In game one of the Cincinnati Reds doubleheader on Sunday Mike Moustakas was hit in the forearm by a pitch and left the game. He also didn’t play in game two. Manager David Bell provided and update on the Reds second baseman.
“He got hit good in the arm,” said Bell. “I do believe it’s muscular – he was hit in the muscle, which temporarily, that tightens up and it’s almost impossible to do anything. The good news is that it wouldn’t be near a bone if that is the case. It’ll be a shorter recovery, but there was just no way he could play today (Sunday).”
The lineup for today’s game is not yet released, so we don’t know if Mike Moustakas will be in there or not. The left-handed hitter is out to a strong start for Cincinnati. In his five games played he’s hitting .313/.421/.688 – good for an OPS+ of 202 on the season to go along with two home runs and six runs batted in.
Nick Castellanos is crushing the baseball
Speaking of good starts at the plate – how about what Nick Castellanos is doing right now? His defensive miscue on Sunday in game one made that game a lot more stressful at the end than it needed to be, but the right-handed slugger is just destroying the baseball from the batters box right now.
Castellanos has played in all nine games for the Cincinnati Reds this year and he’s hitting .387/.472/.871. He’s leading the National League in slugging percentage, OPS, OPS+ (264), total bases, and one category no one ever would have expected (that also won’t last) – caught stealing. He’s just continued what he started last season when he joined the Cubs after the trade deadline. In 51 games last season with Chicago he hit .321/.356/.646 and was an extra-base hit machine. With seven extra-base hits in nine games this year for the Reds, it’s been an impressive start.
The Reds pitching staff is in impressive company
Everyone’s favorite Reds statistician, Joel Luckhaupt, had a tweet after Sunday’s doubleheader about two of Cincinnati’s starting pitchers. Luckhaupt pointed out that there have only been four pitchers in Major League Baseball history that have allowed four or fewer hits and had 20 or more strikeouts through their first two starts of the season. Here’s the list:
- Nolan Ryan – 20 strikeouts, 3 hits – 1970
- Mike Clevinger – 22 strikeouts, 2 hits – 2019
- Sonny Gray – 20 strikeouts, 4 hits – 2020
- Trevor Bauer – 20 strikeouts, 4 hits – 2020
Wade Miley’s start not withstanding – and worth pointing out that he wasn’t pitching entirely healthy that day – the Cincinnati Reds rotation has been better than expected this year, and that’s really saying something given that it was expected to be one of the best in all of Major League Baseball. Sonny Gray, Luis Castillo, Trevor Bauer, Anthony DeSclafani, and Tyler Mahle have combined to throw 47 innings with nine walks, 63 strikeouts, allowed just two home runs, and have an ERA of 1.91 between them. Even including Wade Miley’s rough start, the team ERA from the rotation is 2.77 on the year. That’s getting it done.