Final R H E
Pittsburgh Pirates (1-4)
1 5 1
Cincinnati Reds (4-1)
14 17 0
W: Miley (1-0) L: Cahill (0-1)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

This sure is fun, isn’t it?

It was another day with impressive hitting in run-producing situations and for power, as the Cincinnati Reds won their fourth in a row and fourth out of five games out of the gate.

Some in Redleg Nation and beyond will cite small sample size before being willing to consider that this might be the start of something big. I will certainly admit that it’s too early to say anything other than maybe all of last year’s bad BABIP luck is reversing itself in less than a week’s time. It’s also very fair to suggest that for at least the past two days, they have been playing against essentially a Class AAAA team.

For the sake of discussion, let’s say that what we’re seeing in early 2021 is much more representative of this team’s offensive capabilities than what we witnessed in 2020. This team, if it continues to play well this year and beyond, has the potential of a young core that can be a factor for several years.

Including this season, this is how many years the Reds have members of the current major league roster under team control:

6: Jonathan India, Tyler Stephenson

5: Tejay Antone, Aristides Aquino, Alex Blandino, Cionel Perez, Sal Romano, Nick Senzel

4: Jose DeLeon, Carson Fulmer, Jeff Hoffman, Lucas Sims

3: Luis Castillo, Amir Garrett, Tyler Mahle, Jesse Winker

2: Tyler Naquin

And that doesn’t include future hoped-for reinforcements such as pitchers Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo and shortstop Jose Garcia.

Clearly, in the spirit of small sample size, there might be some names on the list above that are not quite as shiny in a week or two. But if you believe there is a core here of a good team with a contending window of several seasons, then the numbers above could add up to some great expectations.

The Offense

It started early and really never stopped.

Naquin batted 3-for-4 with a walk, two runs scored and seven knocked in for one of the best Cincinnati batting lines this side of Scooter Gennett. His seven RBIs are the most ever for a Reds leadoff hitter. And he leads the National League with nine RBI.

Other three-hit performers were Senzel, India and Tucker Barnhart.

The Pitching

Lefthander Wade Miley showed what Reds fans were hoping for a year ago, six innings of shutout pitching.

Notes Worth Noting

Since 1895, no Cincinnati Reds team has scored as many as the 46 runs this team scored in its first five 2021 games. Fourteen runs were the most scored by Cincinnati since mid-2019.

The 13-run margin of victory was Cincinnati’s largest at home over Pittsburgh since 1926.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Pittsburgh Pirates vs Cincinnati Reds

Wednesday, April 7, 12:35 pm ET

Chad Kuhl (3.00 ERA, 0-0) vs Luis Castillo (21.60 ERA, 0-1)

46 Responses

  1. Lost11found

    I don’t care one iota if Pittsburg is a 4A team this year. You play who is in front of you to the best of your ability. The past few years any 4A teams they’ve faced have done better than they should. Good to see them put some good AB’s together first half of the game and build a comfortable lead. Hopefully this is closer to what a healthy Miley can give us for the rest of the year.

    Reply
    • Tom Reeves

      Man, this team is fun!

      Other than one inning to start the season, the pitching has been outstanding.

      And there seems to be an intentional change in approach from trying to lift the ball out of the park to hitting HARD line drives. And the funny thing is some of those line drives get over the fence. There is no doubt some BABIP luck. But I think the approach change is making a difference.

      And we’re seeing this sort of the offense while Votto and Saurez struggling and Winker and Akiyama are out.

      I also love that Senzel not only have pressure from older plays and from younger players.

      Oh, I got to listen to this game on radio and time finished it on TV – it’s so much more refreshing to have broadcast teams that are calling the game well and cheering the team on.

      Remember when a lot of folks where complaining about how little money the Reds we’re spending and maybe Bob C should sell the team? Welp, maybe that hyperventilating was premature.

      Reply
      • B

        I don’t think Votto is really struggling to be honest. He’s hit the ball hard more times than not this season. I think he’ll be more than fine going forward

      • Michael

        @Tom

        We can enjoy the team and still call for Castellani to stop micromanaging

      • Yerisdad

        To me, Votto passes the eye test considering he missed most of spring training. I haven’t looked at the metrics but some have posted bits and it seems he is hitting the ball hard. I love Geno’s walk rate so far but I am more worried about his contact as he has really struggled since 2019. Let’s hope they get going!

  2. Kevin Patrick

    I can’t believe Naquin took that walk…the guy needs to swing the bat more.

    Reply
  3. J

    As bad as the Pirates may be, they probably won’t lose too many games by 13 runs.

    Reply
  4. Richard Kramer

    The Reds have a good team of young eager players mixed in with established veterans. It’s fun to see them win. I don’t think they’ll have long stretches of losing anymore. Pitching and timely hitting takes care of that.
    WE SHALL SEE
    WHAT WE SHALL SEE
    GO REDS!!!!!

    Reply
  5. Brennan

    Interesting thing I noticed at the game today (not sure if the broadcast caught this) – when Senzel tagged up at third, he shoved a Pirates player hard before heading for home. My best guess is the Pirate was trying to block his view of the ball being caught to delay his tag up.

    Anyway, I thought it was interesting and made me wonder how often that happens.

    Reply
    • J

      They did talk about it on the air. Larkin said the guy was definitely trying to block Senzel’s view. I guess it happens with some regularity.

      Reply
    • Stock

      John McGraw used to hold onto the runners belt when tagging up. At some point, maybe when a player unbuckled his belt and left McGraw holding the belt when he took off, and it is no longer done.

      Reply
  6. west larry

    Following this team this year is fun. I know, I know-small sample size. But their are so many players contributing, and wait until Suarez, Votto and the Moose start contributing. The pitching is amazing, and we haven’t even seen Gray or Lorenzen yet. I can’t help it, I’m hooked on this team. I doubt that the reds will continue to average scoring nine runs a game- but with this pitching we should do great if we only average half that many runs a game. Tom, thanks for pointing out the number of years of control we have on our future stars.

    Reply
  7. D Ball

    You start sweeping clubs and going on 5 game win streaks people start taking you seriously. I feel like I’m back in St. Pete watching Joe Madden boss the Redsox and the Yankees. This team has a lot of sauce: a lot of ways to win because they play for each other. It might be a good thing to not have a dominating personality like Bauer- but I’m glad he was here: he infected this clubhouse with attitude. Also, it was nice to here Krall talking about hitting drills in the offseason. Great front office. I guarantee you Naquin wasn’t on anybody’s radar at ESPN. Lots of dry powder on that roster. Lots of competition for time. All you can do is control the controllables. Having an even keel like David Bell will help these guys.

    Reply
    • Indy Red Man

      Yeah I have no complaints with the front office. Things have a way of not panning out sometimes, like last year, but thats life. They snapped up Tyler Naquin (former 1st rounder). They got Lucas Sims for Duvall and he’s 6 years younger. The Braves setup guys suck too? They stole Moose from Milw and Castellanos from the Cubs. I’d be livid if I was a Cubs fan! Castellanos was their hottest hitter and they let Darvish go too. They normally have 3x the attendance of the Reds and won’t do anything. Lets just hope its our year?

      Reply
  8. Indy Red Man

    Naquin .777 career ops
    Senzel .722

    This Naquin guy has some pop! I thought he was a defensive 4th OFer type, but he came up in 2016 with 18 doubles, 5 triples, and 14 hrs in 321 at-bats (.886 ops)

    Hard to put a guy this hot on the bench? They might have to work in Senzel at 3B to spell Suarez and maybe Castellanos or Winker at 1B to give old Joey some breathers. Good problems to have!

    Not to be Debbie Downer, but I got stationed back in Texas in 1992. I had season tickets for the Rangers and they started 6-1 and scored 53 runs in the process. They had Pudge Rodriguez, Juan Gonzalez, Rafael Palmeiro, Ruben Sierra, and Dean Palmer. I was convinced they might have a BRM level offense! They finished 77-85))

    Thats why they always tell them “Don’t get too high when you’re rolling or low when you’re struggling”, but we’re fans and thats what we do.

    Reply
    • Sliotar

      Naquin taking any time from Winker/Senzel/Castellanos feels … sub-optimal.

      Guys get hurt, need a day off … sure.

      Naquin turns 30 this month … and the Reds still don’t know what Senzel’s ceiling is. Or Aquino’s.

      Hot streaks are just that … not necessarily a good long-term strategy.

      Reds have too many 30 year-olds and over playing positions as it is.

      Reply
      • Indy Red Man

        Time will tell? I overuse the Whit Merrifield example, but he was 28 before he became a regular. I don’t know Naquin’s story? Has he been injury prone like Senzel or just not been able to put it together since 2016?
        His swing looks good right now! You’re probably right, but Senzel has to produce and stay on the field and he hasn’t be able to do that yet? Plus Shogo, but I’ve seen more from Naquin in a week then 60 games with Shogo. Good fastballs practically knocked the bat out of his hand and he’s older then Naquin. Bottom line….depth is good!

      • Chris Holbert

        Agree 100%…see Derek Dietrich

    • MK

      They would have to put Senzel at shortstop to spell Suarez. Don’t think that will happen.

      Trying to temper my enthusiasm. It has been fun to watch the last four days but it is a long season.

      Reply
      • Indy Red Man

        Yeah you’re right. I forgot

  9. GreatRedLegsFan

    After 5 games, Suarez and Votto offense is worrysome, let’s hope they’ll figure it out. Not sure about this stat, but I can’t recall a game with so many runs where all RBI by only three different players.

    Reply
    • JayTheRed

      Not too worried about Votto. He has been hitting the ball hard just unfortunately it has been right at the defense.

      Suarez looks like he is trying too hard again like he did last season. Relax big guy and let it all happen.

      Reply
      • Hotto4Votto

        Yeah it’s early. Votto had very minimal ST reps and is a notorious slow starter. Suarez is probably more focused on a new position. If they’re both hitting poorly in mid-May you start considering alternatives. But you’ve got to give guys time to acclimate to the season.

      • Jimbo44CN

        Suarez should come around, and Joey is hitting the snot out of the ball, just unfortunately right at somebody. Nothing like getting off to a good start. That makes a big difference. Let’s hope for the sweep today. GO GO GO!

  10. Moses

    Strange that you left out Moose, Suarez, Votto, and Gray. And maybe some others. We might even be able to add Castellanos to the list, unless he goes totally haywire this year and opts out. Clearly lots of offensive talent locked in, assuming they continue to produce…

    Reply
  11. Klugo

    All of this without Votto and Suarez really contributing.

    Naquin is gonna go make this tough for everyone when Shogo gets back. Not a terrible problem to have.

    Reply
  12. Rednat

    after 8 years the culture/ leadership is FINNALY changing for our Reds. This is no longer Brandon Phillip’s team with the whimsical , happy go lucky attitude. This is Castellanos ‘, India’s, Senzel’s team now and they definitely have a swagger and go all out attitude that I really like. It will be interesting to see if Votto, Winker and Suarez (remnants from the Brandon Phillips lead teams ) buy into the new program and hustle a little more this year as well.

    Reply
    • JayTheRed

      India has been so impressive to me. Every aspect of his game is just been top notch. I’m sure he will come back to earth a little at some point but wow he totally seems ready for the bigs.

      Reply
    • DaveCT

      Think Moose is bringing the attitude, too. And I will fondly remember Bauer’s swag last year, as well as Sonny’s competitiveness and Garrett’s .

      Reply
    • BRM70on

      Winker never played a game with Brandon Phillips.
      Sorry just fact.

      Reply
  13. Joey

    This was said last game but Sadak and Larkin are a pretty good duo in the booth. It has been quite refreshing as well as winning!

    Reply
    • Bob

      Educated ex-players make the best commentators… and winning is always fun to describe.

      Reply
  14. TR

    Leadership is apparent from the players and the front office with things coming together for the Reds. And I like the vibe from the broadcast booth. It’s a long season with a lot of ups and downs, but a winning chemistry is apparent.

    Reply
  15. Hotto4Votto

    One of the the things in years past is the Reds struggled to beat up on the bottom feeders. Even last year losing games to the Tigers and Pirates early in the season contributed to a slow start. This year they’re doing what they need to against the Pirates early, even if they are a AAAA team. Let’s keep it going!
    Love what I’m seeing from India. Love the potential of Stephenson. We need Nick to stay healthy so he can finally put it all together at the ML level. Promising future with these kids.

    Reply
  16. SultanofSwaff

    The April and May schedule is mostly favorable. June is super tough, but it’s not who you play but when you play them. The depth on both sides of the ball gives me confidence we’ll be competitive day in day out.

    Reply
    • SultanofSwaff

      ….and for the record I was the only person around here to predict them well over .500 (88-74).

      Too soon? 🙂

      Reply
      • Matt WI

        Too soon 😉 But I do notice the absence of the poster who, um, passionately suggested they would only win 60 some games.

  17. Sanantonefan

    How many of you predicted that Hoffman, DeLeon, and Miley would start so strong? If so, why are you lying? Haha

    Can’t wait until the staff is at full strength. I know the season is young and there’s a lot of baseball to be played, but I’m having fun!

    Reply
  18. John C.

    So who goes when Gray, Lorenzen and Shogo come back? Tougher decision if they keep playing this way. I would think AA for Shogo, Perez and DeLeon for the pitchers. All guys with options.

    Reply
    • Matt WI

      AA was determined not to have any options left, I’m fairly certain. So not so simple there unfortunately.

      Reply
  19. bug

    Reds are looking great at the plate this year,…all except Suarez. He’s the worst hitter I’ve ever seen. He routinely wears the golden sombrero!!!!!!! He struck out another 4 times just last night. No reason he should lead the league each and every year in striking out. He needs to be sent back down to the Minors until he can learn how to put a bat on the ball. It hasn’t hurt us much yet, since everyone else is hitting the ball. But eventually it will kill us. You can’t continue to play someone who can’t put his bat on a baseball. Have mercy on him and sit him a few games like Votto did last year. It helped Votto. Suarez strikes out more than any major league player I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been watching Reds baseball for better than 60 years.

    Reply
    • jazzmanbbfan

      If he’s the worst hitter you’ve ever seen then you haven’t watched much baseball in your life.

      Reply
  20. kevinz

    The cost control of the players mentioned, Is huge for this club.
    My excitement comes from, Seeing 1st rd Picks showing flashes.
    We all have waited for Stephenson, Senzel and India.
    Now all about health, see how they all turn out.
    Excited to find out.

    Reply
  21. Roger Garrett

    Yes.The young guys need to play and as much as possible please.Reds just have a tendency to anoint them one day and throw them under the bus the next.Got to stop doing that and now.Let them play.I feel Eugenio will come around.The Reds don’t need 50 homers from him at all.They just need him to be the hitter he came up as and thats hit it where its pitched.Right now he isn’t even making contact but I believe he will but he has struggled for a long time even back to the end of 2019.We need him.

    Reply
  22. James

    Who knew the Reds could be this good so far? Naquin and Castellanos are tied with the most home runs in the MLB, plus Naquin is 2nd in the MLB for RBI! I mean honestly do we need Sonny Gray? Castillo,Mahle,Hoffman,De Leon and Miley have been pitching amazing! Sonny Gray is great but I hope he doesn’t put bad luck in our pitching!
    I mean I know we’re gonna be fine but thats what it seemed like with last year.
    The Reds could still do it. I believe in them winning it all soon.

    Reply

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