After an off day yesterday, the Reds (10-15) continue inter league play with a three game series against the Oakland A’s (5-21) tonight. The Reds will look to continue the momentum they built in the series sweep against the Rangers earlier this week. Right hander Luis Cessa gets the start at Oakland Coliseum in a late night Reds game for those of us in the Eastern time zone.

The A’s come into this series with the worst record in MLB. They rank 24th across the entire league with a .674 team OPS. This is slightly better than the Reds’ team OPS of .667. It’s the A’s pitching that is their biggest problem; however, with a league-worst 8.01 team ERA. This stat seems worse when you consider that the A’s have played half their games in a pitcher-friendly ballpark.


Cincinnati Reds

Oakland A’s

2B Jonathan India CF Esteury Ruiz
CF TJ Friedl 1B Ryan Noda
1B Spencer Steer DH Brent Rooker
C Tyler Stephenson C Shea Langeliers
RF Jake Fraley RF Conner Capel
DH Henry Ramos 2B Jordan Diaz
3B Nick Senzel 3B Jace Peterson
LF Stuart Fairchild SS Kevin Smith
SS Jose Barrero LF Tony Kemp


Starting Pitchers

Luis Cessa 16.2 10.80 2.34 8 7
Drew Rucinski (stats from 2022 KBO league) 193.2 2.97 1.13 34 194
Links: Luis Cessa’s Stats | Drew Rucinski’s Stats

Luis Cessa

It’s always a bad sign when a pitcher has more walks than strikeouts, but that’s exactly what Luis Cessa has through four starts. He also has a 10.80 ERA in just 16.2 innings pitched, although that number is inflated from the April 16 start against the Phillies when he gave up 11 runs in just three innings.

His 7.9% strikeout percentage is way below his career percentage of 18.6% and last year’s percentage of 17.6%. He’s only given up three home runs, but his BABIP is at .400. His O-Contact% is up to 83.0% from 64.4% a year ago, and his total Contact% is at 87.3%. Opposing batters are making a lot contact against Cessa, and they’re finding gaps and green grass.


RHH 47 15 3 1 0 8.5% 8.5% .375 .435 .500
LHH 42 16 7 0 3 9.5% 7.1% .432 .476 .865

Pitch Usage

4-Seam 2-Seam Slider Change
Velo 92.1 93.8 83.0 87.9
Usage 20.4% 17.8% 38.8% 23.0%

Drew Rucinski

The A’s activated 34-year-old right handed pitcher Drew Rucinski from the injured list today to make his A’s debut and his first MLB appearance since 2018. Rucinski pitched in the big leagues for four different teams from 2014-2018, with most of those appearances coming in 2018 for the Miami Marlins. He made 32 appearances out of the bullpen that year, putting up a 4.33 ERA in 35.1 innings. In 2019, he made his way over to the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO), where he pitched for the NC Dinos. Rucinski was a starter all four years he was over there. His best season came last year when he pitched to a 2.97 ERA with 194 strikeouts in 193.2 innings.

He signed a one-year deal with the A’s in the off-season, but his season had been delayed a couple weeks by a hamstring injury, as he had been rehabbing in Triple-A.

Pitch Usage (from AAA Rehab)


4-Seam Sinker Cutter Splitter Slider
Velo 89.4 89.4 84.6 83.7 79.0
Usage 21% 34% 33% 9% 3%

When and Where:

  • First pitch: 9:40 pm EDT
  • Place: Oakland Coliseum
  • Weather: 65 ยฐ, mostly sunny
  • TV: Bally Sports Ohio, (out-of-network)
  • Radio: 700 WLW

News and Notes

The Reds made a couple of roster moves today, including calling up Matt Reynolds from Triple-A Louisville.

ICYMI, the reason for a Matt Reynolds call-up is because Wil Myers got placed on the injured list yesterday. The Reds also recalled another bullpen arm yesterday.

A Reds prospect recently joined a top 100 prospect list with his excellent start to the 2023 season.

131 Responses

  1. Melvin

    As someone pointed out EDLC is playing 3B tonight with McLain at SS down on the AAA farm. CES with a HR already.

      • MK

        They need to get somebody like Bench to sit Votto down and convince him to announce his retirement. Reds need to agree to pay the remainder of this years contract and next years contract. Let him play the next weekend home stand with Sunday being Joey Votto Day; get the sellout and retire his number. Bring up CES permanently and forget about it. Two problems solved. Votto goes out positively, Reds only spend what they already have guaranteed and get a sellout weekend to help pay for some of it; CES starts his big league career. Win-Win

      • Melvin

        Maybe it’s just the fan in me but I’m not ready to give up on Votto yet.

    • David

      Mr Encarnacion – Strand is kind of irrepressible! Soon…… ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Rucinski is recovering from a bad hammy. Likely his velocity will be off.

      Maybe a big run scoring night in Oakland for both teams?

      • Melvin

        Robinson with a 3R Homer. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Rut

    So, for tonight’s game– it has been long said that good pitching beats good hitting.

    Will that aphorism become bad hitting beats bad pitching in favor of the Reds?

    A few thousand tortured souls await the results with (somewhat) bated breath…

  3. Pete

    Chuckie Robinson and CES have both homered tonight. No reason not to bring both of them north.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Anyone know how Robinson’s defense is? Last year he was terrible at throwing runners out. He’d have to get much better than that to get another chance in the bigs.

      • Melvin

        Don’t know about the scouting report for his defense but he just hit another double. If we’re going to carry three catchers he could at least PH or DH.

  4. Melvin

    Herget pitching fairly well. One ER in four innings.

  5. Melvin

    I’ve seen two pitches “challenged” tonight. That’s a new one for me.

  6. VaRedsFan

    I have MLB Extra Innings package on cable.
    Does anyone know how I access Milb?

    I tried going to the site but MLB sign in doesnt work with MiLB?
    Made new login, but all the MilB site does is spin.

    • Pete

      I think you have to subscribe to

      • VaRedsFan

        I’m signed into MLB….can watch those games on laptop….just not MiLB

    • Melvin

      I had the same problem. I was finally able to watch off of my MLB.TV package by just scrolling down to minor leagues. The only problem with that tonight was it didn’t start broadcasting until the 3rd inning I believe for some reason.

      • VaRedsFan

        Thanks Melvin….still spinning for me.
        You sign in with MLB account or a separate MiLB account?

      • Melvin

        MLB account is what I’m signed in to.

    • Mark Moore

      I just have and came along with it. I think the subscription alone is about $30.

  7. Mark Moore

    Watched a bit of the Bats game while waiting for ours to start. CES is a machine. McClain started a nice DP. Chuckie pounded one out. Fun stuff to watch!

    Onward to Kicking tonight’s Pig in the form of the Oakland Vegas Ace-thletics!

    • Dennis Westrick

      In the words of the late Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis, Just Win Baby!

  8. Dennis Westrick

    I hate these West Coast road trips for two(2) reasons: 1) This old boy needs his beauty rest and 2) the Reds historically struggle against West Coast teams!

    Need a good 5 or 6 innings out of Cessa with LOTS of run support by the offense!

  9. Old-school

    Pump the brakes on CES

    Hes hitting . Wonderful

    He needs AAA to learn first base defense. He was bad in ST

    Give him may in AAA every day

    Reds need a first baseman but not yet

    Infield defense needs to improve

    • Dennis Westrick

      Had a First Baseman by the name of Joey Votto! But, like me, he got old! I would like to see Ty Steve play the position more often!

      • Melvin

        If we’re not careful we’re going to have half a team full of first basemen. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Kevin H

    Well just saying hello … this ole man doesn’t stay up late.. much

    • Mark Moore

      Not sure how much I’ll watch. I may be good until about 10:30 or 10:45.

  11. Mark Moore

    Cessa dying a death by a thousand cuts so far.

  12. Dennis Westrick

    If Cessa can’t beat Oakland, who can he beat?

    • Harry Stoner

      Rangers said that about the Reds only a few days ago….

  13. Dennis Westrick

    Lucky, lucky, lucky Cessa was with some DP help from his defense!

    Now some crooked numbers please!

      • Harry Stoner

        The man is out on the IL for a month with a bad back and comes back and picks up where he left off.

        Every day the Reds keep him in AAA is a waste.

        The best pure hitter the team has had in forever.

        Figure something out, fast.

      • Mark Moore

        CES is 3 for 4 tonight. But still ๐Ÿ˜€

      • Melvin

        Well he WAS 3-3. :)…I think. He actually had a hard line drive out to RF too so he should have been. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. Dennis Westrick

    Just noticed the lineup! What? No Newman? Also, in what world does Barrero bat last?

  15. Mark Moore

    Oops … a bit of a Little League gaff there. We’ll take it.

  16. Mark Moore

    Way to go Nick! I’m OK with Ramos getting thrown out at 3rd. Make them make the throw after that bad play in LF.

    • Harry Stoner

      Bell will sit Senzel for Reynolds tomorrow.

      Just wait.

      • Kevin H

        I laugh, but somehow I believe you. Lol

      • Melvin

        So you think Reynolds and Newman play tomorrow? ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll tell ya if there ever was a time to let a player go while he’s hot it should be with Senzel.

  17. Mark Moore

    OK, Cessa … they boys filled in the hole and gave you a lead. Take advantage of it. These are the A’s … just pitch to contact and let the guys handle it.

  18. LDS

    Barreroโ€™s 11th RBI, tying him with Friedl for 2nd place on the team – 1 behind Fraley.

    • Melvin

      Time for a break tomorrow. haha I hope not.

  19. Mark Moore

    Clean inning … must be a warm, fuzzy, funny feeling for Cessa. ๐Ÿ˜€

      • Mark Moore

        My problem is my body won’t let me sleep in anymore. About 7:30 is the max for me almost regardless of what time I turn off the light.

      • VaRedsFan

        Therefore stay up as late as you want.
        EZ Peazy.

        Power nap tomorrow.

  20. Mark Moore

    Are they chanting “Sell the team”?

    And Rake pounds it dead center.

  21. DHud

    Ok this is a BIG ballpark

    Fraley hit that ball a long way

    • Mark Moore

      I was surprised to see dead center is only 400′ given the “big” moniker this ballpark receives. Still, it did feel like he had to buy it a ticket to send it that far.

  22. Dennis Westrick

    Cessa with 3 hits and his 10+ ERA is playing with fire!

    Hope Bell has a Sparky moment and has a short leash with Cessa!

    Need to keep the winning streak going!

  23. Mark Moore

    Giving away extra outs and paying the price.

  24. Dennis Westrick

    Fraley, freakin’ Fraley with a 2-run bomb!

    • Harry Stoner

      Would be helpful for him to come out of his recent slump.

      I’d keep Ramos behind him in the order for awhile, too.

  25. Dennis Westrick

    Is it too much to ask for another 3 innings from Cessa?

    • Mark Moore

      I’m thinking the same thing. He’s under 40 pitches (mid 30’s?) right now. If he keeps pitching to contact like this and the A’s get more aggressive and wild, it could work to his benefit.

  26. Mark Moore

    Cessa better count his blessings with these clean innings and low pitch counts. Let’s see if we can pile on another couple for him.

  27. Dennis Westrick

    News Flash! Cessa’s ERA is now below 10!

    • Mark Moore

      It has nowhere to go but down … ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

  28. Mark Moore

    I can’t believe they let them keep those bullpen mounds. That’s just a major hazard (as we saw on that play).

  29. Mark Moore

    I don’t know … Friedl definitely did a “pop-up” slide there.

  30. Dennis Westrick

    C’mon Steer, really? First & third and less than 2 outs! Need a ball in the air in the outfield!

  31. LarkinPhillips

    Friedl should have been running before that to avoid the DP. Especially considering Steer hits a lot of up the middle grounders.

    • Melvin

      Do you possibly mean, what’s it called, a hit and run? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Dennis Westrick

      Agreed! Nothing like a DP to kill a potential big inning!

  32. Mark Moore

    That’s quite the DP turned there. 2 more bike helmets for the kids.

  33. Mark Moore

    OK, I do believe I’m in through the 5th at this pace. Then I’ve got to shut it down for tonight. I’m usually in bed and reading by this point.

    • Dennis Westrick

      I’m usually in bed sleeping! But, tomorrow is Saturday after all!

  34. MBS

    At what point do we believe Chuckie Robinson has made a legitimate adjustment to his game? .424 BA, 1.121 OPS through 59 ABโ€™s.

  35. Melvin

    Bats win 7-1

    McLain 2-5 with a HR

    CES 3-5 with a HR

    Robinson 3-4 with a HR

    Herget 4 innings 1 ER

    Lively 5 innings 0 ER

    EDLC with a rough one but other than that a good game. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Votto4life

      I have been in favor of not rushing the prospects, but McClain is getting tougher and tougher to ignore.

  36. DaveCT

    Though, at times, the Cowboy’s disdain for the contemporary realities of MLB can be a bit much, he’s a much, much better complement to Sadat, who is almost bearable with Brantley. With Larkin, both are barely bearable.

    • Dennis Westrick

      Yep! Really miss Marty & Joe! Yes, I’m old and sentimental!

    • Melvin

      Do any remember the year that Marty and Joe would switch off between radio and tv between innings during the game? By the way “The Cowboy” is my favorite now.

    • Mark Moore

      Agreed. He can be almost obnoxious in his “old-school” persona at times, but it’s so far superior to the incessant prattling of Sadak. It’s why the WLW audio overlay is the feed of my choice. I think Thrall does a great job.

  37. Dennis Westrick

    Cessa needs to buy a Lottery ticket in California!

  38. Tom Mitsoff

    I’ll be interested in seeing the attendance figure. It looks like more are there in Oakland than in recent Reds home games.

    • Mark Moore

      That stadium is such a cavern … I’m thinking it would look empty with 20K there.

    • Daytonnati

      Well, Tom, you know there are fewer alternative things to do in California than Cincinnati ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Tom Mitsoff

        (Not so sure about that …) ๐Ÿ˜‰

  39. Dennis Westrick

    Cessa playing with fire, again!

  40. Mark Moore

    Well, friends, I’m done commenting for the evening. Hoping Cessa can manage another out here and finish 5 with under 70 pitches. And he does just that.

    Catch you all tomorrow afternoon.

    Oh, and BTW … breakfast scramble with bacon, eggs, onions, and peppers tomorrow morning followed by griddled burgers and onions for dinner tomorrow. You know you’re all jealous ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Melvin

      I’ll send an Uber eats to your house. ๐Ÿ™‚ Make sure my order is ready.

  41. Dennis Westrick

    Somebody needs to contact the CIA or the FBI and report an Invasion of the Body Snatchers event in Oakland! Cessa has lasted 5 innings!

  42. Melvin

    Barrero with another double. ๐Ÿ™‚ Is it time for a day off tomorrow? ๐Ÿ™‚

  43. LarkinPhillips

    A reliever should have been ready to start this 6th since Cessa has been on such a pitch count. Instead bell waited until two on to get someone up. That stuff costs more often than not.

    • LarkinPhillips

      And right on cue. Now itโ€™s a tight ball game. And Law is a questionable first choice with a well rested pen

  44. Harry Stoner

    I don’t have a good feeling about this.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Sure was. Keeping that runner on third with no out from scoring is a good momentum shifter.

  45. Tom Mitsoff

    They need a big hit here from Ramos or Senzel.

    • LarkinPhillips

      Big hit by Senzel! Good call with Fraley running.

  46. VaRedsFan

    Senzel gets those 2 runs back…nice work

  47. Votto4life

    I was just now able to turn the game on. Looks like the offense is still on a roll. Nice to see Nick Senzel having another good game. I really hope he has flipped the switch. How big would that be?

    • LDS

      Apparently, he hits better playing 3rd, over .350, 100 pts less playing 2nd, and below .200 when in the OF. Coincidence? Or just another statistical indication that Bellโ€™s utility philosophy is detrimental to the team?

  48. VaRedsFan

    Back into the frying pan…2 run shot off Law

  49. LarkinPhillips

    Is something wrong with Young? He should be 8th and Diaz 9th. Not Sims in 8th.

    Hopefully Reds add more runs and it donโ€™t matter.

    • MBS

      Youngโ€™s been great, but I donโ€™t put him over Sims. The good news is we have 3 guys who are real back of the pen type pitchers now.

      • Melvin

        Yep. If our starters can just get to the sixth now.

  50. Mark A Verticchio

    If Steer continues to plummet I could see swapping places with CES. CES would be a much better 3rd place hitter.

  51. VaRedsFan

    I had totally written Sims off.
    He’s been a pleasant surprise.

    Keep it up!

  52. Melvin

    Wow. Tough luck by Barrero there. Very hard hit with the bases loaded right at him.

    • TR

      Barrero’s offense is much improved; he looks more comfortable in the batter’s box and he has a nice level swing and came through tonight with two doubles. I was aware the Oakland ballpark has the most foul territory in the majors but not aware the dugouts are open with no protection. If attention is not on the action, it could be dangenrous even for pro players.

  53. Harry Stoner

    Rought night for Steer.

    He didn’t respond well last year when Bell started juggling him around the infield.

    But the flipside is that Senzel is playing better once he’s out of CF.

    Reds still have some sorting out to do.

    Drafting a half dozen 3B and twice that many SS are going to do that to you.

  54. MBS

    I hate to say it, but Cruz might benefit from some time in AAA. I donโ€™t know if thereโ€™s anyone to replace him, but he doesnโ€™t look as sharp as he was last year.

    • Harry Stoner

      There’s always…..Strickland!

  55. RedsGettingBetter

    The Reds have only played against teams sporting record average of .500 or more just before last night game vs A’s. That’s because The Phillies now reached 14-13 record … The upcoming starting pitcher matchups against the A’s look quite favorable to the Reds.