top of page
  • Writer's pictureThe Twin Killing

Reds Opening Series Review: 3/28 - 3/31 v. WAS

The Reds won their first series of the season. Details below!

Opening Day

If you were lucky enough to have joined the record-setting Great American Ball Park crowd of 44,063, you witnessed a treat. Our favorite team got their season started on a high note, coming away with a blowout 8-2 victory over Washington.

This was due largely in part to a massive performance from Nick Martini, who hit the first home run of the 2024 season for the Reds. He followed this 2-run shot with a 3-run bomb in the third inning, securing his place alongside the likes of Joe Randa, Ramon Hernandez, Derek Dietrich, and Scooter Gennett in recent Reds Opening Day lore.

Martini became the first designated hitter to hit a home run for the Reds on Opening Day, and his 5 RBI led to the win. Baseball has a funny way of working out - Martini was the hero of the day, but he likely would not have even been on the roster if not for the wrist injury that sidelined TJ Friedl. Spencer Steer added 2 hits, 2 RBI, and stolen base to the winning effort, while Elly De La Cruz got his first hit and steal of the year.

On the pitching side, starter Frankie Montas impressed in his Reds debut. Manager David Bell showed his faith in Montas by giving him the Opening Day start, and it paid off. He threw 6 strong frames, allowing no runs or walks and striking out 4. He showed he is still capable of being a front-of-the-rotation starter, the Reds will be relying on him heavily as the year progresses.

In relief, life-long Reds fan, Cincinnati native, and Harvard graduate Brent Suter tossed 2 perfect innings, striking out the side in his first appearance. This poetic finish put a nicely wrapped bow on an Opening Day win.

Saturday 3/30

Saturday was a game that slipped away from the Reds, with several errors and mental mistakes that should not happen in Major League Baseball. You can blame David Bell, the overall youth of the team, or a lack of readiness early in the season after the Opening Day high, but it was an inexcusable loss.

There is a highly likely scenario in which the Reds are mere games from making the playoffs, and painful losses like this will be remembered (especially against teams that are expected to be much worse than Cincinnati, like Washington). In the top of the 4th, the Nats took a 1-0 lead due to a dropped pop up between Elly De La Cruz and Stuart Fairchild in shallow center field. It appeared that Fairchild failed to call off Elly, and the ball fell for a hit.

Jeimer Candelario tied things up with his first big fly as a Red. Washington took the lead again in the 5th when Stuart Fairchild caught a Joey Meneses shallow fly ball on the run toward home plate. Fairchild either forgot how many outs had been recorded, or totally wrote off the idea of throwing out the speedy C.J. Abrams at home plate, but either way watched the Nats take a 2-1 lead.

The goofy mistakes continued after Elly De La Cruz reached base on a nice bunt single. He then proceeded to overslide while attempting to steal second base, resulting in a caught-stealing after the play was reviewed. Luke Maile blasted a two run shot to retake the lead in the bottom of the 5th, which chased the starter Patrick Corbin. Jonathan India knocked in Will Benson in the same inning off former Red Derek Law, making it 4-2 Reds.

A Fernando Cruz wild pitch allowed the pesky Abrams to score again in the top of the 7th, and a Keibert Ruiz solo shot off Lucas Sims tied things up 4-4 in the top of the 8th. Nick Martini brought things back to happy hour with a two run double in the home half of the 8th, setting the Reds up for Alexis Diaz to close it out with a 6-4 lead. Martini is among the league leaders in RBI so far - hopefully he is not this year's Jason Vosler!

Diaz unfortunately blew the save, allowing a RBI single to Jesse Winker and plunking Ruiz with a bases loaded pitch. Eddie Rosario added a sac fly, making it what would be the final score of 7-6 Nationals. During this game, there was also a dropped pop up between first and second base, a misplayed pop up in foul ground, a dropped pickoff attempt that was a definite out, and Benson got picked off first base. Very sloppy baseball that cannot happen in a winnable division against bad teams.

Sunday 3/31

Our Rally Reds showed their resolve on Sunday, proving we should not count them out. Just when it looked like they would lose the game and the series, they found a way to pull out the win.

Down by 2 runs and down to their last strike in the bottom of the 9th, Jonathan India battled to turn a 10-pitch plate appearance into a double. Following that momentum, Will Benson drilled a 2-run bomb into the Reds bullpen to tie the game. Before he could even finish celebrating in the dugout, Christian Encarnacion-Strand sent the fans home happy with his own blast, a walk off and his first hit/HR of the season.

It should have been a series sweep, but we will always take a series win. On to Philadelphia where the Redlegs have a 1-0 series lead!



bottom of page