Granted, it's a little later than we had originally hoped, but Opening Day has arrived, and another season of Cincinnati Reds baseball and series previews are on tap. As you know, this is not a season opener those throughout Reds Country are accustomed to seeing.
However, I have a good omen. First of all, due to the lockout, the 2022 Redlegs will debut on the road for the first time since the 1990 season when they bested the Houston Astros in the Astrodome. And we all remember how the 1990 campaign turned out.
Next, Tyler Mahle will be making his first career Opening Day start. He'll be Cincinnati's seventh different Opening Day starter in the last eight years. The last Reds' hurler to start consecutive Opening Days? Johnny Cueto in the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
The Reds open their season on the road for the first time since 1990.
Speaking of Opening Day starts, social media's newest superstar, Joey Votto, will be manning first base for the Reds for a 14th consecutive season opener. Amazingly, second baseman Jonathan India, third baseman Mike Moustakas, and centerfielder Nick Senzel are the only other returning starters from last year's Opening Day lineup.
Last year the Reds posted an 83-79 record ensuring consecutive winning seasons for the first time since the 2012 and 2013 playoff campaigns. How long has it been since Cincinnati posted three straight winning seasons? You have to go back to the 1985-1988 Redlegs who finished above .500 in four consecutive seasons. In other words, it's been a while.
The Reds and Braves have not met in a season opener since 2001 when Atlanta walloped Cincinnati 10-4 at Cinergy Field. Hall of Fame shortstop Barry Larkin enjoyed a 3-for-4 afternoon at the plate, however, the Reds' bullpen surrendered six runs over the last three innings to spoil the Opening Day festivities.
Additionally, this will be the sixth time Cincinnati and Atlanta have battled in a season opener and the first outside of the Queen City. Cincinnati owns a 3-2 advantage in those previous meetings. Finally, right-hander, and Reds legend, Mario Soto was the last Cincinnati starter to defeat the Braves on Opening Day as the Reds captured a 5-4 victory in 1983 at Riverfront Stadium.