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

FINAL
Atlanta 3
Cincinnati 4
WP: Owings (4-7)
LP: Vazquez (4-6)
S: Cordero (16)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Smilin’ side of the scoreboard!

–Thank you, Micah Owings. Credit for this victory falls squarely on the shoulders of Owings, who pitched 6 good innings, giving up only 2 runs. More importantly, he clubbed a 3-run homer.

–Ryan Hanigan continues to impress; he was 2-3 with a run scored tonight.

–After Nick Masset’s rough outing, the bullpen was outstanding once again. Kudos to Arthur Rhodes, Francisco Cordero, and some other guy for their work tonight.

–Jay Bruce homered, and he’s slowly emerging from the funk he’s been in.

–Dusty Baker considers it a positive that the top two guys in his lineup didn’t clog the bases at all tonight. More on that below.

NEGATIVES
–First five batters in Dusty’s starting lineup: 0-17. Bottom four batters: 4-9, all four runs, all 4 RBI. But wait, it gets worse.

–Everyone over the age of 4 knows that Dusty Baker’s insistence on “hitting” Willy Taveras (.276 OBP; 557 OPS) and Alex Gonzalez (.262 OBP; 574 OPS) at the top of the order is moronic. Maybe he should flip/flop the lineup. Taveras and Gonzo were 0-8 between them while Hanigan and Owings were 3-4 with 2 runs and 3 RBI. Perhaps the better hitters should be hitting at the top of the order, and the terrible hitters should be hitting 8 and 9?

–Taveras (1 for his last 41 ABs) and Gonzalez saw a total of 19 pitches between them. In 8 combined at-bats. I hope Dusty is happy about that. This Willy/Gonzo situation is one of the most frustrating things I’ve witnessed with the Reds in recent years.

–Oh yeah, let’s not forget that Wee Willie Taveras made another stupid error tonight! Someone explain to me why Chris Dickerson can’t get into the lineup.

ETC.
–We say it once a week, methinks, but you can’t be disappointed at all by the performance of Micah Owings in that fifth spot in the rotation. I’m very satisfied with what Owings has brought to the table this season.

–Bruce owns the Braves. In his career against Atlanta, he is now 16 for 28 with 3 2B, 5 HR, 7 BB and only 4 Ks.

–This winning stuff is much more fun than the losing. The Reds are now closer to first place than they are to last place; they’re in 3rd, 2.5 games back.

–Let’s get a sweep tomorrow, okay?

–Jonny likes it, and I do, too! (By the way, if anyone wants to send in a picture of yourself wearing a sombrero, or a photoshop job of any other Red in a sombrero, I’ll post it after a Reds win.)