Well, it took us a little longer to get here than we expected or wanted, but it is finally Opening Day. Due to the owners locking out the players for months, this season is starting a little later with a slightly different schedule. Most notably to us Reds fans, it’s only the third time since 1890 that the Reds are beginning the season on the road. That being said, it’s the baseball that brings us here so baseball we will watch.
This season also begins on a sour note for all of us. Despite finishing 2021 above .500 and coming into 2022 competing in a NL Central division that is much weaker than anyone is used to, ownership decided that savings were more important than fielding a competitive team. Letting go of Wade Miley and Sonny Gray for nothing more than a bag of balls and trading away Eugenio Suarez and one of the best hitters in Jesse Winker for a couple of prospects so Bob can save a buck has been frustrating for all of us, to say the least. The nine players who take the field in Atlanta tonight will show more of a desire to win than their bosses have over the last 12 months just by existing on a baseball diamond.
Tonight’s game features a now-depleted Cincinnati Reds team against an Atlanta Braves team coming off their first World Series championship since 1995. The Reds will send Tyler Mahle, who is making his first Opening Day start. Mahle is coming off of his best season in his short career. He made 33 starts and put up a 3.75 ERA, striking out 210 batters in the process and amassing a 4.8 bWAR. His opponent, Max Fried, was also fantastic in 2021. He made 28 starts and put up a 3.05 ERA. He doesn’t strike out people at the rate that Mahle does but he is still incredibly effective at keeping guys off the bases.
So Opening Day is here Reds fans, whether the suits who run our favorite team want it to be or not. It’s not my business to tell you guys how to approach this season. For me, I’m going to root for the players and hope they are as competitive as they can be given the limitations of the roster. I’m going to enjoy the twilight of Joey Votto’s career, watching Jonathan India continue to build off of his stellar 2021, Luis Castillo’s nasty change-up (for however much longer we get to enjoy that, and a hopefully healthy and resurgent Nick Senzel. It’s baseball time in Cincinnati, and that makes everything just a little bit better. Go Reds.
- Weather has already interrupted some of today’s games, so here are some updates to tonight’s broadcast:
Because the Yankees-Red Sox got banged, David Cone will be able join Eduardo Pérez & Karl Ravech on tonight’s ESPN broadcast. Tim Kurkjian is the dugout reporter— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) April 7, 2022
8:05 PM ET; Truist Park, Atlanta, GA
Radio: 700 WLW
Tyler Mahle: 2021 stats - 13-6, 3.75 ERA, 33 G, 180.0 IP, 210 K
Max Fried: 2021 stats - 14-7, 3.04 ERA, 28 G, 165.2 IP, 158 K