Before the season, there is no way on Earth I would have believed this could happen — this early in the season or at ANY point in the season, frankly.

It is pretty neat! I didn’t see any way to justify an expectation that a team that hit .210 as a team in 2020, with essentially the same cast returning, would rebound offensively. It may be a small-sample-size statistical oddity, but I certainly hope not. At 7-3, the Reds are a game ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers and have the chance to finish this early West Coast road trip at .500 or better. Tonight they try to win their second straight contest against the San Francisco Giants in a game that begins at 9:45 p.m. Eastern time at Oracle Park.

As someone on Twitter said earlier today, Cincinnati is on pace to win 113 games. Pretty neat!

Starting Pitchers

Luis Castillo 10.1 6.97 4.60 10.9% 6.5%
Kevin Gausman 13.2 1.32 2.20 22.0% 6.0%

Gausman, who pitched for the Reds late in 2019, has followed up a decent 2020 season for San Francisco (3-3, 3.62 ERA) with a very impressive first couple of outings in 2021. He throws a fastball (average speed of 94.3 mph) about 57 percent of the time, with a split-fingered fastball being his secondary offering (25.8 percent of the time, 83.4 mph).

Castillo, of course, has been a tale of two stat lines in his first two appearances. Roughed up big-time on Opening Day, he bounced back with seven innings of shutout ball against Pittsburgh. In those two starts, he’s relying on his 95.4 mph fastball 50 percent of the time, with the 86 mph change at a 35.7 percent rate. The slider, which was ineffective on Opening Day, has only been used 14.3 percent overall.

With both pitchers, you’ll see one of their top two pitches about 80 percent of the time, with a secondary offering being used mostly for show the other approximately 20 percent.


Tejay Antone is likely to be the only pitcher unavailable tonight, after his brilliant 3.2-inning scoreless relief outing last night.

Starting Lineups

Reds Giants
LF Jesse Winker 2B Tommy LaStella
RF Nick Castellanos RF Mike Yastrzemski
1B Joey Votto LF Alex Dickerson
SS Eugenio Suarez 1B Brandon Belt
3B Mike Moustakas 3B Evan Longoria
CF Nick Senzel SS Brandon Crawford
2B Jonathan India C Buster Posey
C Tucker Barnhart CF LaMonte Wade Jr.
P Luis Castillo P Kevin Gausman

Cincinnati’s lineup and batting order, with the exception of pitcher Luis Castillo, is identical to Monday night. San Francisco Manager Gabe Kapler, on the other hand, has someone different in every slot of his batting order for tonight’s game. And, five different players are starting defensively than did Monday. The Giants are largely a platoon team, and Castillo being a righty — as opposed to lefthander Wade Miley last night — accounts for the wave of change by Kapler.

Tonight’s Reds starters have had good success against Gausman over the course of his career:

Comparatively, Giants hitters haven’t seen as much of Castillo. San Francisco’s starters tonight are a combined 2-for-24 against the righty.

Additional insights into the statistical history of the players in today’s game are available all season long at

News and Notes

Joey, who is tied for the major league lead in home runs?


107 Responses

      • Jamie

        Hey guys, there been a Joey Votto siting in the bay area!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  1. Indy Red Man

    They just showed the top 5 NL starter velocities in the Cubs/Milw game. Woodruff was 5th at 96.8. Imo Castillo has to ramp it up there because his fb is straight as an arrow and he’s almost a 2 pitch pitcher. He needs that 2-3 mph to be elite! I remember when he came up he popped 100 several times in a game at Arizona.

    Overall things look good for the Reds. Yelich with back issues already. The Cards have middle relief problems that might be worse then ours and the Cubs seem to be mailing it in as an organization. The opportunity is there!

    Reds starters 18-48 (.375) off Gausman with 4 doubles and 4 hrs.

    • Indy Red Man

      Already posted I see now….make that 5 hrs. Wow

  2. Redsfan4life

    Not sure how I feel about what Antone’s role should be. If he starts he would get three starts every two weeks. So 15-18 innings. But if he is used three times a week throwing say 12-15 innings every two weeks. He could be involved in more games as a reliever.
    What is everyone’s thoughts?

    • Indy Red Man

      Starter because if he relieves then somebody marginal has to start. You go with Miley as the 5th starter and hope they all get thru 6 more often then not.

  3. VaRedsFan

    Good thing he wasn’t batting 6th

  4. Indy Red Man

    Joey Oppo time!!! I’ll love to say I was wrong about what he has left in the tank.

  5. MBS

    Just like I’ve been saying, just let joey be joey lol

    • Indy Red Man

      Well the shift was beating him like a drum, but you add some lift to the hard contact and you have something!

      • MBS

        True enough, the missing link has been found

  6. Indy Red Man

    They always say small sample size doesn’t matter, but Joey was 4-5 with a hr coming in and Moose was 4-10 with a bomb.

    • RedsMonk65

      Streaks have to start somewhere, I guess.

    • Sliotar

      Yeah …. if Castillo showed he was “on” … was going to bed.

      Now …. ?

      Earlier, there was a notification sent for fantasy lineups that the wind blowing out tonight could lead to more HRs than usual.

  7. Chris

    Would love an ace where you feel like we’ll win most of their games.

    Psst – and a closer where you feel we’ll close out most of our games.

    – Signed, a lifelong Reds fan

  8. Indy Red Man

    Jeez. Luis hanging the changeup early

  9. VaRedsFan

    Haha…the two guys behind the plate in row 2 wore the //tee shirt that said NR FI, which stands for No Runs First Inning in gambling terms.

    Boy were they wrong.

  10. RedsMonk65

    Will the real Luis Castillo please stand up?

  11. RedsMonk65

    Could be long, high-scoring night ….

  12. Indy Red Man

    Luis is my favorite Reds pitcher in some time, but I’ve never seen a guy throwing 97-98 get blasted like him in my life. His fb is straight as an arrow. He gets majority of Ks on the changeup. Didn’t help there that he got squeezed on the 2-1

    • Doug Gray

      I double checked. In both 2019 and 2020 Castillo’s fastball was above-average when it came to the results when he threw that pitch according to FAngraphs. Before tonight’s game it had not been in 2021.

  13. MBS

    Quick, look up the temperature in SF. Must be too cold.

  14. GreatRedLegsFan

    Long first inning, Castillo is not able to control the changeup.

  15. LDS

    The ace hasn’t been in 2 of 3 starts. Real discouraging because it opens the door for Bell to “manage”. I have a nagging suspicion that tonight’s game is headed for the loss column. I hope I’m wrong.

  16. JB

    Maybe Bell should use an opener in Castillo’s starts.

  17. GreatRedLegsFan

    I wonder what’s going to be once Akiyama is back, him plus Naquin and Aquino would make a full OF regular lineup for another team.

  18. Indy Red Man

    I’ve got Luis and Max Fried on my fbb team. My era this week is 7.00. His is 8.79)))

    • VaRedsFan

      That was good running…I thought when the ball didn’t go into the corner, that no way Jesse would make it. He scored because he ran hard at the crack of the bat.

  19. Indy Red Man

    Nick is on some kind of roll! He keeps his hands in and pulls the ball, but he smokes it up the middle or the other way too. His only weakness is that he doesn’t walk much and if you swing at everything then slumps are inevitable.

    • VaRedsFan

      He, more than any other Red, hits it where it’s pitched…to all fields…with power…with the bat barrell

      • Indy Red Man

        Cmon Luis? 96 but right down broadway? You’re better then that. Put up a zero please!

      • Indy Red Man

        My question on Castellanos is this. Can he make the progression to a top 20 hitter….900 type ops? His lifetime ops is only .799

        Now you could blame that on how huge Detroit’s park is, but he swings at everything

      • VaRedsFan

        You answered your own question. The “O” in OPS.
        If he could only lay off the down and away. (easier said than done)

  20. Indy Red Man

    Joey is the only hitter 1 thru 8 with an obp lower then .378. Man this offense has been fun so far!

  21. Sliotar

    Things have settled down a little … but I wonder if Kapler will risk having Gausman see the Reds lineup for a 3rd time.

    That could come as soon as the 5th.

    (I wouldn’t. I think the Reds have a few more HRs they can get off him tonight).

    • Chris

      Seems like every Reds AB now is hacking for that HR. Without the hoped for results.

      • LDS

        First seven games, the Reds hit the ball. The last 3 games looks like a return to last year’s all or nothing strategy, 2 hits, 5 hits, and tonight 4 hits. If they keep it up, this season goes bad quickly.

  22. MBS

    So they said Gray will return Friday or Saturday. If it’s Saturday the Rotation would be Gray, Castillo, Mahle. That’s what I’d go with anyway.

  23. Indy Red Man

    Tyler Naquin 1st round pick .780 career ops
    Nick Senzel 1st round pick .724 career ops

    Naquin will be 30 next week and Nick will be 26 in June

  24. Indy Red Man

    Reds tv said 87 hrs in the cove in 20 years there and the Reds have 2 in 1.5 games. So much for the dead ball?

    • Doug Gray

      So here’s the fun thing, and you’re going to be shocked by this: MLB screwed up the baseball because they are idiots.

      They “deadened the ball”, but didn’t actually test whether what they did worked in real life. They made assumptions and just plugged in some numbers. Problem was they plugged in the wrong numbers. The new ball is bouncier, we’ve got higher exit velo’s, and thus the ball is actually not dead, but more live, because MLB made the assumption that the drag on the baseball would remain the same with the changes, and it absolutely didn’t. But they didn’t actually test to see if the drag was different from the last baseball, they just assumed it would be so their math “was right” that the ball would travel less based on what they changed.

  25. Tom Mitsoff

    This might be Castillo’s last inning with hitting the 90-plus pitch count.

    • Sliotar

      Feels like it better be.

      Gets out qualified for a win … after a second shaky beginning to a start this season.

  26. Sliotar

    Anyone who plays fantasy … daily or season-long … knows that Wilmer Flores can feast on LHP.

    Longoria … dangerous, started 2021 well.

    They are first 2 batters … so … Bell goes to … Doolittle?

    For a manager who loves the L-R matchups … this is a head-scratcher.

  27. kevinz

    Expect Castillo will be better moving forward.
    Wish he was on tonight, with early lead though.

    • Indy Red Man

      This could be atleast the 5th game since 2019 that they;ve given Castillo a 3+ lead and we lost. Thats unacceptable. One 5-0 to Milw and he had SF at gabp with a 4-0 lead and a no-hitter or 1 hitter thru 5 and they tied it in the 6th. I like Luis but thats unacceptable!

    • bug

      Two losses for Castillo, when the Reds put up plenty enough runs to win both games. That’s not going to get it. Pitiful! I’m starting to dread it when he pitches.

  28. Indy Red Man

    Doolittle is a 35 yr old flyball pitcher. That smell like Milton II to me. Try the next hasbeen you can find

    This is a good team, but the pen may sink them

    • Tom Mitsoff

      They’re going to have to find some folks they can count on in the middle innings. First place they’ll look is Louisville.

  29. Daytonnati

    Who among us did not know what was coming?

  30. Indy Red Man

    Almost their whole lineup is under .200 and they’ve got 3 hrs, double, and a triple in 6 innings? Good to only be down 1 after all that

  31. VaRedsFan

    No more Dolittle in close games. The sad thing is, there’s not a lot of options. Maybe Castillo for 1 more, and Sims/AG could cover the last 3.

  32. Indy Red Man

    Wandy “Million dollar arm 10 cent head” Peralta. He fooled me once or twice

  33. kevinz

    Good Job Alex, see what making contact can do.

    • Indy Red Man

      Since double switch is in vogue and the hit-n-run died then we can only tie it

  34. Sliotar

    “Castillo vs. Gausman … a real pitcher’s duel … first pitch coming up next on the Gambling Regional Sports Network”

    Tonight is another example of why baseball is the best sport … so unpredictable.

    • Indy Red Man

      Found that out the hard way tonite. I bet Houston Over 4.5 runs. They’re scoring a ton then suddenly can’t beat Detroit

  35. Indy Red Man

    This Perez kid has a great arm, but he’s Wandy II so far

  36. VaRedsFan

    Perez can’t throw his breaking stuff close enough for them to go fishing….they are going to be sitting dead red.

    • Indy Red Man

      This is a problem. 2 pitchers are struggling and Bell can maneuver around that, but when half of them suck then no amount of hitting can save that.

      • Daytonnati

        Agree. You can rip Bell, but he doesn’t have a lot of options.

  37. VaRedsFan

    Sims is warming.
    So if he is going to be used, why not start the inning with him?
    Going with the lesser talent is not going to work often.

    • Indy Red Man

      Yeah that makes no sense. Thats a Dusty move. He’d leave a starter in with 90 pitches and let them make an out and end a rally then pull the guy after 8 more pitches.

  38. Tom Mitsoff

    Very, very interesting to bring Sims in during the seventh. It almost guarantees you’re going to see people like Bedrosian or Romano in the eighth and-or ninth.

    • Sliotar

      I was just going to post …

      the list of guys, IMO, you can’t trust in high-leverage situations is getting long …


      I guess Perez, too … for the moment.


      • Tom Mitsoff

        Yes, this is getting quite bleak quickly.

      • Indy Red Man

        Castillo, Hoffman, DeLeon. If you’re a #2 pitcher in mlb then you can’t blow a 4 run lead in 5 innings. Maybe once a year

  39. kevinz

    Early in the season of course.
    But need to sure up the BP.
    For all The things reds have done well at.
    A crappy BP will Sink anything Good.

  40. RedsMonk65

    Need some hits. And several runs. Before this one gets away.

  41. VaRedsFan

    We are just going to pull our hair out this season with this bullpen. There aren’t going to be a lot correct answers on who to bring in. The best thing to do is groom the starters to go longer. (110-120 pitches)

    • Sliotar

      That is a good call … and a lot to be said for doing it.

      But, I don’t know …. I listen to MLB Radio a lot while driving for work and the whole “this isn’t going to be a normal year for SPs … can’t build arms up after last season” narrative is constant and strong.

  42. Indy Red Man

    Try to trade Aquino for an arm. Or Naquin although I think he might be better then Senzel in the end.

    • LDS

      It’s time to trade Bell for a manager. Pulling Sims after 7 pitches. Yes, he pitched yesterday. He threw 5 pitches. Twelve pitches in two days is too much? Remember guys like Pedro Borbon, Mike Marshall? And he stays with Bedrosian with bases loaded and 26 pitches. And pinch running for Suarez when you still have a slim chance? As I said in the first inning, it opened the door for Bell to “manage”. And that this game was heading to the loss column. Sadly, looks like I’m going to be right this time.

  43. VaRedsFan

    Is Sims ROOGY now? 1 batter last night, 1 batter tonight.

      • J

        Ah, yes. They were stretching him out tonight. Next time maybe a full inning.

    • J

      They need to build up his arm strength so that some day he’ll be able to face two hitters. Or something like that. There’s always a good reason for everything.

      • Roger Garrett

        The reason will be he may need him tomorrow.Always got to look ahead

  44. Indy Red Man

    1-0, 2-0, 2-1, 3-1, hit/walk

    rinse repeat

  45. Indy Red Man

    How did this scrub put up decent numbers in the AL? This is ridiculous

  46. RedsMonk65

    This bullpen is quite worrisome, to say the least. (And the infield defense.)

    Casali looking to hurt us.

  47. Roger Garrett

    Sims should have stayed in to pitch the 8th.No need to remove him.Guessing of course.

  48. AllTheHype

    Bedrosian’s been working on a new pitch, the 56 foot curveball. No swings on it yet. He keeps trying it though.

    • Sliotar

      Over 30 pitches that half-inning.

      A far cry from being a Nasty Boy.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      He got several swings and misses on his fastball. He’d better start relying on it more frequently while he’s still around.

    • Indy Red Man

      Alright lets take this one back!!! Lets Go!!!

  49. RedsMonk65

    Whew. How did we escape that?

    Need to add some runs.

  50. Indy Red Man

    What about Joel Kuhnel. He wasn’t horrible. We’re grasping at straws already. None of the B team can get a decent breaking ball over to save their lives

    • Doug Gray

      To put it into perspective where the Reds have him in the pecking order: He didn’t even get an invite to early minor league camp and just started with the actual minor league guys on April 4th.

  51. Indy Red Man

    Naquin>Senzel….atleast against righties.

  52. Indy Red Man

    McGee is like Randy Myers lite or Doolittle. Nothing but fastballs. I don’t care about L vs R there. I want Naquin to have a shot

  53. Indy Red Man

    This guys strike zone? Stole the game away from the players. That sucks!!!

  54. J

    I was annoyed at AA for swinging at the first pitch that was several inches high, but now I realize it was actually a strike.