench.

Free Laynce Nix!

–Ramon Hernandez hit cleanup and started at 1B for the first time in his major league career. The worst cleanup hitter ever? No! Hernandez went 2-3 at the plate. In the field, he looked a bit rough early, but Ramon made an outstanding catch on a line drive for the final out.

–Relief pitcher Paul Janish went 2-3 and drew a walk as tonight’s shortstop. Plus, he just looks so smooth out in the field. I’ve never been a huge Janish fan, but the guy can pick it in the field, as they say.

–What more can you say about this incredible Reds bullpen? Nick Masset, Arthur Rhodes (who gave up a quick walk, and then was lights-out after that) and Francisco Cordero were just awesome. That’s the only way to describe it. Those guys are getting it done.

–Another error for Jerry Hairston, who can’t hit or field. Dusty insists on batting him second, for some reason.

–Adam Rosales is scuffling a bit right now. Still love the kid’s enthusiasm, though.

–I ain’t no front-runner.

–Micah Owings had a decent outing going until he imploded a bit in his last inning of work. He did get a triple, though!

–Okay, a split with the Brewers leaves the Reds 15-13, a half-game behind Milwaukee and Chicago (and 3.5 behind the Cardinals). A good showing in the upcoming weekend series against St. Louis would do wonders for this team.

–I’ll be at the Saturday and Sunday games. Anyone else going?