Friday’s season opener couldn’t have gone much better for the Cincinnati Reds, with each of their strengths on full display. They got precisely what they wanted from their vaunted starting pitching, as Sonny Gray spun 6 brilliant innings. New additions to the bullpen made that stand. And at the plate, the big money additions of Mike Moustakas, Nick Castellanos, and Shogo Akiyama each shined, backing a resurgent Joey Votto.
That 7-1 romp showed just what the Reds can do when fully clicking, and on Saturday they’ll hope to keep that going with Luis Castillo on the mound. The righty will get his 2020 season underway with his patented mix of upper 90s gas and the most devastating changeup in the game, and will do so with a slightly different lineup behind him than that which backed Gray last night.
That, of course, is due both to the expanded rosters and to the Reds ability and willingness to mix and match against their opposition. After lefty Matthew Boyd started for the Detroit Tigers last night, it’ll be veteran righty Ivan Nova on the bump for them this evening, and manager David Bell has reacted accordingly. Both Jesse Winker and Shogo Akiyama are in the lineup to start Saturday, though catcher Curt Casali is again behind the plate - Tucker Barnhart is apparently at the hospital with his wife as they’re expecting a child any minute now.
First pitch is set for 5:10 PM ET, and should be available on FS-Ohio and MLB.tv.