Major League Baseball is back, and so are the Cincinnati Reds. Granted, the season still has roughly 156 games to go before the postseason, but the Reds have been the most impressive team thus far. They sit at 5-1 and, after a freezing cold and disappointing opening day, they have rattled off fives win in a row.
In an offseason filled with turmoil, the Reds’ future seemed bleak. They lost their ace, and Cy Young winner, Trevor Bauer. They shipped off their closer Raisel Iglesias. There were rumors swirling around that the Reds were shopping their top starting pitchers, Sonny Gray and Luis Castillo. After not scoring a single run in the postseason last year and getting swept by the Braves, it seemed that the organization wanted to blow it all up and start from scratch. Well, that was far from the truth.
Offensive Firepower Carries the Cincinnati Reds
This season feels like the complete opposite of last year. The Reds offense is carrying them night in and night out, when it was the pitching carrying them last season. They have scored a whopping 57 runs through their first six games. That is 12 more than the Houston Astros, who sit at second place in runs scored. Through the Reds’ first five games, they scored 46 runs, which is a franchise record. This offensive showing is surpassing the Big Red Machine, which essentially every Reds offensive record dates back to.
Outfielders Nick Castellanos and Tyler Naquin are tied with Ryan McMahon of the Rockies for league leaders in home runs, with four. Rookie infielder, Jonathan India, is batting a ridiculous .476, with 10 runs batted in. The terrifying aspect for other teams is that two of their stars, Joey Votto and Eugenio Suarez, have yet to join the party. Those two have struggled swinging the bat, and when they turn it around, this offense has the ability to reach new heights.
The Reds sit alone at the top of almost every major offensive category. They’re first in batting average, slugging percentage, home runs, runs, runs batted in, and second in hits and triples. It’s truly unprecedented how they are hitting the ball, and maintaining that level of success is nearly impossible. However, they have the firepower to keep this up to a certain extent. Also, the Reds are doing this without two key players in their lineup, Jesse Winker and Shogo Akiyama. If the pitching can come even somewhat close to matching this type of production, then Major League Baseball has been put on notice.
The Intensity the Reds are Showing
This Reds team has a swagger that is unmatched by any other Reds team in recent memory. They show emotion and intensity every game, and they fight to win every single game. They are not afraid to let the other team hear about it, and they pride themselves on showing that emotion.
Castellanos is facing a two-game suspension due, to being involved in a bench clearing scuffle against the Cardinals. He scored on a wild pitch on a bang-bang play, and when the ump ruled him safe at home, he yelled in the pitchers face. This upset some of the Cardinals, which resulted in Castellanos being ejected after not touching a single Cardinals player. He is appealing this suspension, and it is baffling he is even facing a suspension for showing emotion in a heated game, against a division rival.
Closer, Amir Garrett, wants every team to know how good they are. He said he wants the Cincinnati Reds to be the cockiest team in baseball, and fans absolutely loved this quote. It is the epitome of what baseball fans want to see from their favorite team. Backing that up with their play is the key, because no one cares about that if the team is not winning. Castellanos and Garrett’s intensity is infectious, and you can see the emotion from every player during every single game.