Cincinnati Reds: Breaking down the best and worst of first month

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

The first month of the season saw the Cincinnati Reds win a game 13-0 and lose two straight games by an 18-0 margin days later. One game in March and 27 games in April had everything in between those scores as well.

The main takeaway from the first month is the 2023 Reds are not the 2022 Reds. They have given their fans a reason to stay interested as the calendar turns to May.

Through 28 games a year ago, the Reds were 5-23. After a 5-4 loss to the Oakland Athletics on Sunday, the Reds were 12-16 entering the second part of a six-game West Coast road trip Monday in San Diego.

Here’s a breakdown of the first month:

Where they are: The Reds trailed the first-place Pittsburgh Pirates (20-9), who have the best record in the National League, by 7½ games through Sunday. The Reds are 2-5 against the Pirates. The Reds are 3½ games back in the wild-card race.

What’s next: After a three-game series against the Padres (15-14), the Reds return home Friday to start a six-game homestand against the Chicago White Sox (8-21) and New York Mets (15-12). The Reds play 12 of their 29 games in May at Great American Ball Park.

Best starting pitcher: Graham Ashcraft (2-0, 2.10 ERA) started five games in April and led the staff with 30 innings pitcher.

Hunter Greene (1-0, 2.86) also put up strong numbers but did not pitch past the sixth inning in any of his six starts. He compiled 28 innings. Nick Lodolo (2-1, 6.16) allowed four earned runs in his first three starts and 17 earned runs in his next three starts.

Overall, Reds starters have a 5.98 ERA. That ranks 27th in baseball out of 30 teams.

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Best reliever: Alex Young, who the Reds signed as a free agent in January, has a 0.71 ERA in 11 appearances. Reds relievers rank 12th in baseball with a 3.55 ERA.

Best hitters: Second baseman Jonathan India leads the team in on-base percentage (.393) and runs scored (22). He’s hitting .285 (29 for 101) with 16 walks.

• Center fielder TJ Friedl (28 for 93, .301) is the only starter hitting over .300.

Worst stat: The Reds rank 28th in baseball with 19 home runs. They have five home runs in the last 15 days, the lowest total in baseball during that span.

Best stat: The Reds rank 12th in baseball in on-base percentage (.330). Last year, they ranked 24th (.304).

Best roster news: Nick Senzel has hit .278 (15 for 54) with two home runs since returning from the injured list on April 13.

Worst roster news: Joey Votto has yet to make his season debut for the Reds. He hit .184 (7 for 38) in a rehab assignment for the Triple-A Louisville Bats before returning to Cincinnati to continue his work.

Best stretch: The Reds won a season-high five straight games last week, sweeping the Texas Rangers on the road and then winning the first two games in Oakland.

Worst stretch: Prior to that winning streak, the Reds lost six games in a row, losing 10-0 and then 8-0 to the Tampa Bay Rays (23-6) and then suffering a four-game sweep in Pittsburgh.

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