The old adage always goes “Defense wins championships.” Well, if that is a true indicator, then offense wins regular season ballgames. Once again, the Cincinnati Reds have scored a ton of runs. Through the first six games they have scored 57 runs. All throughout the lineup, the Reds are producing big numbers. That has turned into a quick 5-1 start to the year.
Bat Flippin’, Show Boatin’, Son of a Guns
It’s been a long time since the Cincinnati Reds have had a top tier offense. Furthermore, it has been a long time since the Reds have collectively looked this good on a baseball diamond. Between the offense and the pitching, the Reds have collectively been one of the best teams in baseball so far. After Wednesday’s shellacking of the Pittsburgh Pirates, they have now won five games in a row and have beat the Pirates in eight straight games at home. The team has been firing on all cylinders this first week, powered by some great offense, a nasty attitude, and some fun.
Rookie Jonathan India has been so fun to watch. He holds a .476 batting average and has 10 RBI in his first six games. Nicholas Castellanos has been the fire-starter for this squad, hitting multiple homers, and bringing a Nasty Boys-esque attitude to this team. Even Tyler Naquin, who’s filling in for Jesse Winker, has been going nuts. He has three home runs and 8 RBI in the last two games. The pitching, besides Luis Castillo on Opening Day, has been absolutely phenomenal. The bullpen has only allowed 4 earned runs total, with all of them coming on Wednesday afternoon. On Tuesday night, reliever Amir Garrett quipped that this team was a bunch of “Bat flippin’, show boatin’, son of a guns”. Right now, they’re backing it up.
The Reds have an off day on Thursday and look to continue their five game winning streak on Friday night in Arizona, where they’ll take on Ketel Marte and the Arizona Diamondbacks. It will no doubt be a fun series, if the first six games are any indication. They’ve been punishing even the best pitching and are no doubt on a roll.
Tyler Mahle will get the ball Friday and his first start was great. He went five innings, giving up two earned runs and striking out nine in a 9-6 Reds win. Saturday will feature Jeff Hoffman, who also had a great day on Sunday. Hoffman went five innings, struck out six and only gave up one earned run. To close out the weekend, Jose De Leon will take the ball and look to build upon his own superb start. In his first start he pitched five innings, gave up only two runs, and tied his career high in strikeouts with nine.
The Reds have certainly started off hotter than most teams in baseball and it has been fun to watch. They will have to continue to hit the cover off the ball, if they want to build on their division lead. The National League Central is wide open this year. If the Cincinnati Reds can continue to score large amounts of runs and pitch at a high level, then they should be viewed as a contender. That all starts with the first road trip of the year which starts Friday in Arizona.
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