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

FINAL
Albert Pujols 5 (St. Louis 7)
Cincinnati 4
WP: Motte (3-2)
LP: Herrera (1-4)
S: Franklin (20)
BOX SCORE

I’m going to be honest with you guys and gals. I don’t have the heart to do a full recap tonight. I’m exhausted after watching our Redlegs blow yet another game to the hated Cardinals.

A few random thoughts….

–Homer Bailey was magnificent. Seven and a third innings, three hits, two runs (that shouldn’t have scored), 5 Ks. This looked like the Homer Bailey we all hoped for after his superb run at Louisville over the last few months. I couldn’t be more pleased with his performance this evening.

–Bailey absolutely made Albert Pujols look silly with a splitter in the first inning. Pujols then swore out revenge on Bailey’s teammates. He was just throwing rocks tonight (Big Lebowski reference). After the first two batters of the game reached, Bailey retired 13 in a row. Then another reached, and Bailey sat down 7 straight. Great stuff.

–When Homer walked off the mound to a standing ovation in the 8th inning, the Cardinals had not scored a single run yet. Then, the best bullpen in the National League proceeded to give the game away (with a big assist from Paul Janish’s crucial error).

–I’m not going to get into the particulars, you can read those here. Suffice to say that Albert Pujols hit a grand slam off my least favorite Red, and I don’t care if that guy never gives up another run as a Cincinnati pitcher, I’ll never write his name on this blog again. He’s dead to me.

–W******* was 9-18 with 2 HR allowed to Pujols before tonight. Great idea bringing him in there, huh?

–Some people are hammering Dusty for sending Homer back to the mound for the 8th inning. I actually agree with our manager here. Bailey was mowing them down, having allowed only 2 hits and no runs through 7. I would have left him in, too. Of course, that was the one correct decision Dusty made all night.

–Edwin Encarnacion returned in grand style, hitting a double in his only plate appearance. Welcome back, Edwin.

–The Reds scored four runs. Albert Pujols drove in five runs in the 8th and 9th innings alone. Sheesh, he’s great.

–This one is for loyal citizen of Redleg Nation “pinson343”: Jerry Hairston, Jr., was great tonight. He had three hits, one a double that he just crushed. For good measure, he also had one of the best defensive plays of the year. (I hope he isn’t starting at 3B tomorrow, though…what am I thinking? Janish made an error, so JHJ will be starting at SS until September.)

Love the headline at RR. Sums it up.

–If the Reds had won, they would have been one game out of first place in the National League Central division. Instead, they are three games out, and in fourth place. As was mentioned in the game thread, this is why they are the Cardinals and we are the Reds. They don’t lose games like this.

–It just feels like a punch in the gut. The Reds had this game won. I don’t think I’m going to be able to sleep tonight.