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

Chicago 2
Cincinnati 1
WP: Zambrano (4-2)
LP: Owings (3-7)
S: Gregg (10)

–Micah Owings pitched a decent game. Six innings, five hits, two earned runs, six strikeouts. I’ll take that from my fifth starter any ol’ time.

–More great work from the bullpen, namely Nick Masset, Arthur Rhodes, and Francisco Cordero. The ERAs for those three guys: 0.95, 0.47, 1.57. Wow.

–Ryan Hanigan pinch-hit in the ninth, and lined a ball up the middle for yet another hit.

–Chris Dickerson made one spectacular catch in CF, and another pretty good one. Willy Taveras would have been jogging after both of them.

–Brandon Phillips struck out twice in four at-bats, but he crushed a ball for a triple, driving in the Reds only run of the night. He hustled, too.

–Unfortunately, BP was just about the only Red who hit the ball solidly tonight.

–With two outs in the ninth, Jerry Hairston came to the plate as the potential winning run. He proceeded to have one of the worst ABs I’ve seen this entire season. He just looked clueless up there. (Yet, in another example of why I love baseball, JHJ reached first after striking out on a wild pitch — yep, you read that right. He swung at a wild pitch that would have been ball four.)

–That’s two straight games in which the Reds just couldn’t put the bat on the ball. I’m worried about this team’s ability to score going forward without Joey Votto, Edwin Encarnacion, and Good Jay Bruce. Have the Reds been scoring runs using smoke and mirrors for the first two months of the year? I guess we’ll find out.

–Stupid Cubs.

–Bruce got on base three times in four ABs (a hit, two walks). He didn’t look particularly good, frankly, but it’s a start.

–Looking up there, I am surprised that I found so many positives in a game like this. Especially since I’m feeling a bit pessimistic about our guys right now.

–Why isn’t Taveras on the disabled list? Someone wake up Walt Jocketty.

–Before the most recent road trip, we all talked about how the Reds really needed to do well against these division rivals if they were going to be competitive for the remainder of 2009. Well, the Reds are now 2-6 against Milwaukee, St. Louis, and Chicago over the last week-plus. Those are our main rivals in the NL Central, if you haven’t noticed.

Bad time for the team to slump.