Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Cincinnati 6
Houston 2
WP: Harang (1-3)
LP: Norris (1-2)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Aaron Harang rewarded those of us who have remained optimistic by going 6 strong innings, giving up two runs on eight hits. The big guy struck out 6 and walked only one. Yes, it’s only one start, and yes, it was against the lowly Astros but still…I’ll take it.

–Dusty Baker changed his lineup around (perhaps out of desperation, since his job is hanging by a thread), and the shortstop didn’t bat second for the first time in, like, ever. It worked, I guess. BP was second, and the Votto-Rolen-Bruce middle of the order made many of us very happy.

–Ryan Hanigan was 2-3 with a walk and 3 RBI. He threw out two runners on the bases, including the Usain Bolt of the National League, Michael Bourne. Hanigan’s numbers: .483/.559/.690. I’m loving the fact that he’s forcing Dusty Baker to play him, against the Dustmaster’s will.

–Jay Bruce is just a different hitter this year than what we saw in 2009, even though his numbers don’t show it yet. Bruce went 2-3 tonight, with two walks, two runs scored, outstanding defense, and great baserunning. One of our editors tweeted that Jay doesn’t get enough credit for doing the little things. That’s absolutely accurate. Bruce busts his tail every second he’s out there.

In case you can’t tell, I’m a fully-paid member of the Jay Bruce Fan Club.

–Great relief work by Daniel Ray Herrera, Nick Masset, and Francisco Cordero. Each tossed a scoreless inning (only CoCo allowed even a hit).

–Orlando Cabrera had a couple of hits, a couple of runs scored, and he even walked. I’ll take that.

NEGATIVES
–None. A win is a win.

ETC.
–Ryan Hanigan now has ten RBI, after getting 11 RBI all of last year. The biggest stated reason for re-signing Ramon Hernandez in the off-season was because he was so clutch, and Ryan Hanigan wasn’t. It’s taken three weeks of this season to show how stupid that argument is.

–This was only the 11th time in the last decade that the Reds won a game without an extra base hit. Wow. (Thanks for the stat, Mike.)

–Brandon Phillips got picked off at first. Again.

–I tried to photoshop Ryan Hanigan into a sombrero, but I couldn’t find a good picture of Ryan…so we’ll go with Jay again!