Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Cincinnati 3
St. Louis 2
W: LeCure (3-2)
L: Marte (2-2)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
— Ryan Ludwick came to the plate in the bottom of the 10th inning with 1 out, hitless in his previous four at-bats, and deposited the 9th pitch of the at-bat into the left field stands. Coming into play today, Ludwick had a .279/.338/.581 slash line in his previous 143 plate appearances, dating back to May 17th.

— Brandon Phillips picked up two more hits tonight and is having a great series against the Cardinals.

— Jay Bruce had two doubles and an RBI. The RBI was the impossible two-out RBI.

— Scott Rolen was 2-for-4 with a run scored, and I’m hopeful that it is the first step in a strong second half for Rolen.

— Mike Leake was very strong through his first 6 innings. Before the wheels fell off in the 7th inning, Leake’s line was 6ip, 0 runs, 4 hits, 1 walk, and 3 strikeouts.

— Sam LeCure pitched a perfect 10th inning, striking out the final two batters, Yadier Molina and David Freese, to end the inning.

— The Cardinals 2-5 hitters (Jay, Holliday, Beltran, and Craig) were held to batting 1-for-19 with 5 strikeouts. That’s an excellent overall performance by the pitching staff.

NEGATIVES
— None…Reds win!

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
— The Reds are, at least temporarily, in sole possession of first place. At the time of this writing, the Pirates are down two runs to the Brewers in the beginning of the 5th inning.

— The Reds have held the Cardinals to 5 runs in the first two games of this series and go for the sweep on ESPN Sunday night baseball tomorrow.

— Unfortunately, it looks like Johnny Cueto may not be available for tomorrow’s start:

— It was announced after the game started that Paul Janish was traded to the Atlanta Braves for 27 year old minor league starting pitcher, Todd Redmond. Redmond is in his 4th consecutive season at the AAA level. With the emergence of Zack Cozart and Didi Gregorius, Janish was squeezed out of any future role on this club, and this seems like a good grab at pitching depth for Cincinnati.

— What a great start to the second half! Let’s push the Cardinals further out of the race with a sweep tomorrow!!