The longest off day of the year, also known as the day between Opening Day and Game 2, is finally over and the Cincinnati Reds are ready to get back on the field. They’ll look to rebound from the Opening Day loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday. Here’s hoping the first inning goes a little better today.
First pitch happens at 4:10 EDT from Great American Ball Park. You can watch on Bally Sports Ohio (formerly Fox Sports Ohio) or listen on 700 WLW. The weather looks to be an absolutely delightful 61 degrees and sunny at game time.
Tyler Mahle gets the ball for the Reds in his first start of the season. Last year, he recorded a 3.59 ERA in 47.2 innings. He was inserted into the rotation after Wade Miley got hurt early in the shortened season, and pitched well for a fifth starter. It was good enough to earn a spot in the 2021 rotation.
Mahle uses four pitches: four-seam fastball, slider, split finger, and curveball. His four-seamer is the pitch he relies on most, but something happened last year with his breaking pitches. In 2019, he didn’t throw the slider at all and the curveball was his secondary pitch after the fastball. However, in 2020, he threw his curveball just 0.9% of the time, while throwing his slider 32.4% of the time and getting a 41.5% whiff rate on it. It’s by far the highest whiff rate on one of his pitches in his career.
Yes, Adam Wainwright is still pitching in the big leagues. At 39 years old, he signed a one-year, $8 million deal with the Cardinals for the 2021 season. And for the most part, Wainwright is still pitching decently too. In 65.2 innings last season, he had a 3.15 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP. The ERA, however, is a little deceiving given that his FIP was over 4.00. One thing Wainwright has continued to do well throughout his career is limit walks. He walked only 15 batters in 2020, leading to a 7.6 BB% and the 1.05 WHIP. In 2019, he was one of the top pitchers in the league at limiting walks, only giving up 64 in 171.2 innings.
Wainwright has five pitches (curve ball, sinker, cutter, four-seamer, and change-up), but primarily throws his curve ball, sinker and cutter. He usually saves the four-seam fastball and the change-up for left handed hitters. The curve ball is his best pitch. He had a 33.0% whiff rate with it in 2020, but that’s probably because it’s so slow that hitters are always ahead of it. It clocked in at 73 mph last year. When he locates it, it’s usually down and out to right-handed batters.
Stats from 2020
Stat of the Day
Stat of the day: Adam Wainwright is starting for the Cardinals today against the Reds. He’s a very good pitcher with a 3.38 career ERA over 15 years.
But in 34 career games against the Reds, Wainwright has a 5.12 ERA, the highest for any team he has faced more than twice.
— Charlie Goldsmith (@CharlieG__) April 3, 2021
|1. Tommy Edman (2B)
2. Paul Goldschmidt (1B)
3. Nolan Arenado (3B)
4. Paul DeJong (SS)
5. Tyler O’Neill (LF)
6. Yadier Molina (C)
7. Dylan Carlson (CF)
8. Justin Williams (RF)
9. Adam Wainwright (P)
|1. Jesse Winker (LF)
2. Nick Castellanos (RF)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Eugenio Suarez (SS)
5. Mike Moustakas (3B)
6. Jonathan India (2B)
7. Tyler Naquin (CF)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Tyler Mahle (P)
News and Notes
Nick Senzel is not in the lineup tonight, but he’s apparently available to pinch hit. This seems like a good sign after his diving catch on Thursday. Redleg Nation has you covered on all the updates, including quotes from David Bell.
The Reds picked up catcher Beau Taylor on waivers today and to make room for him on the 40-man roster they designated catcher Deivy Grullón for assignment. We wrote about it here shortly after the game preview went live.
Shogo Akiyama started the season on the 10-day injured list with a hamstring strain. While it still looks like it will be a couple of weeks at least, he is reporting to the alternate site in Louisville. That’s a good sign.
#Reds Shogo Akiyama will report to the team's Alternate Training Site in Louisville. He has been playing catch. He's been walking, running using machines. He said the process is going well.
— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) April 3, 2021
Jonathan India was on MLB Network Radio after his Opening Day performance, talking about his goals for the year.
Get fired up, @Reds fans. Your new second baseman has big plans.@JonathanIndia: "I want to be a big part of this team and push these guys and I want them to push me to be the best I can."#Reds | #ATOBTTR pic.twitter.com/FSCv8uTCvl
— MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (@MLBNetworkRadio) April 3, 2021
Finally, here’s a clip from the Rays-Marlins game last night because I can’t stop watching this pitch and the batter’s swing. Baseball is back and so are these highlights.
Chaz Roe: big frisbee guy. ? pic.twitter.com/zSUa0hijcJ
— MLB (@MLB) April 3, 2021