rntitanic-copyLet’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Cincinnati 7
NY Mets 4

W: Simon (4-1)
L: Parnell (4-1)
S: Chapman (10)

POSITIVES

— The Reds finished a successful road trip with a sweep of the Mets. The 7-2 road trip gives them an overall record of 29-18. They stand one game behind the Cardinals and a game ahead of the Pirates. The Reds now have a day off before a three-game weekend series at GABP against the stupid Cubs.

Zack Cozart went 4-for-4 against Matt Harvey. Raise your hand (and crack pipe) if you had that.

Joey Votto smacked two hits and walked twice, including a two-run homer off Harvey. He’s now batting .358/.484/.545. Have you voted about 1000 times yet for him to start on the All-Star team? I’m sure he’d do it for you if the situation was reversed.

— Nice defensive plays by Jay Bruce, Xavier Paul and Jack Hannahan.

Shin-Soo Choo led off the decisive ninth inning against the Mets’ closer, Bobby Parnell, with a double. Choo scored the winning run on Brandon Phillips‘ check-swing double down the first base line. Phillips now has a league-leading 40 RBI. Jay Bruce had another May RBI.

Super Todd Frazier burst from a phone booth and contributed two RBI with a bases-loaded pinch hit single.

— The bullpen of J.J. Hoover, Alfredo Simon and Aroldis Chapman pitched 2.1 innings of shutout baseball to close the game.

NEGATIVES

Mat Latos pitched well for much of the game and should have been taken out at least one batter earlier. But Latos did give up four earned runs on eight hits and a walk.

– Dusty Baker apparently fell asleep at a bad time in the bottom of the seventh inning. When Latos gave up a lead-off single to John Buck, someone should have gotten up to throw in the bullpen. Given that the situation was setting up as a LOOGY-dream (three LH hitters in a row after Tejada), you have to guess that Sean Marshall was unavailable. Still someone should have been up and throwing. Latos got two more outs before giving up a run-scoring single to Daniel Murphy. It was only at that point that JJ Hoover was ordered to warm up. That no one was available to pitch to Rick Ankiel, who already had two doubles off of Latos, was negligent, game-losing managing. Ankiel tripled.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS

— Think of how many wins the Reds would have this year if they played 19 games against the Marlins, Mets and Phillies instead of 7 or 8.

— Is it possible that at some point Zack Cozart could hit so well in the #2 spot that Baker might move him elsewhere to get someone else going? Maybe we’ve been looking at this all wrong.

— Dusty Baker said before the game that Mike Leake’s performance last night gave the bullpen needed rest. And there’s an off day tomorrow. But in the eighth inning of a tied game, Baker chose Alfredo Simon to pitch instead of Jonathan Broxton, though both warmed up in the top of the inning. Even after Simon gave up a baserunner and a walk, the bullpen remained inactive. Simon was fortunately bailed out by a double play. Is it really possible that Broxton wasn’t used because the Reds weren’t ahead, that Dusty Baker views a one-run lead as higher leverage than a tie game? The mind boggles at that possibility.

TOP GAME THREAD COMMENTS

Shchi Cossack: The lineup is stoked with LH hitters today against the toughest RHP the Mets can field. That’s a good thing, leaving Frazier available as a RH pinch hitter for a high leverage situation with the Big Lutz available as a LH pinch hitter for a high leverage situation.

dc937: Listening to the radio feed and following Gameday (which is about 5 seconds delayed from radio for me). Couldn’t stop laughing as a saw the 4-seamer come right down Broadway. That had to have stayed up on Harvey, there’s no way anyone on the planet gives Votto that pitch with a runner on 2nd and 1st base open.

rightsaidred: Marshall should have been ready for the pinch hitter – 3 consecutive lefties.

LWBlogger: Ankiel is the go-ahead run so I was shocked he was still in there and shocked that Marshall wasn’t up as soon as Buck singled. That way he would have been ready for Murphy and Ankiel. Especially Ankiel who has hit Latos hard all day.

renbutler: Finally somebody got on base ahead of Cozart!

Matt WI: Friends of Dusty: Please circle May 22nd, 2013 as exhibit A of a team picking its manager up in the face of a debacle. Sergeant2: Gonna be a lot of circles on those calendars.