The first place Cincinnati Reds will go for the series sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates this afternoon at Great American Ballpark. The Reds scored two touchdowns on Tuesday night, with Tyler Naquin rushing for a touchdown and kicking an extra point all on his own (he homered twice and drove in seven, actually).

Starting Lineups

Pittsburgh Pirates

Cincinnati Reds

Kevin Newman – 2B Tyler Naquin – LF
Wilmer Difo – 3B Nick Castellanos – RF
Colin Moran – 1B Joey Votto – 1B
Evan Phillips – LF Mike Moustakas – 3B
Erik González – SS Nick Senzel – CF
Gregory Polanco – RF Jonathan India – 2B
Dustin Fowler – CF Kyle Farmer – SS
Michael Perez – C Tyler Stephenson – C
Chad Kuhl – SP Luis Castillo– SP

Starting Pitchers

Stats are from 2020.

Pitcher IP ERA WHIP BB% K%
Luis Castillo 3.1 21.60 3.00 9.5% 0.0%
Chad Kuhl 3.0 3.00 1.33 21.4% 14.3%
Links: Luis Castillo’s Stats | Chad Kuhl’s Stats

Luis Castillo

Opening Day went as poorly for Luis Castillo as you could imagine while also staying healthy. The Cardinals put up a 6-spot in the 1st inning and never looked back. For just the second time in his career, Castillo failed to record a strikeout. He’ll be looking to return to form against the Pirates this afternoon.

2020 Splits

RHH 139 29 6 0 1 5.0% 34.5% .221 .266 .290
LHH 153 33 12 1 4 11.1% 26.8% .244 .327 .437

Pitch usage from 2020

4-Seam Sinker Change Slider
Velo 97.7 97.8 88.5 87.1
Usage 26.1% 26.0% 29.1% 18.7%

Chad Kuhl

Left-handed hitters have beaten up on Chad Kuhl quite a bit more than right-handed hitters have in his career. Lefties had an .852 OPS against him, while righties are at .709 against him. He’s historically pitched better on the road than he has at home, with an ERA 0.40 lower on the road thanks for a better walk and strikeout rate when he’s not pitching in Pittsburgh.

Pitch Usage in 2020

4-Seam Sinker Change Slider Curve
Velo 94.2 94.3 88.5 88.0 81.6
Usage 9.5% 34.7% 4.0% 35.1% 16.8%

When and Where

  • Game time: 12:35pm ET
  • Where: Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati.
  • Watch: Bally Sports Ohio (formerly Fox Sports Ohio),
  • Listen: 700 WLW AM (Cincinnati area)
  • Forecast: 75°, cloudy, 1% chance of rain

News and Notes

A day off for Eugenio Suárez

Kyle Farmer is getting the start at shortstop today for the Reds, giving Eugenio Suárez his first off day this season. With Luis Castillo on the mound, one of the best ground ball pitchers in the league, this makes some sense.

Jesse Winker hopefully ready by Friday

Left fielder Jesse Winker has been dealing with a stomach bug that wiped him out according to manager David Bell. He’ll do some pre-game activities today and could be available today off of the bench. Bell hopes he’s ready to start by Friday.

Early season overreactions

Redleg Nation Radio’s Chad Dotson wrote about the start of the season for the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday over at Cincinnati Magazine. He notes how early season leads to overreactions in one direction or the other depending on how a fans team is playing at the time. But as he noted:

Oh, what the hell, overreact if you want. Baseball is back, and the Reds beat up on that team from St. Louis. This was a fun weekend of baseball, and you should enjoy it. I know I did.

NL Central Standings

Playoff odds via Fangraphs

Team Wins Losses GB Playoff Odds
Reds 4 1 0.0 37.5%
Cubs 3 2 1.0 20.0%
Cardinals 3 2 1.0 20.3%
Brewers 2 3 2.0 42.1%
Pirates 1 4 3.0 0.2%

62 Responses

  1. Indy Red Man

    Wilmer Difo was so good in Platoon!

  2. LDS

    Why in the world is Votto still batting 3rd – no walks, no XBH, only 2 rbis? Move India up, slide Castellanos into slot 3. Votto, if Bell really insists on playing him, needs to hit near the bottom of the lineup. Votto hasn’t hit .300 since 2017 and his BA has declined significantly in each subsequent year. It’s time to be realistic. Votto isn’t likely to improve significantly and his defense is eroding. Time for a change. Votto was great. Now he’s a shadow.

    • Doc

      The Reds are averaging around 10 runs per game, scoring from both the top and bottom of the lineup, yet you want to change it up. Votto is hitting the hard and has had a couple of key hits. I guess there are naysayers who will never be satisfied

      • Rex

        Naquin maybe better able to stay healthy at 1B

      • VaRedsFan

        Exactly Doc…it’s like some aren’t watching the games.

      • LDS

        Doc, by that reasoning, one could argue that Gray, Lorenzen, and Akiyama should remain on the DL or be traded. And I doubt anyone would advocate for that. I’ll admit I was wrong about Naquin but I doubt I’ll be wrong about Votto.

      • Doc

        And Lou Gehrig should have been benched as soon as Wally Pipp felt ready to play again, by your reasoning.

        Lorenzen has not earned a starting spot, in my opinion. Akiyama has not proven himself to be better than Naquin is playing, nor than Winker has shown over time. I’ll give you Gray.

        This is the way baseball used to be. You performed and it became impossible to unseat you from the lineup.

      • LDS

        I agree with you Doc. I miss the way baseball used to be as well. I guess, as a fan for more than 50 years, I’m a throwback. So it goes.

    • Jim t

      Aren’t you the guy who went off about Naquin starting yesterday instead of AA?

      • LDS

        I am. Maybe lightening will strike twice but I’ll bet against it

    • jazzmanbbfan

      Today is the Reds’ 6th game this season. Give it a rest.

  3. Roger Garrett

    Eugenio with a day off and that will help him.Could be he is just trying so hard in the filed it is effecting him at the plate.

    • MBS

      I agree, he’s been feeling the stress

    • jazzmanbbfan

      I hope he settles down but I still have a mild case of PTSD from when he was the Reds’ everyday shortstop several years ago. Despite that, given the way India is playing, I still think it was a necessary move to put him back at SS.

  4. VaRedsFan

    Castillo got a strikeout already!

  5. VaRedsFan

    3 Consecutive walks!!! 2-0
    Now can Senzel keep the scoring everytime he gets on base streak alive. (streak at 7)

    • VaRedsFan

      Yes he can!!! Farmer 2 run double!!!!

  6. MBS

    @Doug, when are you guys going to start selling merchandise. I need a Bat Flippin’ Show Boatin’ Son of a Guns t-shirt.

    • Doug Gray

      I’ve honestly thought about it a few times. It’s a situation where having inventory, other business expenses, time spent…. just not sure it’s worth it or not. It’s not something I’ve failed to consider, and it’s always been a little bit in the back of my mind. Rotowear does have the shirt, though – if you truly do want one.

      • MBS

        I actually do, thanks for the heads up.

  7. J

    On track for 40 more runs today (assuming no bottom of the 9th).

  8. Untchbl

    If Winker starts in place of Naquin on Friday that will be a slap in the face to someone who’s crushing the ball.

  9. Pablo

    Yikes for India getting HPB in the head! Hope the kid is OK

  10. Cartel

    Not watching the game did it look intentional? Did he stay in the game? India is a HBP machine. I remember him at Florida. He is a do anything to get on base guy. Not surprised by his success.

    • VaRedsFan

      stayed in the game…not intentional.

    • Roger Garrett

      No it wasn’t intentional but high and tight is high and tight.No place in the game for that at any time.Scary for sure.

  11. VaRedsFan

    2 straight innings…no runs…what the heck is going on?

  12. VaRedsFan

    Beautiful relay…Pegged at the plate…hope it stands

  13. VaRedsFan

    Scoring drought stops at 3 innings…Blasto-Oppo

  14. VaRedsFan

    Senzel and India doing more damage.
    Senzel on base 9 times…scored 9 runs

  15. Indy Red Man

    Nit picking here because everything else is roses, but quit getting thrown out advancing! 2 guys thrown out advancing and Castillo doubled off as well. Its one thing if the catcher makes the throw after taking a long throw from the outfield, but Farmer got nailed rounding 2nd in the 1st inning and the guy never made the throw home?

    The boys are rolling though! What a throw from India to cut down a guy at the plate. Only the Pirates can’t score on back to back doubles.

    • VaRedsFan

      I don’t disagree about the back end runner getting erased. Sometime you give yourself up to allow the run to score, but that wasn’t the case here.

  16. J

    India just cost himself a double by trying to catch his helmet as it flew off his head on his way to second base. This could become a real problem if he’s going to be on base almost all the time.

    • VaRedsFan

      He did it twice while running to 3rd last night.
      FWIW he was safe despite what replay showed.
      Remember Pete Rose would lose his helmet on nearly every batted ball.

      • RojoBenjy

        He was safe. That was a terrible tag by the fielder. Unless they decided to call him out on the replay because he popped up and off the bag about 2 cm when the tag was still being held on him.

  17. VaRedsFan

    Punisher makes it back to back!!!

    • MBS

      These are the 5th and 6th outfielders? One of these guys needs to take some time at 1B. Punisher is such a good outfielder, but he’d be a big target at 1B.

  18. RiverCity Redleg

    I feel like we have just crushed the spirit of the Pirates. They may not win another game this season after this.

  19. Roger Garrett

    Lost maybe but not forgotten was Castillo’s performance on the mound.He was very efficient and got guys out early in the count.Yeah it is the Bucs but you still have to play the game and every game counts.Young guys are leading the way and I just love it.Just let them play.Early for sure but we may be seeing the changing of the guard and its a good thing.This team led by the young guys may just be learning how to win and even if they don’t they are having fun and playing the game with a passion and a energy that has been missing for years.

  20. RiverCity Redleg

    Of course, as soon as I say that, they show some fight with the first three reaching base vs AG.

    • RiverCity Redleg

      I don’t know why I don’t just keep my mouth shut. I may have just jinxed the Reds.

  21. SultanofSwaff

    Well, when you can’t locate your slider even a AAAA team can hit a fastball.

  22. Roger Garrett

    Go get Garrett he was not ready to pitch in this game.No excuse for this kind of performance.

    • Chris Holbert

      Maybe he only wants to pitch in save situations….lol

  23. Chris

    And the excuse (as it was with Iglesias) will be “I pitch better when it’s a close game and a save situation.” How many years have we heard that from our Reds “closers”?

    • Roger Garrett

      I thought the same thing Chris.He got the next 3 with ease but come on man that can’t happen.The Bucs have been on the plane since the 5th inning and they should have been.He walked a guy with a 11 run lead.Would anybody trust him now to close with a 1 run lead?Give the ball to Sims or even Doolittle and lets move on

    • TR

      I’ve usually been uneasy with the unofficial title of closer unless the relief pitcher is a proven ace in wrapping up the game. Closer by committee with the ‘hot hand’ getting the call would do it for me.

    • Dennis Westrick

      I agree 100% Chris! There will be games where AG doesn’t have the luxury of an 11-run lead. He needs work (innings) I understand, but plenty of other options (pitchers) to choose from. Still early in the season and the Good Guys are winning!

  24. VaRedsFan

    AG is getting tattooed.
    Now we’ll get the “it wasn’t high leverage” excuse.
    Luckily they have a cushion
    He looked a lot like Wandy Peralta at times last year.
    Hopefully this is out of his system.

    • RojoBenjy

      AG has never made the high leverage excuse

      The Reds kicked that trash to the curb in the off-season.

      C’mon this season has been a fun start—don’t go dark right away, everyone

  25. Doc

    Three possible closers. One actively campaigned for the job and said it was his to lose. The other two said next to nothing. Well, five earned in two innings of work is a direct route to losing the job.

  26. Dennis Westrick

    Based upon Amir Garrett’s performance in his first two (2) games he doesn’t appear to be the closer everyone was hoping for! I like Lucas Sims in the closer role based upon what he has shown so far!

  27. RojoBenjy

    I’d rather AG get himself right under these circumstances, though

    He’s a competitor—he is not a prima dona

  28. MBS

    AG didn’t get the work in this spring. I’m going to chalk it up to that, luckily he’s had the runs to spare. It won’t always be like that AG, he’ll lock it in.