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

Cincinnati 5
St. Louis 3
WP: Lincoln (1-0)
LP: Wellemeyer (5-5)
S: Cordero (14)

–Smilin’ side of the scoreboard! Is this the same team we saw in Milwaukee over the weekend.

–Two more hits for Ryan Hanigan. Rinse. Repeat. He did allow a passed ball tonight (the Reds were the only National League team that hadn’t allowed a passed ball until tonight), but I have not one single complaint about Ryan Hanigan’s performance in 2009.

–Mike Lincoln came in after Volquez was forced to leave the game, gave up only one run in three innings, and got his ERA under 9. I count that as a positive!

–Speaking of guys who pitched well out of the bullpen tonight, Arthur Rhodes continues to dazzle (0.50 ERA), Nick Masset keeps pitching extremely well (1.00 ERA), and Daniel Ray Herrera is still confusing hitters (1.74 ERA). Those three guys have been a big part of any success the Reds have had this year.

–Two hits for Laynce Nix, as well (and a nice catch in the 8th inning). One of the hits was a crucial double, and he drove in two runs.

–Ramon Hernandez saved two plays by stretching far for throws by Alex Gonzalez. Hernandez came in with a very poor reputation defensively (as a catcher), but he has been pretty good at 1B, surprisingly. Wish he weren’t having to play so much at first (get well soon, Joey Votto!), but he’s getting the job done.

–Francisco Cordero has converted all 14 of his save opportunities this year, and his ERA is 1.64. I know there are legitimate points to be made about whether he’s worth what they’re paying him, but I love having the big guy at the back of the bullpen.

–Really, the only negative was that Edinson Volquez was forced to leave the game after the first inning with, according to John Fay, numbness in his right pinkie and right finger. That’s not good at all.

–I’m constantly amazed at how pathetic the Cardinals lineup is, besides Albert Pujols. Of course, Pujols is the greatest hitter on the planet, so he helps them.

–Bullpen, Bullpen, Bullpen!

–Milwaukee lost tonight, so the Reds made up a game on both the Brewers and the Cardinals. The good guys are now in third place, 2.5 games out of first. And ahead of the Cubs in the standings. So we have that going for us, which is nice.

–I needed a game like that. Didn’t you?