Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

Chicago 5
Cincinnati 7

W: B. Bray (1-0)
L: K. Wood (1-3)
S: N. Masset (1)

–Brandon Phillips reached base four times, going 2-3 with two bases on balls. BP is now hitting .329/.383/.483. If he isn’t the starting 2B in the All-Star Game, I’ll be disappointed.

–Scott Rolen was 2-3 with a double, a walk, and two runs scored. He’s been nothing short of great since returning from the disabled list.

–Edinson Volquez, after his typical first-inning woes, was brilliant the rest of the way. Actually, that first inning wasn’t as bad as Edinson’s usual theatrics; he gave up a single, a HBP, and then made one bad pitch for a three-run homer.

Brandon Phillips smiling? That's strange. (The Enquirer/ Joseph Fuqua II)

His final line was six innings, three hits (just one after the first inning), three runs, nine strikeouts, and one walk. That’s progress, folks.

–Jose Arredondo was, well, bad. Three walks, one hit, one out recorded. When he was finished, the game was no longer tied. He’s going to help this team, but tonight was ugly.

–Jordan Smith got a key out or two, but overall, he was not good. Three hits and a run surrendered in one and a third. I’ve never really been sure why Smith is on this team. He isn’t awful, but I can’t believe there aren’t better options. Of course, smarter people than me are making those decisions.

–Redlegs keep rolling! The Reds have now won five in a row, 11 out of 13, and they maintain the 1.5 game lead in the NL Central. The good guys are also 5-0 on this homestand so far.

–The Reds are now 20-10 against the NL Central, the best record against division opponents of any team in the majors. Only three teams have a better record than the Redlegs. Life is good.

–Cincinnati is a season-high eight games over .500.

–In one of the most poorly played games I’ve seen in a while, the Reds scored four runs in the eighth to take the lead. This team keeps battling and keeps battling and keeps battling. I haven’t enjoyed watching a Reds team this much since 1990.

–All seven Cincinnati runs scored on four Chicago errors. Between the Cubs, Cardinals, and Astros, the NL Central must be the worst defensive division in baseball. That’s one area where the Reds can really outdistance the competition.

–Sheesh, the Cubs stink. I love it.

–I look forward to seeing the highlights on ESPN. I’m sure they will play carnival music, or Benny Hill music, in the background.

–Are we having fun yet?