Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL — 10 innings
St. Louis 5
Cincinnati 6

W: F. Cordero (3-1)
L: J. Motte (1-1)
BOXSCORE

POSITIVES
–Joey Votto had two hits and a walk, and he came through when his team needed him most. In the bottom of the tenth, with two outs and two on, Votto delivered a single that plated the winning run. Just fun.

–This team just keeps battling and battling and battling. Don’t ever leave a game early. Ever.

–Scott Rolen had three hits, including a double and an RBI. Brandon Phillips and Fred Lewis had two hits. Glad to see Rolen back in there.

–Nick Masset pitched brilliantly in relief.

–Ramon Hernandez lived up to his “Clutch Man Monie” nickname by doubling off the wall in the tenth, in his only AB. In the “credit where it’s due” department, Edgar Renteria had a really nice AB later in the inning, permitting Votto to reach the plate.

M. V. P. (The Enquirer/Michael E. Keating)

–Did I mention that Joey Votto is awesome?

NEGATIVES
–I really try not to complain about Dusty Baker very often. He’s not as bad a manager as most people like to portray. Tonight, however, he mismanaged a game as much as he possibly could.

The two worst decisions, I guess, were his decisions involving Mike Leake and Brandon Phillips. Dusty chose to bring in Mike Leake in a very tough spot against the heart of the Cardinals order. I like Leake, but he’s not the team’s best reliever. It almost seems like Dusty is trying his hardest to put Leake in a position where he is set up to fail. Frankly, it makes no sense to use Leake at all in a close game like this.

Then, in the eighth inning, with two men on base, no outs, and the Reds down 5-4…Dusty asked his cleanup hitter to lay down a stupid bunt. Gave the Cardinals a free out, and of course they didn’t score. I cannot express how irritated I get by this 1920s thinking.

But guess what? The Reds won anyway! I love it!

–I simply cannot believe how bad Jonny Gomes is right now. With two on, including the winning run on third, in the bottom of the ninth, Gomes had the worst at-bat in the history of baseball, striking out on three pitches. Just sad.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–Good grief, that was awesome.

–Marty Brennaman said something on the radio that is true, without question: “This club does strange things when they play the Cardinals…it’s the only way to describe it.”

–If there is some crazy nonsense that can happen to the Reds against St. Louis, it will. I still don’t know how they pulled that one out.

–This just in: Joey Votto is awesome.

–I don’t usually post crazy stuff like this, but I’m hoping against hope that this is one of the games that Thom likes to talk about. You know, a game that “gets the monkey off the Reds’ back” when it comes to the Cardinals. There’s no question that the Cards have the Reds number. Maybe that’ll start to change.

–Cincinnati is now only a half-game out of first place in the NL Central. They can take the division lead with a win tomorrow. They’ll be kickin’ it with Cueto at 4:10.

–Still excited. Not sure I can sleep. Love those Redlegs.