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

FINAL
Cincinnati 6
Philadelphia 9
WP: Moyer (8-6)
LP: Owings (6-9)
S: Lidge (17)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Edwin Encarnacion homered, tripled, and drove in three runs. We can only hope this is the start of a return to form for EE.

–Nice major league debut for Robert Manuel. Congratulations to Manuel, who also celebrated his birthday today.

NEGATIVES
–This was a completely winnable game, and the Reds blew it through awful pitching and miserable defense. They looked like a minor league team tonight.

–Tonight, the Reds displayed the worst defense I’ve ever seen for a team that wasn’t charged with an error. Just disgraceful, and anyone who expected this team to survive on pitching and defense must be throwing up right now.

Brandon Phillips made one of his patented lackadaisical plays, completely screwing up on a ball that everyone agrees should have been caught. Therefore, instead of the Reds being out of the inning with a two-run lead, the BP misplay permitted two runs to score, tying the game.

The inning before that, Willy Taveras ran straight back to the wall like an idiot on a ball that Chase Utley hammered. I’m so sick of seeing this same thing from Taveras (this is at least the second time this week). Instead of playing the ball off the wall, Taveras was standing at the base of the wall, facing the fence, when the ball bounced off the top of the wall and away from him. Yes, Utley got an inside-the park homer because of this little league play.

Later, in the 5th inning, a run scored when Ramon Hernandez allowed a passed ball. Somehow, the official scorer called it a wild pitch for Danny Herrera, but if that wasn’t a passed ball, I’ve never seen one.

Also, in that same inning, Josh Roenicke couldn’t step on first to complete a double play that would have ended the inning with the Reds still leading by one. Instead, the inning continued and by the time the damage was done, the Reds were down by two, never to recover.

Pitching and defense. Riiiiiiiiiiight.

–Willy Taveras has no business being an everyday player in the major leagues. He’s just terrible, and there’s no other way to describe him. Yet, we’re inflicted with his pathetic offense and indifferent defense every single day at the leadoff spot.

–Micah Owings was not good, though his defense didn’t help him at all, as noted above. He continues to walk hitters and he has to take a large share of the responsibility. Terrible outing.

–Daniel Ray Herrera has not been good lately.

ETC.
–Back to two games under .500.

–Guess what? This team is exactly what we thought they were before the season: a below-average club. It will be a major success for the organization if they can somehow figure out how to finish at .500.

–Dusty Baker keeps doing stupid things as manager, but he’s been getting angrier and angrier each day. At least we know he cares as much (perhaps more) than we do. Who can blame him for getting mad? His team keeps losing games because they can’t perform the fundamentals.

–The Reds had a chance to split this series and salvage something. Instead, they dropped three out of four, one of those losses in historic fashion. A complete disaster.

–I’m really frightened that Chris may have a crystal ball.