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

FINAL
Philadelphia 4
Cincinnati 3
WP: Hamels (2-2)
LP: Cueto (4-2)
S: Lidge (8)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Brandon Phillips and Ramon Hernandez had two hits each. And BP has even started hustling since Adam Rosales joined the club. I think Hernandez is hustling, but I can’t really tell since he’s slower than Joe Oliver.

NEGATIVES
–After reaching first place, the Reds have now lost four in a row, and they’ve looked pretty ragged in the process.

–When Willy Taveras and Jerry Hairston don’t get on base, it’s tough for the Reds to score. They didn’t get on base tonight (though JHJ did crush one ball for a homer).

–Jay Bruce hit a homer, but he is still looking pretty bad at the plate. Of course, he was facing Cole Hamels tonight, and there aren’t many tougher lefties out there. Still, Bruce has to get his swing back soon, especially if Votto is going to be out for any significant amount of time.

–Darnell McDonald went 0-4, and he is now .189/.231/.243. Yep, that’s a 474 OPS. I really do feel sorry for the poor guy; he’s so overmatched out there, it’s tough to watch. There is no acceptable reason whatsoever that the Reds shouldn’t FREE JONNY GOMES. It’s absolutely indefensible.

At this point, I believe the Reds are refusing to make a move solely because the fans are clamoring for it. McDonald should have been designated for assignment more than a month ago (well, he never should have made the Opening Day roster, but you get the point).

ETC.
–Other than the fifth inning, Johnny Cueto really looked pretty good. Unfortunately, that fifth inning cost the Reds the game.

–Thom Brennaman was talking on the radio about the fact that Alex Gonzalez is clearly not able to run at full speed. If that’s the case, why is he on the stupid roster??? Why is he playing every day? Why isn’t he out on a rehab assignment?

–Take a look at tonight’s lineup. Then tell me the last contending team that had players like Darnell McDonald, Alex Gonzalez, Jerry Hairston, and Adam Rosales playing significant roles. Without Joey Votto and Edwin Encarnacion, this lineup looks exceedingly weak.

Case in point: in the ninth, down one run, the Reds had two guys leading off the inning whose averages were under .190. Tough to win that way.

–Votto, by the way, is still taking tests. I’m officially worried.

–Bill Bray did have Tommy John surgery, and he’s out until 2010. We wish him a speedy recovery.

Go listen to the Redleg Nation Radio interview with my four-year-old son. He’s a great kid.

–During the game, George Grande said he lets his dog kiss him on the mouth. Ewwwwwwwww.

–Aaron Harang vs. Jamie Moyer tomorrow. Good night for the Redlegs to get back on the winning track!