Cincinnati Reds: Hot start offers hope to the fanbase

Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India (6) fields a ground ball.
Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India (6) fields a ground ball. /

Enjoy the ride, Reds Country. This year’s Cincinnati Reds team has come out of gate swinging, and it’s a welcome change from years past. David Bell’s squad is off to the best start in baseball with a record of 5-1 as they head out west on their first road trip of the season.

After falling behind in the first inning of their Opening Day game versus the St. Louis Cardinals, the Cincinnati Reds have rebounded nicely and won five straight games. While it’s still extremely early, the fast start offers a hope the fanbase hasn’t seen in quite some time.

The 5-1 Reds lead the National League in several categories.

Nick Castellanos has been the star for the Reds in the early-going. While we’re still waiting to hear whether or not the 29-year-old will serve a two-game suspension for actions in Saturday’s game versus the Cardinals, Castellanos has continued to terrorize opposing pitchers.

Yesterday, Castellanos sent another ball over the wall and his four home runs are tied with teammates Tyler Naquin for the league lead. Castellanos also leads the league in OPS (1.610). As for Naquin, the former Cleveland Indians outfielder leads the NL with 13 RBIs.

As a team, the Reds lead the National League in home runs (14), RBIs (54), batting average (.316), slugging percentage (.602), and OPS (1.002). The team ranks second in hits (65), triples (3), and on-base percentage (.400), third in doubles (11), and fourth in walks (26). Cincinnati is firing on all cylinders.

This is the Reds best start in years.

A fast start is almost always a good thing. The old saying goes something like, “You can’t win the division in April, but you can certainly lose it.” Oh, how true that has been for the Cincinnati Reds in recent years, right?

Last year was an anomaly, and there was ever a need to get off to a fast start, it was last season’s 60-game sprint. The Reds walloped the Detroit Tigers 7-1 on Opening Day and proceeded to lose four straight games.

The 2019 season offered so much promise. David Bell was the club’s new manager and the Reds front office made a blockbuster trade that, on the surface, looked to be great for the team and the city of Cincinnati. However, Alex Wood saw the field only seven times, Yasiel Puig was traded at the deadline, and Matt Kemp was sent packing a month into the season. The team started 1-8.

We all knew the 2018 season was a work in progress, but that didn’t take away the sting of a 3-18 start. Bryan Price lost his job less than month into the season, and Jim Riggleman took over, guiding the team to a 64-80 record.

The last time the Reds got off to this hot of a start was 2017, when Cincinnati roared out of the gates to the tune of a 7-2 record. Unfortunately, the team was 10 games under .500 by the All-Star break and finished the year 68-94.

Next. Naquin is becoming irreplaceable

So, while the 5-1 start is impressive, let’s remember that there is still 156 games remaining in the 2021 season. A lot can happen. But don’t let anyone steal your joy either. This is the start the Cincinnati Reds needed. Let’s hope the bats keep producing and the arms keep runs off the board.