Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds  (2-4)
 2  8  0
New York Metropolitans  (2-4)  1  4  0
W: Simon (1-0)   L:  Neise (1-1)  S: Parra (1)
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The Good

Alfredo Simon started his first game since September 2011, when he took the mound for the Baltimore Orioles against the Detroit Tigers. Simon completed eight innings that day. Today, when the Reds really needed a big start to help snap the losing streak, Simon came up 6’6″ 265 lbs. Over seven innings, Simon gave the Mets only four hits, one walk and no home runs. He struck out seven over his 79 pitches, including David Wright and Daniel Murphy in the third inning with runners at second and third. Simon also scored a run after getting the second hit of his career.

Simon’s performance was also a bit of a triumph for the organization. With Mat Latos coming off surgery, the Reds assigned Simon to start the first game of spring training. Remember when that seemed kind of strange? They continued to treat him like a starter throughout March and as a result of that forward thinking, Simon was prepared for the moment. Bryan Price had stretched Simon out like the other Reds starters. This may be Simon’s only start of the season, but it was important, and partly the product of competent management.

The sputtering Reds offense managed just two runs, both scoring in the sixth inning. The rally was jump-started in the least likely way imaginable – by a hit from the leadoff hitter. Coming into the game, the Reds’ lead off spot was a collective .000/.190/.000. Chris Heisey singled after Simon’s aforementioned knock. Both came around to score. Simon on sacrifice fly by Joey Votto to deep left field, and Heisey on a single tomahawked by Ryan Ludwick into left field.

Manny Parra notched the first save of his career, retiring all six batters he faced. Bryan Price left him in for the two-inning save, mostly because of the handed-ness of the Mets lineup in the ninth. For those keeping track of times when Price makes a move that his predecessor wouldn’t have, today is a checkmark outside of that box.

Ludwick and Brandon Phillips each had two hits. Jay Bruce walked twice. Todd Frazier had a hit and a walk, raising his OBP to .480.

The Bad

Zack Cozart is 0-for-2014, including zero walks.

The Reds offense overall remains sluggish. They entered the game having scored the third fewest runs in the National League, ahead of only the Cubs and Padres.

Not so random thoughts …

The Reds avoided begin swept in New York, with another one-run win. As poorly as the season has started for the Reds, the bottom line is they’re only one game behind the Cardinals.

The cavalry starts to arrive this week. Mark Sheldon said during the game he expects Devin Mesoraco to be activated and be in the lineup for tomorrow’s 4:15 p.m. game against St. Louis. Jonathan Broxton will also likely be activated on Tuesday. Bryan Price pointed out in his post-game interview that the bullpen is in pretty good shape heading to St. Louis. Keep reminding yourself that one day, we could be looking at Chapman, Marshall, Broxton, LeCure, Hoover, Parra and Simon in the pen.

The Brewers swept the Red Sox in Boston. The Brewers-Phillies game tomorrow has already been postponed because of rain.

Top Game Thread comments …

Shchi Cossack: Parra in the 8th facing LH hitters in 2 of 3 batters was solid, along with the double switch. Parra better come back out to pitch the 9th with 2 LH hitters of the 1st 3 hitters due up. If Bryan makes mistakes and learns from those mistakes, then he’s miles ahead of the previous manager.

CharlotteNCRedsFan: Monkey is off their backs, let’s carry some momentum and ruin the Cards Home Opener.

Eric NYC: I’d argue that we should have been able to score more than 3 runs against a middling Mets pitching staff yesterday. But as I’ve said before, our BABIP so far this year is criminally low. Add in the injuries and weather and we have had HORRIBLE luck to start this season. Need to turn it around quick before it gets out of control.

Kyle Farmer: In late October when we’re all buying Championship gear and talking about key moments to the season, we had better not forget this start by Alfredo Simon. HUGE and at a very important moment.