Cincinnati Reds Fans impatiently awaited Opening Day for seven long months; but finally, baseball season is here, and the Reds are off to a great start, as the defeated their division rival Pittsburgh Pirates, 5-2 yesterday. Here are some observations from Opening Day.
He’s good. Really, really, good. He was able to wait out a 35 minute mid-game rain delay and throw seven scoreless innings where he only surrendered four hits. He fanned 10 batters on 100 pitches. The Pittsburgh Pirates are expected to be a top team in the National League this year, they have a lot of offensive weapons in guys like Andrew McCutchen, Josh Harrison, and Neil Walker. If Cueto can hold the Bucco’s scoreless, then it will be a long year for opposing teams when Johnny Beisbol toes the rubber.
He’s not afraid to be bold with his lineups. He had Brandon Phillips batting 7th, way lower in the order than he’s used too. We’re used to seeing BP hit anywhere from 1st-5th in the lineup, but this shows that Bryan Price understands that the team has changed over the last few seasons. Brandon Phillips isn’t much of an offensive threat anymore, while guys like Todd Frazier and Devin Mesoraco have become two of the best hitters on the team, so Price pencilled them in at 3rd and 4th. Personally, I loved the lineup that Bryan put out on Monday. I especially liked seeing Joey Votto hit 2nd rather than 3rd. Votto is more than likely going to get on base more than anyone else this season, and will likely hit around .280-.300, that is very dangerous if Billy Hamilton gets on before him, as Votto could move Hamilton from first base to third base with a single, then have two men on for the heart of the lineup. Bryan Price probably spent countless hours over the offseason imagining different lineups, and I think, for now, the one he put out on Opening Day is flawless.
The Toddfather has some serious power. Of course this is nothing new, I mean who else can hit a home run just by throwing the bat at the ball? Last season the New Jersey native hit 29 long ones, expect him to hit even more this season. As long as Frazier stays healthy, he could be an MVP candidate by the end of the season.
Last year, Jay Bruce had an absolutely terrible season. He only hit .217, 18 homers, and 66 RBI’s, one of his worst seasons in the Big Leagues. However, yesterday he hammered a line drive home run into right field to put the Reds up 2-0. His swing looked very nice and it was a no-doubter. Bruce looks to return to the player we’ve all come to know and love, and he’s off to a good start.
The Redlegs return to the field on Wednesday for game two of the series. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10. Mike Leake will take the hill for the Reds while Gerrit Cole will toe the rubber for the Pirates.