Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Cleveland 2
Cincinnati 8

W: M. Latos (5-0)
L: Z. McAllister (4-4)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Excellent start by Mat Latos, as you might expect. Latos went six and a third, allowing one run on five hits. He did walk four, but struck out seven. I’ll take it.

–A ton of offense for the Reds tonight: eight runs on 18 hits. Let’s survey the damage: seven guys had two hits, and two players had three: Zack Cozart (3-5, double, run scored, RBI) and Xavier Paul (one run, 2 RBI).

The best of the rest: Shin-Soo Choo was 2-3 with a double, a walk, an HBP, and a run scored. Joey Votto was 2-4 with a walk, a run, and an RBI. Brandon Phillips was 2-4 with two runs scored. Devin Mesoraco was 2-5 with a run scored. Jack Hannahan was 2-5 with a double, a run scored, and an RBI.

Heck, Jay Bruce was the only Reds starter without two hits, and even he had an RBI double.

–In the seventh inning, with the score 3-1 and two runners on base, Dusty Baker brought Manny Parra out of the bullpen. This was likely going to be the most important point in the game, and your intrepid manager inserted his worst reliever into the game. Terrible bullpen management, right?

All hail Dusty. Manny Parra struck out Jason Kipnis on three pitches before Sam LeCure entered to finish the inning with a strikeout.*

NEGATIVES
–None. Life is good right now.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–The mighty Redlegs keep on rolling. That’s 7 wins in 8 games, and 14 of their last 18.

–It’s crazy that the Reds have the second-best record in the major leagues, yet remain in second place in the National League Central. Can’t say I’m too worked up about that, however. If the Reds keep winning games, that stuff will take care of itself.

–Well, the Indians got their revenge for last night’s Chapman/Swisher fireworks. They hit Brandon Phillips in the ribs with a pitch (they hit Choo, too, but he gets hit so often, who knows if it’s intentional). Ho-hum. Can we get back to baseball now?

–Xavier Paul is nothing more than a fourth outfielder, but he’s a pretty darn good fourth outfielder. He’s been a very good acquisition.

–So, the Reds sweep a two-game series with the Indians, and tonight they are flying to Cleveland to play two more games. That’s creative scheduling, but as a fan, I like it a lot. A neat way to play a four-game series.

*Yes, that was still terrible bullpen management, regardless of how it turned out. You’ll get burnt in that situation more often than not. I’m just glad tonight wasn’t one of those nights.

Source: FanGraphs