Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Philadelphia 3
Cincinnati 7
WP: Cueto (8-2)
LP: Kendrick (4-3)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Interesting — but good — outing for Johnny Cueto. Cueto looked shaky early, and never seemed to have his good stuff. Heck, he didn’t strike out a single batter. In the end, however, the young guy went 8 innings, and gave up only one run on six hits. Cueto’s ERA is now down to 3.74.

–Joey Votto is just a stud, that’s all. Another fine game, going 3-4 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored. He’s good.

–Scott Rolen hit a two-run homer, and also knocked in another run via sac fly.

–Orlando Cabrera had three hits! (We’ll ignore his baserunning blunder that cost the Reds a run.)

NEGATIVES
–It was good to see Bill Bray back on the mound in a Cincinnati uniform. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a good return: two runs on two hits in his only inning.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–Doesn’t it seem like Cueto is starting to learn how to pitch? Like he’s finally getting it?

–The last time Cueto faced the Phils, he retired only two batters. That was the game where the Reds lost 22-1.

–I thought Dusty Baker picked a good spot to get Bray’s feet wet, with the Reds up 7-1.

–Rolen’s homer was the 300th of his career. Did any of you predict that he would have 17 homers by the end of June? (Rolen had 11, 11, and 8 homers in the last three seasons.)

Says ESPN: “Votto got on base for the 36th consecutive game, the longest Reds streak since Pete Rose did it in 48 straight in 1978, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.”

–Very nice start to a particularly tough stretch. If the Reds can go .500 over the 14-game stretch that began tonight, I will be ecstatic.

–Fun game tonight; let’s hope for more of the same tomorrow!

Scott Rolen