High expectations for the Cincinnati Reds after 14-1 win over Pirates


It sure is fun, right?

It was another impressive hitting day in run-producing and power-producing situations as the Cincinnati Reds won their fourth straight game and fourth of five games away from the door.

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

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

Including this season, these are the years the Reds have current MLB roster members under the team’s control:

6: Jonathan India, Tyler Stephenson

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

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

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

2: Tyler Naquin

And that doesn’t include expected future reinforcements like pitchers Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo and shortstop Jose Garcia.

Clearly, in the spirit of the small sample size, there may be a few names on the list above that won’t be as bright in a week or two. But if you think there’s a core here of a good team with a multi-season competitive window, then the numbers above could add to high expectations.

Offense

It started early and never really stopped.

Naquin hit 3 of 4 with one walk, two runs scored and seven scored for one of Cincinnati’s best hitting lines this side of Scooter Gennett. His seven RBIs are the most for a Reds leadoff hitter. And he leads the National League with nine RBIs.

Other three-hit artists included Senzel, India, and Tucker Barnhart.

Pitching

Left-hander Wade Miley showed what Reds fans expected a year ago, six blank pitching innings.

Noteworthy notes

Since 1895, no Cincinnati Reds team has scored as many as the 46 runs this team scored in its first five games of 2021. Cincinnati recorded the most runs scored 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 p.m. ET

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



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