The Cincinnati Reds held on to claim the victory on Opening Day against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Let’s take a look at three takeaways from the win.
The Cincinnati Reds escaped with a 5-3 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Opening Day. The game featured two home runs from unlikely sources, a dominant pitching performance from both starters, and a 12-pitch at-bat to end the game. What were the three biggest takeaways from Thursday’s victory?
David Bell got his first victory as a manager and rolled the dice on a few different occasions. Some decisions were questionable while other paid huge dividends. Bell went to right-handed veteran David Hernández late in the game and after a long battle with Corey Dickerson, Hernandez induced a ground ball to José Peraza to end the game.
The Cincinnati Reds won their first Opening Day game since 2016 when they were victorious over the Philadelphia Phillies 6-2. Let’s look back at yesterday’s game and the three biggest takeaways from the Reds 5-3 win over the Buccos.
1. Luis Castillo was dominant
Luis Castillo, to the surprise of some fans, was announced as the Opening Day starter last week. His performance during Cactus League play had some of us questioning the Reds’ decision. The 26-year-old had a 12.46 ERA during Spring Training. I think it’s safe to say that his spring performances didn’t mean a thing when he took the mound at GABP.
Castillo looked like he did back in September when he closed his 2018 season going 3-1 in 5 games with a 1.07 ERA. Castillo was dealing on Thursday afternoon. He went 5.2 innings with 8 strikeouts, 3 walks, and 1 earned run.
The Reds’ right-hander looked like the potential ace that the team is hoping he can become. Castillo’s fastball was popping at 97-plus MPH and his changeup was virtually un-hittable. If Castillo continues to pitch at this level, he’s unquestionably the best pitcher on the staff.
Cincinnati made a lot of upgrades to their starting rotation with the additions of Alex Wood, Tanner Roark, and Sonny Gray, but the Reds’ success this season is tied to Castillo and the other returning starter Anthony DeSclafani. Castillo got the team off to a nice start on Thursday.