Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL — 10 innings
Cincinnati 3
Houston 4

W: M. Melancon (6-3)
L: L. Ondrusek (4-4)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Bronson Arroyo struggled early, but settled down to toss 8 innings, allowing 3 runs on six hits (four of those hits came in the second inning, when he allowed all three runs). After that second inning, Arroyo retired 18 of the next 19 batters. Sure, he was facing a AAA lineup, but still…

–Joey Votto continued his hot hitting with a two hit night that included a walk, an RBI, and a run scored. Paul Janish had two doubles and a walk in a 2-3 night. Brandon Phillips and Drew Stubbs had two hits each.

–BP also made several exceptional defensive plays.

NEGATIVES
–The Redlegs left ten runners in scoring position. Same old story.

–Logan Ondrusek was brutal in the tenth inning, frankly. He didn’t record an out.

–BP was caught stealing again. What happened to his base-stealing ability?

–In the ninth, Chris Heisey led off with a nice bunt single. Predictably, Stubbs laid down a bunt next, and it was a nifty little bunt that moved Heisey to second. Unfortunately, everyone in the stadium except for Dusty Baker could have predicted that the Stubbs bunt would permit the Astros to walk Joey Votto intentionally.

Thus, a potential rally was snuffed out because Dusty didn’t see that coming a mile away. (Although, it should be noted that Miguel Cairo and Phillips didn’t exactly do their job either. Still, wouldn’t you rather have Votto batting with the game on the line than either of those two?)

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–I don’t know what to say about this team. They are the most confusing Reds team I’ve ever seen. Sweep the Giants, then lay an egg against the worst team in the civilized world. Just another week in this crazy 2011 season.

–The good guys are now 7.5 games out of first. Not looking good, friends and neighbors.

–Tonight was a perfect microcosm of the season. I’m exhausted by it.