Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

Cincinnati 5
Milwaukee 2

WP: Masset (4-4)
LP: Loe (3-5)
S: Cordero (37)

–With the score knotted at 2-2 in the eighth, Orlando Cabrera doubled (part of a nice 3-5 day by OC, the only Red with multiple hits). Joey Votto calmly stepped to the plate and deposited a pitch into the left field bleachers for his 35th homer to give the Reds a 4-2 lead.

M. V. P.

–Scott Rolen followed that up with a homer of his own. It was Rolen’s first homer since the Reagan administration. Okay, maybe that was an exaggeration. It was Rolen’s 20th HR.

–Nice outing by Homer Bailey: six innings, six hits, two runs, seven strikeouts. He didn’t have his best stuff, but it was pretty darn good.

–Drew Stubbs got the Reds on the board with his 20th homer of the season.

–Excellent relief work by Nick Masset and Aroldis Chapman and … wait for it … Francisco Cordero. Excellent.

–The defense was sloppy again. Two errors.

–The Cardinals lost earlier today, dropping the magic number to seven. With this win tonight, the magic number drops to six, and Cincinnati regains that seven game lead in the NL Central. It’s getting close, friends.

–Always a good day when that magic number drops by two games.

–This game was tied at 2 for a while, but I never got the feeling the Reds were going to lose. That’s surprising, given the poor play we’ve seen from the guys lately. Maybe it’s just me being silly (as usual) and seeing thing that aren’t there, and maybe it’s wishful thinking, but the Reds seemed more like the Reds of May through August tonight. Good pitching from the starter and the bullpen, timely hitting, Votto coming through in the clutch.

Me like.

–Drew Stubbs has 20 homers now. That’s not bad for a centerfielder in his first full major league season.

–Four different Reds now have 20+ homers.

–CoCo looked good tonight. He was throwing strikes.

Joey Votto