Final R H E
Pittsburgh Pirates (1-3) 3 5 0
Cincinnati Reds (3-1) 5 8 1
W: De León (1-0) L: Howard (1-1) S: Garrett (1)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

It has only been four games, but the energy and passion from the 2021 Cincinnati Reds is palpable. Since a nightmare first inning on Opening Day, the Reds have played inspired baseball. They have competed in every at-bat. Each pitcher has stepped into their role and thrived. The Reds fell behind early tonight, but the offense kept grinding out at-bats until they finally broke through.

The Pirates jumped out to a 2-0 lead on a pair of solo home runs off José De León on Monday night. The Reds got on the board in the 2nd as De León helped himself with an RBI single. It was his first MLB hit.

De León settled in and pitched right out of a big jam caused by a Suárez error in the third inning to put two runners on base. De León struck out the Pirates 2-5 hitters. He cruised from that point on and finished the night with nine strikeouts. Mike Moustakas tied the game in the 5th inning on an absolute missile.

The Reds bullpen continued their early season dominance to keep the score tied into the 7th inning. That is when Nick Castellanos said “suspend this.” The rumor going around is the Cardinals had to stop their game in Miami for some reflection time.

Lucas Sims pitched a perfect 8th inning in his 2021 debut. Jonathan India and Aristides Aquino drove in insurance runs in the 8th.

Amir Garrett struggled in his 2021 debut, but he was able to finish off the Pirates on a nice play by Eugenio Suárez to preserve the win.  The Cincinnati Reds are 3-1.

Biggest Play of the Game

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the most important play of the game was Nick Castellanos solo home run with 1 out in the bottom of the 7th, giving the Reds a 3-2 lead. That play increased the Reds probability of winning by 21.0% (from 55.2% to 76.2%).


José De León gave the Reds all they could ask for: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 9 K. The most impressive thing of the night for me was that he only walked 2 batters on the night, something that he has struggled with his small MLB career and this spring.

Nick Castellanos is hitting a cool .533/.588/1.333 after a home run and a walk tonight. The bomb had a 108.9 EV and went 431 feet.

Mike Moustakas hit his first tater of the year, and he made it count: 110.2 EV, 430 feet. He also ripped a double later in the night.

Jonathan India has now hit safely in all four games to start his big league career. He singled in a big insurance run in the 8th.

The Reds bullpen just continues to dominate. Cionel Perez and Sean Doolittle each pitched a perfect inning with two strikeouts. Lucas Sims pitched a perfect inning also in his 2021 debut.


Eugenio Suárez committed another pretty bad error. The Pirates had a runner on first. There was a ball hit to Votto, he soft threw a ball to Suárez that he just flat out dropped. Suárez appeared to be rushing to try to get a double play. He did make a solid play to end the game coming in and making a nice throw. It was the kind of play where if he would have rushed too fast, he could thrown the ball in the stands and allowed the Pirates to tie the game.

Amir Garrett was shaky in his 2021 debut. He gave up a home run, single and a walk. He survived, but his walk rate is a concern if he wants to be the top guy in the Reds bullpen.

Not so random thoughts…………

How good is John Sadak? He is just so fun to listen to. You can just feel the joy in his broadcast. It is so refreshing to have someone in the booth who clearly is so appreciative of the opportunity to call Reds games.

Best Tweet of the day summing up how ridiculous the Castellanos suspension was.

Up Next:

Pirates at Reds
Tuesday, 6:40 PM
TV: Bally Sports Ohio
Wade Miley (8.1 IP, 11 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 7 K*) vs Trevor Cahill (3.2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K*)
*spring training 2021 statistics

56 Responses

  1. Sliotar

    Good to see the 8th inning insurance runs … needed, but especially how they occurred.

    For 7 innings … game looked another GABP Special … solo HRs, plenty of Ks.

    That act hasn’t worked for the Reds offense on the road … in years.
    The bottom of the 8th will play, in any park.

    “Manfred’s Nemesis” … LOL.

  2. GreatRedLegsFan

    Team looks good, hopefully Suarez will settle to SS duties in no time. Votto should be send down in the batting order, perhaps 6th or 7th. Great to see all those young guys taking over, I wish Senzel, India & Stephenson a long and productive tenure with the Reds!

    • TR

      With some time, add in Jose Garcia to the group of youngsters taking over.

    • CFD3000

      I’d like to see Votto’s expected average from last night. He had three really hard hit balls (one foul) that suggest to me he’ll be fine.

  3. PCamps

    I can’t be the only one thinking we should be batting India #2 and Nick #3, right?

    • Jules

      They should put Sims at closer and not screw around with Garrett giving up bombs on the river boat especially if the game is tied or winning by a run. C Perez is quickly becoming my favorite player out of the prn.

      • SultanofSwaff

        If forced to choose, I leave Garrett at closer since he’ll almost always start the inning clean. Sims is the guy I want to put out a fire.

      • MK

        …or maybe they should put Garrett in a game more than every Seven days.

    • MK

      He is still a rookie who is going to have growing pains, ups and downs etc. They should just leave India alone at least through the All Star break and allow him to get settled. I thought Larkin explained this very well on Saturday.

  4. Tom Reeves

    I remember Saurez’s first month or so at 3B and all I can say is monkey and basketball and I’ll leave it at that.

    So, I hope Suarez makes a similar positive transition to SS and am willing to give it a month to occur.

    Love the energy on this team. So much different from the last few years.

    Sedak seems very appreciative of the opportunity to call the Reds games. Thom always seemed like the Reds should appreciate him calling the Reds games. Entitlement is ugly and I’m glad the entitlement is gone.

    I also think Barry will eventually be fine as an analyst. But he’s not figured out a rhythm and certainly needs to organize his thoughts better. But seen soooooo much baseball and he’s closely connected with some of the players coming up (because he’s coached them). If he’s able to get smoother and more concise, he’ll also be great.

    Plus, if I’m a player and Thom criticized me, I’m having a hard time accepting that criticism – one because he never played and two, because there was so much criticisms. If I’m a player and Barry Larkin critiques my play, I’m listening intently. He’s earned the right to be right and I doubt he’ll over do it.

    I have much the same opinion on Brantley – when he’s critical, it’s time to listen.

    • Rex

      I feel for Saurez…new to SS and we have HOF Barry Larkin explaining all the little things that I would have never noticed

      bad timing

    • Julio Sanchez

      I have always liked Barry Larkin since his arrival arrival in Cincinnati as a rookie. At this point, he is not yet a good analyst, but he has the intelligence and capability of being excellent, and as a driven individual, I am sure he will improve. Thus far I find Sedak uninspiring. Nice voice, talks too much, uninteresting. Thom, was a poor speaker, said stupid things, but was at least interesting.

      • jazzmanbbfan

        Quite the opposite for me. I found Thom’s delivery so annoying I generally turned down the volume. Now I don’t have cable/satellite so other than opening day, my games will be on the radio.

    • greenmtred

      Haven’t watched any games this year yet. Is Chris Welch not broadcasting anymore?

      • Doug Gray

        Welsh is going the road games with John Sadak on TV, and he’ll be on some of the radio broadcasts. Larkin is doing all of the home games with Sadak for TV.

    • doofus

      “…Brantley – when he’s critical, it’s time to listen.”


    • Juan Rojo

      I think Barry mentions extending the arms anytime some one gets a hit.

      Just giving my all time favorite Red a hard time. Love learning from him in the booth

    • Kyle Farmer

      I wish they had gone with a three man booth for the home games. Chris Welsh brings so much pitching knowledge to the broadcast which Barry clearly lacks. At one point last night Sadak asked Larkin what he thought was happening in a mound meeting and Barry openly said he had no idea. I also think Welsh would be helpful to Barry transitioning to being a color analyst.

      But, Sadak is absolutely fantastic!

      • Julio Sanchez

        I find Sadak extremely annoying with is descriptions like the pitch was “tall” instead of high. Five hits and a “bruise” instead of HBP. I’m glad others like him. I miss Welsh at every game. Barry will probably approve and I give him the benefit of the doubt because of his great history in Cincy. Sadak, nice voice, but grating.

    • SultanofSwaff

      Yep. They have to know you care before they care what you know.

  5. Tom Mitsoff

    A Doolittle who can throw 96 puts a whole different spin on the 7-8-9 inning bullpen usage. I would imagine Bell will play matchups with Doolittle, Sims and Garrett as long as all three are effective.

    • DaveCT

      Dude is hungry and, like others, has a chip
      on. his shoulder. Love it.

  6. DaveCT

    This team is electric. Look out NL Central. They are put to make a statement. Juice.

    • Doug Gray

      Dang it, Dave! I am just checking the comments one more time before I head to bed and now I’m just sitting here going “It’s electric, boogy woogy woogy” and I hate everything about my brain.

      • DaveCT

        My deepest apologies. I regret whatever neurological wreckage I may I caused. I was merely reacting to an excessive neuro-impulse from what we know as ‘Cable TV.” I question whether is is sustainable.

  7. Indy Red Man

    Good effort all around! I don’t see DeLeon as part of the equation really, but he battled tonite and even drove in a key run! Senzel hustled and beat the throw and scored on DeLeon’s rbi if I’m not mistaken. I think we got Sims for Duvall and he’s 6 years younger so that was a nice one from the front office! Sims has got the stuff to be a quality setup man! Joey hit a couple of ropes today, but the shift seems to really eat him up. Lastly….the Pirates hit 3 hrs and thats all they got. The 2nd one in the first inning was a cheap gabp special. They’re really lacking in talent! Even with some of our pitchers inactive, nothing less then 13-5 against them is acceptable!

    • Optimist

      ETA for DeLeon and Hoffman is really next year. This is just a bonus, and, to be fair, perhaps the critical appraisals of Williams, Krall and Bell will begin to turn. Winning certainly solves many problems, and planning to win is one of them.

      • Tomn

        I liked how DeLeon settled himself down after the rocky 1st inning. He gave up nothing after that and looked nasty doing it. I was impressed actually.

  8. James K

    Yeah, I know it’s only four games, and it’s way too early to think about the Reds’ magic number for clinching the division, which is 160 by the way, but it feels extra good to be off to a good start, after so many seasons when the Reds had miserable starts to the season.

  9. Tomn

    Still wanna hear about Winker. Hope it’s nothing serious.

    • MBS

      They said Flu like symptoms but not Covid

  10. Gonzo Reds

    Dish stuck me with the Pirates broadcasters so have yet to hear the Reds new broadcasting team. As for the Pirates broadcasters, they are so so bad especially the color man he’s painful to listen to. Well, an single A level broadcasting team for a single A level team on the field, guess it makes sense.

    Way to go India! Got that insurance run knocked in. This kid is the real deal…

  11. Mark Moore

    Isn’t this what we said all last season (and before) … that good teams find ways to win, come back, hold a lead, etc.?

    What I’m watching, now that the first inning of opening day is fading from memory, is a pretty good team winning in their own (albeit weak) division.

    In any case, I like it … 🙂

    • TR

      A weak or strong division, winning is the key.

  12. Hotto4Votto

    Castellanos has been impressive. He got off to a hot start last season too, so I hope he can keep it up throughout the season. Castellanos fire is something this team needs. India has been impressive as well. His bat in the lineup means you can live with Suarez at SS. The pitching coaches are well worth the money spent on them with all they’re getting from the staff at this point. Avoiding a tough start to the season would mean a lot as they wouldn’t have to spend so much energy trying to dig themselves out of a hole.

  13. 3rdbaseTom

    Right now, Suarez is either strikeouts or popups. That 50 homerun declaration he made looks like it is playing with his batting approach.

  14. JB

    For the older guys Spring training is about working on different pitches and mechanics. People were all ticked off about signing Doolittle and wanted him cut. He is far from washed up. I believe he got the win tonight and not Deleon.

    • Randy in Chatt

      The win is because he (SD) pitched the inning in which the Reds took the lead. De Leon would have been the defacto winner if it weren’t for baseball rules.

  15. Roger Garrett

    Doolittle at 95/96 is great and I was one of those who weren’t on board with the signing.He is a fly ball pitcher for the most part and 90 velocity wise doesn’t miss many bats.If he can maintain his velocity to what he showed last night it will help us big time because he does have experience in closing.As for Eugenio,I can imagine playing a new position and struggling with it can and will effect his hitting.When I looked after at bat 4 last night he had only hit the ball twice and both were outs.He had swung and missed or taken pitches with no fouls at all in 4 plate appearances.He will get there but I always felt the 50 homer year had hurt him some.He is at his best when he just hits it where its pitched and I believe his homer was to right field in the Cards series.He will get there.

  16. Roger Garrett

    One comment on our pitching coaches.They absolutely know what they are doing and its proven on the field.Hold on to that group and make sure the minor league guys are hearing the message as well.Johnson has these guys prepared to do what they need to do,starters and relievers.Guys come right after the hitters,no messing around and I love that.Sure they will all have some stinkers because they do face major league hitters and sometimes the other guy just beats you.

    • Tom Reeves

      If the Reds can disproportionately develop pitching talent – especially reclamation talent – that’s immensely valuable in team building. It’s not just the talent that’s put on the field. It’s also the talent that can be traded for position players.

      Maybe there’ll be a movie someday called DriveLine about the Cincinnati pitching revolution.

      The Reds should spend every dime they have to keep that pitching development and coaching staff intact.

  17. SultanofSwaff

    9 Ks from DeLeon with a 3 pitch mix like Hoffman, swings and misses aplenty. If Kyle Boddy and Derek Johnson can refine/resurrect just one pitcher per year think about what that does for the organization and how it frees up money to be spent elsewhere. Whatever we’re paying them isn’t enough.

    You have to feel good about the pitching on this team. There’s both high end talent and depth at both ends of the game. That’s going to play over 162.

  18. RedsFan11

    Got to go to my first game since 2019 last night. Man was it missed! Great game all around just fun to be there!

    -DeLeon great job. Settled down great after the 2 homers in the first. Awesome job working around Suarez’s horrific error
    -Thought Bell over managed pulling Naquin for Aquino. Naquin hit 2 really hard balls in wrong spots. Aquino looks lost at the plate (yes he got a big hit in 8th)
    -Suarez continues to struggle all around. Hitting under .200 since Sept 2019
    -Barnhart looks horrible batting, but again great defensively.
    -Bullpen did well. Cant put to much blame on Garrett, had no work all year..

    *Great to be back but newest and worst change to GABP!?!? LAROSAS.. If 11 K’s only the first 2,000 fans to text a number after the game get a free pizza…. lame!!!!

    • Jimbo44CN

      Aquino looks lost? He got a critical hit to drive in an insurance run in the 8th(should have been 2 runs but House held up India for some reason). I believe he will get better and better as he gets more playing time, but we will see. Naquin looks good so far, but we will see.

  19. Brad

    Doug or anyone – If India is hitting and playing well, how bad does Suarez have to be to make a change?

    I was discussing this last night, and basically said there is no way Suarez moves off SS no matter his defense if India plays well. Is that the consensus?

    • Steve

      Are you suggesting not playing Suarez?? India already plays everyday so I guess I am not fully understanding your question. I see no scenario that Suarez gets replaced at short by Blandino, Farmer, etc….he is a proven bat in the league. Additionally, I don’t see the team moving him back to 3b, moving Moose back to 2b and trying India at short either.

      • Matt WI

        Your last statement is the correct assumption behind the question, I think. If Suarez can’t man SS, he would move back to 3rd, Moose goes to 2nd, and India becomes a man w/o a position because he doesn’t play SS either.

      • Brad

        No I am not suggesting to not play Suarez at all. In my opinion we live with his defense there as long as India is hitting.

        I am just wondering what is the groups thought on it? Is there anyway Suarez defense would want him moved. I am No, just wondering everyone else.

    • Gonzo Reds

      Suarez looked great in getting the final out for the win. 😉

      Unless there’s an injury among the four current infield starters Suarez is our guy this year at SS. He’ll get better with more reps.

      • Tom Reeves

        I’m not panicking on Suarez. He was rotten at 3B for a month or two when he switched positions. He’s definitely taken a much harder job for the betterment of the team. He’s had moments where he’s looked great and some moments where he’s looked like a 3B playing SS. If the teal was losing and desperate for a change, I’d be more concerned. But for now, let the guy relearn the position and let’s cheer him on through the growing pains.

      • doofus

        The visual evidence over the years has revealed that Suarez is allergic to leather, always has been, always will be. ?

  20. Eric

    Has Castellanos become one of my favorite all-time Reds all of a sudden?

  21. Roger Garrett

    Reds don’t expect Suarez to be great at short but rather just make the routine plays and so far he is struggling.Maybe lack of focus,maybe just isn’t comfortable yet or maybe trying to hard but he will get there I believe.Its easier when the team is winning to say that of course so we ride the train awhile longer.More then anything we need his bat to come alive.Big Nick will soon and very soon not get a pitch to hit so it will be up to Joey and Eugenio to pick up the slack.Never fails the ball always finds the fielder that is struggling and the opposing pitcher always find the hitter that is struggling.