Cincinnati Reds vs Arizona Diamondbacks – April 9, 2021

After a successful first position at home, the Cincinnati Reds (5-1) look to bring their offensive machine to the road as they head into the desert to face the Arizona Diamondbacks (2-5) at Chase Field in downtown Phoenix Get ready for a dose of #LateNightReds, folks. The first release is at 9:40 pm EDT. You can watch the game on Bally Sports Ohio or listen to it on 700 WLW.

How impressive were the Reds’ bats during the first week of the season? The Reds have scored the most runs in the first six games for any MLB team since 1999 and the most runs in the first six games in Reds history.

Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks have started in the opposite direction from the Reds, winning just two of seven games against the Padres and Rockies on the road. They have also allowed 43 runs, including a pair of offensive bursts.

Starting pitchers

On his first outing of 2021 on Saturday, Tyler mahle He pitched well against the Cardinals, allowing three runs and four hits while striking out nine batters in five innings. Two of those runs came via home runs for Paul DeJong.

Mahle’s fastball averaged 95.1 mph on Saturday, up from 93.9 in 2020. He used all three pitches about the same as last year, with the four-seam fastball being the most used, followed by his slider. He only uses his split finger about 11 percent of the time and almost always for left-handed hitters. Mahle’s highest puff rate on Saturday was actually his slider at 28.6 percent, but his fastball was just behind at 23.5 percent. He finished with more strikeouts on his fastball, but he also threw more his fastball.

The Diamondbacks will fight back with a right-handed pitcher Taylor widener, also in its second season opener. Widener pitched Sunday, shutting out the Padres and allowing just three hits with five strikeouts and three walks in six innings. It was his first start in the majors. In 2020, his rookie season, he pitched in 12 games from the bullpen.

Widener relies on three pitches: four-seam fastball, slider, and switch. He’s predominantly a fastball pitcher (he pitched it nearly 65 percent of the time in 2020) and uses his breakthrough pitches as secondary pitches. You will be throwing the slider mainly at right-handed hitters. The change is thrown primarily at left-handed hitters. Widener’s fastball averaged 94.5 mph in 2020. In his first game this year, his fastball speed was slightly lower, averaging just 92.8 mph. His breaking pitches will average between 85 and 86 mph.

Statistics are from 2020.

Tyler mahle 47.2 3.59 3.88 4.59 1.15 29.9% 10.4%
Taylor widener 20.0 4.50 6.49 5.65 1.30 25.0% 13.6%


Cincinnati Reds

Arizona Diamondbacks

LF Jesse Winker CF Tim Locastro
RF Nick Castellanos RF Kole Calhoun
1B Joey Votto 1B Christian Walker
SS Eugenio Suarez LF David Peralta
3B Mike Moustakas 3B Asdrúbal Cabrera
CF Tyler Naquin 2B Eduardo Escobar
2B Jonathan India SS Josh Rojas
C Tucker Barnhart C Carson Kelly
P Tyler Mahle P Taylor Widener

Kole Calhoun returns to the Diamondbacks lineup after being on the 10-day disabled list to start the season.

News and Notes

Sonny gray could come back this week

Before today’s game, manager David Bell said if the Sonny Gray simulated game he hopes to pitch tomorrow goes well, the right-hander would return to the rotation this week.

Jesse Winker is back in the lineup

Jesse Winker returns to the Reds’ lineup tonight after being out of a few games due to illness. Enjoy new Reds announcer John Sadak as much as the fans.

Early today at Redleg Nation

Listen to the latest episode of Redleg Nation Radio, where Chad Dotson and Chris Garber discuss the Reds 5-1 start.

John Ring wrote today about the arrogance and excitement the 2021 team brings to the table and compared this start to the quick starts other Reds teams have had.

Final thoughts

Hey, look at the Reds, now on top of Fangraphs’ odds to win the NL Central. I don’t care if it’s the first week of the season. I’m going to enjoy the journey this team is on.

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