Reds: Mike Moustakas credits Nick Senzel’s hustle for win over Pirates

Cincinnati Reds center fielder Nick Senzel (15) signals he's safe.
Cincinnati Reds center fielder Nick Senzel (15) signals he's safe. /

Cincinnati Reds centerfielder Nick Senzel has yet to get a hit on the young season, but his teammate is giving the former first-round pick credit for winning last night’s game with his hustle. Mike Moustakas was effusive in his praise for Senzel following the 5-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

This club is littered with players whose intangibles will get them plenty of recognition. Nick Castellanos’ fire and passion have already put him in the spotlight during the first four games of the 2021 season. Leadership will certainly be provided by veterans like Moustakas and Joey Votto. But how about the hustle of Nick Senzel during the early season?

Reds outfielder Nick Senzel’s hustle sets him apart.

During a postgame interview, Mike Moustakas had some high praise for Nick Senzel, who’s hustle and heads-up base running put the Reds on the board in the bottom of the second inning. After Cincinnati fell behind 2-0 following two first inning homers by Pittsburgh, Senzel reached base on a walk.

The next batter was Jonathan India, who grounded a ball to the left side of the infield that was handled by third baseman Phillip Evans. Evans flipped the ball to covering Adam Frazier, who stepped on the bag and threw on to first base, but failed to get India in time.

Though he was ruled out on the field, as soon as Senzel popped up at second base, he signaled safe and begged manager David Bell to look at the replay. Senzel’s skipper obliged, and the call was overturned.

After Tucker Barnhart struck out swinging, José De León did himself a favor and recorded his first major league hit with a poke through the right side of the infield. The base hit allowed Nick Senzel to score, cutting the Pirates’ lead in half.

Moustakas would later tie the game with a homer in the fifth inning, and Nick Castellanos put the Reds ahead for good with a towering shot to left field in the seventh inning. Cincinnati defeated Pittsburgh by the final of 5-3.

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Nick Senzel’s hustle is his calling card. While the injury bug has been part his career to this point, Senzel is out to prove that he can stay healthy for an entire season. Senzel’s hard-nosed approach may ultimately be his undoing, but his hustle is what makes him the player he is.