Final R H E
St. Louis Cardinals (1-2)
1 5 1
Cincinnati Reds (2-1)
12 9 0
W: J. Hoffman (1-0) L: C. Martinez (0-1)
Statcast | Gamecast Play-by-Play | Game Thread

Prologue

In the forefront of everyone’s mind was how yesterday’s proceedings would influence the emotional tenor of today’s game. The Cardinals as a team always insist on having the last word, so you wondered if retaliation would be the order of the day. Would this turn into Pirates-redux? Would the umpiring crew continue to give Molina & Co. the benefit of the doubt in the next altercation?

In the end, none of this mattered.

The Game

In the bottom of the 4th with one out, the Reds broke through. Of course it was Nick Castellanos. Of course, it was.

The next batter was Joey Votto. And like Panera, Votto delivers. A single laced to right-center field brought the first run of the game home. After a walk to Eugenio Suárez, it looked like Martinez was coming unglued. But the Cardinal hurler would steady himself and get out of the inning.

After 4 excellent innings on the hill, Jeff Hoffman gave up a double and eventually the lead when Tyler O’Neill doubled hard and later scored. But, the poise Hoffman showed when it looked like he might be vulnerable, getting a double-play and an inning ending strikeout, spoke early volumes.

In the bottom of the 5th, it all came undone for the Birds. Tyler Stephenson hit a chopper Goldschmidt couldn’t handle—and as we’d see later—the Cardinal defense began to bend under pressure. Kyle Farmer would walk. Then, Castellanos would take center stage as if to say, “the downstage lights are for me, and me only. You must find what light you can.” Nick would slip the surly bonds of earth for his second home run of the season and it was officially ON.

By the bottom of the 6th, everyone was getting into the act. Walks and wild pitches became the order of the day, Suárez and Senzel taking ball fours, following by India and Stephenson singles, culminating when Tyler Naquin attempted to hit the Big Boy sign out in right field.

 

The 3-run homer from Naquin truly put the game away by making it 10-1. Cincinnati tacked on two more runs with a 2-run double by Alex Blandino as they brought their total runs scored in the series to 27.

The Arms

Hoffman’s final line: 5 innings, 3 hits, 1 earned run, and 6 Ks. There’s something magical going on with the Reds’ pitching development. Hoffman is just the latest example

You may want Tejay Antone to start, but it was awfully nice having him on the mound to shut the Cardinals down after Castellanos put the Reds ahead. Carson Fulmer and Sal Romano finished out the game in fine fashion.

What did we learn today?

We learned that Opening Day was not a harbinger of bad things to come. What this fan base needed was an Optimism Vaccine. Nick Castellanos provided the shot. The rest of the team seems inoculated. Today was the first opening series win since 2017 when the Reds took the series from the Philadelphia Phillies.

Epilogue

Sorry, boys in the booth. That Red Sparrow nickname doesn’t quite cut it. I’m going with Jonathan “Capt. Jack” India. That’s better.

That Jim Day interview with Nick was hilarious. Try as Jim might, Castellanos gave nothing but monosyllables. Priceless.

On Deck for the Redlegs

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Cincinnati Reds

April 5th at 6:40pm ET

J.T. Brubaker vs. José De Léon

37 Responses

  1. Jon

    Castellanos for MVP. India for ROY. Hoffman for Comeback player of the year.

    Reply
  2. Peter Onte

    Linescore shows Romano with a save, don’t think that’s correct, eh?

    Reply
    • Doug Gray

      It’s not. I believe Richard accidentally published the post before he was finished because the offensive updates just cut off at 6-1 in his write up, and he’s still being shown as “editing” the article. If I jump in to fix anything and he’s still in there, anything I change while he’s editing, if he didn’t also already fix, will just show back up once he is finished.

      Reply
  3. Klugo

    Have yourself a day Mr Hoffman. Nice outing.

    I really like the new play by play guy, as well as Larkin.

    Is this the same batting coach as last year or did that dude get fired? Either way, kudos to the new, early approach. Long season but they got me excited!

    Reply
      • TR

        I was among the group calling for the firing of the hitting coach. It didn’t happen. A good result in the first series with opposite field hitting and hits getting runners across the plate from scoring position.

    • Colorado Red

      I liked Jeff. Thought a change of scenery could do him well.
      Driveline strikes again.
      Would like to See Bob S, do well out here. (Not as well as Jeff)

      Reply
  4. Kevin Patrick

    One of those games that is a team builder…there were some guys that are pretty deep on the bench that added a whole bunch today…in a series clenching win against the Cardinals no less.

    Farmer
    Naquin
    Blandino
    Hoffman
    Fulmer
    Romano
    Stephenson
    …all had fantastic contributions. If I haven’t gone off the deep end in optimism already, I will temper my zeal till after the Pirates series.

    Reply
  5. Steven Schoenbaechler

    I really did like a lot of what I saw, at least for this series. Not so much swinging for the fences. Lots of hits, lots of stringing hits together, 2 out hits, etc.

    The only things I could really say wrong about this series was the first inning from Castillo and I would have liked to have seen Garrett and Sims get 1 inning in anyhow, and

    Reply
  6. Indy Red Man

    Brubaker tomorrow. Have no idea who he is, but I remember the prison movie with Robert Redford. Feels like being let out of prison with the return of the Reds and fans in the stands!

    Reply
  7. Matt WI

    A “slipped the surly bonds” write up. Excellent. Thus ends a good day.

    Reply
  8. Optimist

    Really is too much to ask that the lowlight of the season be the top of the first on Opening Day. Still . . .

    Reply
  9. Moonmadness

    Copied from MLB Stat of the day:
    April 4: Reds 12, Cardinals 1 — Bats dominate Opening Series
    The Reds scored 27 runs in their three-game series against the Cardinals. It was the second-most for the club to open a season since at least 1901. Per Elias Sports Bureau, the only other Reds teams to score at least 27 runs in the first three games of a season were the 1895 Reds (36) and the 1976 Reds (33).

    Reply
    • JB WV

      Thanks for the research. Yes, the Reds looked a lot better offensively in this series, but the Cards have to be extremely concerned about their pitching. Wainwright and Martinez imploded.

      Reply
      • Rod

        It’s the first week of the season. Way too early for any cause of concern for anyone.

  10. shaggy

    does anyone know if the games will be on you tube tv anytime soon

    Reply
    • Hudsondlee

      Found an article about the new Bally Sports App that seemed to indicate no… there is going to be a reboot of the Fox Sports Go app that will have them – but it didn’t sound like YouTube TV would get access to it

      Reply
  11. Roger Garrett

    Team win today with everybody hitting the ball.Certainly liked putting the ball in play and walked just as many times as they struck out.Young guys making a difference already in the field and at the plate.Lots of reasons to be excited but it really boils down to hitting the ball and so far they are getting it done.Middle of the pack in scoring runs puts us in a good place because the pitching will be there especially if Sonny comes back healthy.Reds sent a message yesterday and even a bigger one today.

    Reply
  12. ClevelandRedsFan

    It’s 3 games, but this team feels so different already.

    Reds have the fewest strikeouts in the NL. Second fewest in all MLB. Batting average is 5th best. My eyes tel me that the Reds are actually grinding out at bats and hitting ground balls against the shift to score. The data say the same thing and it’s a beautiful thing!

    Reply
    • JayTheRed

      If this style of gameplay continues and I see it through the end of month there might be some excitement coming for this team boys and girls.

      Reply
  13. Still a Red

    Lousy team BIBP last year…some snuck through this series. Maybe averages will be in our favor this year

    Reply
    • Indy Red Man

      BABIP is common sense. If you’re pull happy and swinging for the fences then you’ll pop up and roll over on ground balls when you should’ve went the other way. Its not good/bad luck usually imo. If you hit it where its pitched then your spray chart will be all over too and thus you’re harder to defend. Take Winker for example. He hit .299 in 2018 and .255 last year. It felt like he rarely went to left last year and instead had a ton of 4-3 groundouts. If this series is any indication then maybe they’re figuring it out with Cubs version Castellanos leading the way!

      Reply
  14. Rednat

    it may be just my imagination but Suarez doesn’t look like he is having a lot of fun out there. not sure how long the reds want to go with this experiment? Suarez seems to hit best when he is relaxed and having fun and we need that offensive production from him. Maybe move India to short?

    Reply
  15. Tomn

    Any update on winker? Why was he out today? Will he be back tomorrow?

    Reply
    • JayTheRed

      From what I have read and heard is Winker was not feeling well , Not covid related, and hopefully will be back in the Pirates series.

      Reply
  16. GreatRedLegsFan

    Certainly Hoffman delivered much more than expected from most people. By doing so, he’s put himself in the race for a rotation spot. I hope Senzel will be able to get on base more often, he is really fast and would be great in the lead-off spot.

    Reply
  17. Vada

    Play by play commentators are 400% better. Next step is to get the microphone away from Jim Day and make him the errand boy for snacks. He must be related to somebody at the top of the pyramid to have been hired. I am glad I have a MUTE and CC key.

    Reply
    • RojoBenjy

      I’ll disagree with you on Jim Day.

      But otherwise i’m with you on the announcers.

      Reply
  18. DataDumpster

    A good all around effort and it seems like the hitting philosophy has changed for the better and this is so far successful and exciting to watch. Interesting note about BABIP; last year the Reds had a dreadful .212 low mark, this SP the Reds reversed course to be the highest at .336. Good luck, bad luck, or change of approach that better takes advantage of the considerable hitting talent present on this team?

    Reply
    • DataDumpster

      Correction! The BABIP last year was actually .245 not .212 (their BA) but the point is the same.

      Reply
  19. Jim t

    Stephenson was a beast behind the plate today. His blocking of balls in the dirt was gold glove material

    Reply

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