On the hottest day in NYC since 2001, I made the trek to Citi Field to watch the game. I have quite a few novice thoughts about what I saw.
A.) Pre-game, Brandon Phillips signed more autographs for little kids than any player of any team.
B.) 1st inning, Phillips doubles with no outs. Cabrera bunts him over to 3rd? Why? True, he could've struck out or flyed out but that just didn't seem productive to me to give away an out in that situation, even with Votto following him. Some may disagree.
C.) Matt Maloney. First time watching him pitch live. I had good seats. He has great command and he definitely knows how to work the corners...but to all of his supporters...he's not a guy you would want in the Reds rotation IMO. First off, Wood has much better stuff than he does and to be honest, I think Sam LeCure has better stuff than Maloney does too. Maloney gave up a ton of balls that either would've been out at GAB or off the wall. I do think he could be a BOR starter somewhere out west though and he's not a bad guy to have at AAA for depth, but I would not want Maloney in the rotation for the Reds. Also, a bad pitch can happen to anyone, but giving Santana his first career home run? Who is a LH batter? That seemed suspect. Chapman, Wood and LeCure are all better IMO.
D.) It wasn't that Santana was so great tonight, it was that the Reds did him a lot of favors. I don't know whose idea it was to hack early in the counts, but I think if the Reds had been more patient at the plate, they would've gotten better pitches to hit or would've forced more walks. The Mets also are currently very short in their pen and forcing their pen to pitch would have favored the Reds a lot. Instead, Santana throws a complete game 3 hit shutout. I just don't get the 1st pitch swinging. I don't think it resulted in a single hit the entire night. Brandon Phillips and oddly enough Corky Miller were the only ones I thought tonight who made great contact with his pitches.
E.) By far, the most damaging part of the evening was the 5th inning. Maloney was already around and then later above 100 pitches. He was laboring. The Mets had figured him out. Despite letting runners on base Maloney somehow managed to get 2 outs with runners at 2nd and 3rd and Bay up. The Mets only had 1 run at this point. Maloney was at I believe 104 pitches at this point and Bay was up, who had been hitting Maloney hard the whole night, just without results. I immediately said to myself...he should be replaced. This is a crucial time in the game, Maloney does not have the best stuff, get a high leverage arm in there. If you don't, it's going to end badly. What happens? Dusty leaves him in....boom. 2 run 2 out single. I know a lot of people dislike Dusty and his decisions...but the 1 I cannot understand for the life of me is Baker's obsession with letting pitchers finish the inning they started and then yanking the pitcher only after they explode and it's too late as the other team has put up a big crooked number. Maybe that's part of his MO in being a "player's manager," but it doesn't help the team. There is no reason he should have let Maloney pitch in that spot. Can anyone explain this to me? Has Dusty ever explained it? It's not like Maloney had the lead or anything and it's not like he wasn't having trouble. He was definitely having a bad inning. I just do not understand the long leash for pitchers in close games.
F.) Ondrusek looked really good. I've been critical of him in the past, but I'm starting to come around. He may be a useful guy in the pen.
G.) Honestly, Bray did not look that good to me. I know he's just coming back and he ended up doing okay on paper tonight, but I think he should be in low pressure situations for a while longer.
That's pretty much all I got. Did anyone else go?