The Reds wrap up the 2021 campaign in the Steel City battling the Pirates.
Thankfully, it’s October. For the first time since April, the Cincinnati Reds (82-77) endured a losing month at the most inopportune of times. After a scorching June through August that saw the Redlegs go 47-34, the club stumbled to an 11-15 mark in September, extinguishing any chances of grabbing the second Wild Card position in the National League.
Despite the disappointment of not qualifying for the postseason, there’s one last assignment on the docket and some individual goals to capture. Nick Castellanos (97) and Joey Votto (96) are attempting to become the first set of Reds teammates to cross the 100 RBI threshold since Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips accomplished the feat during the 2013 season.
For Castellanos, the 2021 campaign has been filled with milestones. The 29-year-old Floridian has set career highs in homers, OBP, and slugging. A first-time All-Star, his career-high .310 batting average currently ranks third in the senior circuit.
Even though all signs point to Castellanos opting out of his contract in the offseason, the right-handed hitting slugger will be remembered as one of the best free-agent signings in franchise history.
Rookie of the Year favorite Jonathan India also has a chance to accomplish something that hasn’t been done by a Reds rookie since Pete Rose in 1963. If India can dent the plate four times this weekend, he’ll be the first Cincinnati rookie in nearly 60 years to cross the century mark in runs scored.
Believe it or not, the Pirates (59-100) have something to play for this weekend as well. The Bucs are trying to avoid being remembered as one of the worst Pirate teams ever. If Pittsburgh is swept this weekend, it will saddle the team with the fifth most defeats in a season in franchise history.