Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Arizona 2
Cincinnati 7

WP: Arroyo (15-10)
LP: Enright (6-4)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Welcome back to the lineup, Jay Bruce! In his first game back, Bruce only hit homers in his first two ABs, then followed that up with an RBI single in the seventh inning. On the night, Bruce was 3-4 with 4 RBI and 2 runs scored.

–Jay Bruce was the big star tonight, but Bill Bray gets the second star. In the 7th inning, Jordan Smith entered the game trying to protect a 6-2 lead. He promptly gave the Reds flashbacks of the last four nights, as Smith walked the first two batters on eight pitches, then was ejected by plate umpire John Hirschbeck as Dusty Baker was removing him from the game.

Bray came on and was magnificent. He got out of the jam, then pitched a second scoreless, hitless inning. Bray’s outing culminated in a classic 16-pitch battle with Arizona pinch-hitter Rusty Ryal. Ryal fouled off ten straight two strike pitches, before Bray struck him out. Great work by Bray tonight.

–Drew Stubbs, Joey Votto, and Orlando Cabrera each had two hits, including homers.

–Bronson Arroyo got off to a rough start, and didn’t have very good stuff all evening. Somehow, he ended up going six innings and giving up just two runs on seven hits. Arroyo struck out eight and walked none. Really, a gutty performance and very, very fun to watch.

NEGATIVES
–None, unless you want to count the paltry attendance number of 12,061. Smallest crowd of the season. Embarrassing.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
With tonight’s win, the Cincinnati Reds officially clinched a winning record for the first time in a decade! That’s a big deal to me. I feel like I should pop the champagne.

–I loved Chris’ comment from the game thread: “I can’t describe how much better I feel about this club today. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Willie Bloomquist.” Heh.

–Cincinnati’s magic number dropped to 14. Right now, the Cardinals are losing to the stupid Cubs. If that Chicago lead holds up, the Reds will be 7 games up in the Central with 18 to play, and the magic number will be 13. Just…wow.

–Cincinnati hit 5 homers tonight. Where has that offense been?

–Bronson Arroyo tied a career-high with his fifteenth victory. I love watching that guy pitch.

–That was fun. I needed that.

Jay Bruce