Cincinnati Reds: Three takeaways from doubleheader vs KC Royals

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - AUGUST 19: Starting pitcher Trevor Bauer #27 of the Cincinnati Reds is congratulated by catcher Curt Casali #12 after the Reds defeated the Kansas City Royals. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - AUGUST 19: Starting pitcher Trevor Bauer #27 of the Cincinnati Reds is congratulated by catcher Curt Casali #12 after the Reds defeated the Kansas City Royals. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /
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Jesse Winker #33 of the Cincinnati Reds rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run.
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – AUGUST 19: Jesse Winker #33 of the Cincinnati Reds rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

3. The layoff did not hurt Jesse Winker one bit.

I was very interested to see how Jesse Winker would respond heading into last night’s doubleheader. Would we see the version of Winker that had been wreaking havoc on opposing pitchers over the past two weeks or the version of Winker who started the season 2-for-23 (.087)? Thankfully for Reds Country, it was the former.

While Jesse Winker didn’t hit the cover off the ball in Game 1, he was the only consistent presence in the Cincinnati lineup. Winker battled Royals starter Brad Keller on three different occasions and each time walked away with a base on balls. After Game 1, Winker’s average (.365) didn’t change, but his on-base percentage jumped from .484 to .507.

In Game 2, Jesse Winker went just 1-for-4, but that one hit was a two-run big fly in the top of the third inning that put the Reds on top of the Royals for the first time since Joey Votto’s walk-off double on August 11th at Great American Ball Park.

Winker is in the zone, and I don’t know when he’ll come out of it. The left-handed slugger is hitting .357/.493/.732 with six home runs and 10 RBIs through his first 22 games. Since breaking a six-game hitless streak on August 4th, Winker is 18-for-33 (.545) with an on-base percentage of .643 and an OPS of 1.825. Currently, Jesse Winker leads all of MLB with a 1.225 OPS.

Next. Reds Top 10 all-time leaders in doubles

The Cincinnati Reds sit in fourth place in the NL Central with a four-game set against division-rival St. Louis looming. The Cardinals are playing catchup after their season was paused due several players testing positive for COVID-19. St. Louis is sitting 4.5 games back of the division-leading Chicago Cubs, while Cincinnati trails the North Siders by five games. The upcoming series is huge.