Cincinnati Reds host the Chicago Cubs in a division showdown

CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 19: Anthony Rizzo #44 of the Chicago Cubs confronts pitcher Amir Garrett #50 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 19: Anthony Rizzo #44 of the Chicago Cubs confronts pitcher Amir Garrett #50 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Reds
CINCINNATI, OH – JULY 06: Michael Lorenzen #21 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Reds facing an early season crisis

Poor starts and the Cincinnati Reds go together like peanut butter and jelly. We’ve discussed ad nauseam the brutal starts the Redlegs had in the 2018 and 2019 seasons. There was reason to believe the 2020 season would be different. However, that’s not the case and the results on the field are just the tip of the iceberg.

An area to which the Reds front office made only marginal improvements to during the offseason was the bullpen. Outside of signing former Cubs reliever Pedro Strop as a free agent, it seems the club is willing to roll the dice with the relatively same crew from last year. It could be a decision that haunts this year’s club.

The bullpen imploded both Saturday and Sunday, wasting spectacular starts from both Luis Castillo and Trevor Bauer. Tigers’ hitters were slamming homers off the Reds relief corps at a dizzying rate the past two days. As a result, the Reds dropped 2-of-3 to a team that lost 114 games the previous season.

But wait there’s more. Three players in the Reds Opening Day lineup may be away from the team for the foreseeable future due to illness. On Saturday, it was announced infielder/DH Matt Davidson has tested positive for COVID-19 and yesterday second baseman Mike Moustakas was placed on the injured list due to illness.

If that wasn’t worrisome enough, centerfielder Nick Senzel was also a late scratch from yesterday’s lineup due to “not feeling well.”  As of this writing, his status is uncertain. The Reds may have to dig deeper in to their group at Prasco Park in order to fill out the roster.

Heading into the abbreviated 2020 season we all knew how unpredictable it could be. I would advise all of Reds Country not to become too comfortable with any aspect of this year’s squad because the reality is, we don’t know who’s going to be available from one day to next. Here’s to a healthy and safe recovery for all the Cincinnati Reds currently battling illness.


Both offenses have significant firepower and are capable of scoring runs in bunches. However, the series will come down to pitching. Which club gets quality starts and which bullpen is able to secure late inning leads will be the keys.

Next. 3 takeaways from the Reds series loss to Detroit

Despite being the second series of the season, it’s a big one for the Reds. Look for the two teams to split the four-game set in the Queen City. If Cincinnati goes 1-3, or perish the thought 0-4, this season could be derailed very quickly.