A 16-hit attack led the Cincinnati Reds to their fourth consecutive win, 11-7 over the Oakland Athletics in front of 6,423 fans at Oakland Alameda County Coliseum.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (11-15) 11 16 1
Oakland Athletics (5-22)
7 11 2
W: Cessa (1-3) L: Rucinski (0-1) 
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Eight of the nine hitters in the Reds lineup had two hits apiece, as the offense had its way with the weak Oakland pitching. Spencer Steer went 0-for-6 as the only Red not to reach on a hit. The A’s are on pace to finish with a record of 31-131, which would be the worst in major league baseball history.

The Offense

After Oakland took a 1-0 lead in the first, Cincinnati tied it in the second on a single to center by Nick Senzel, scoring Jake Fraley who had singled with one out. An out later, Jose Barrero drove an 0-2 Drew Rucinski pitch to the left-field corner for a two-run double to give the Reds a 3-1 lead.

Fraley kept the scoring going in the top of the third. After Spencer Steer reached on a Jace Peterson error, Fraley launched a homer to center which gave the Reds a 5-1 lead. He then assumed the role of a Norseman (non-Northern Kentucky type):

In the seventh inning, Cincinnati scored three big two-out runs off lefthander Sam Long on a two-run double by Senzel, followed by a run-scoring single by Stuart Fairchild. Senzel’s hit extended his hot streak:

If it’s me, I’m leaving Senzel in the lineup at third as long as he is hitting and his defense remains at the very least adequate.

In the eighth, Jonathan India drew a walk, moved to second on a T.J. Friedl sacrifice bunt, stole third, and then scored on a swinging bunt hit down the third-base line by Tyler Stephenson for a 9-5 Cincinnati lead.

In the ninth, Oakland righty Shintaro Fujinami walked the first three Reds batters of the inning. Barrero lined a screamer which drawn-in shortstop Kevin Smith snared for the first out, but then Fujinami bounced a wild pitch which scored the 10th Cincinnati run. India followed with an RBI single to plate run number 11.

Fraley and Senzel scored three times each, while Senzel led Reds batters with three RBI. His hot hitting has raised his average to .250. Henry Ramos batted 2-for-3 with two walks, raising his average to .429.

The Pitching

Starter Luis Cessa started slowly, not uncommon for him, allowing Oakland a run on three singles in the first inning. He got out of the inning by inducing a double-play grounder from Conner Capel.

Thereafter, Cessa was on top of things through five innings. Of the first 22 batters he faced, 18 saw a first-pitch strike. But the first two Oakland batters reached in the sixth, followed by a Shea Langeliers triple, pulling the A’s within 5-3, marking the end of the evening for Cessa. Derek Law came in and retired Oakland without Langeliers scoring — thanks in great part to a diving stab of a Jordan Diaz line drive by a drawn-in Jonathan India:

However, pitching with an 8-3 lead in the seventh inning, Law allowed a single to Esteury Ruiz followed by a blast to right field by Ryan Noda to make it 8-5. Buck Farmer came on with one out and plunked the hot-hitting Brent Rooker, struck out Langeliers, then walked Capel to bring the tying run to the plate. After a visit from pitching coach Derek Johnson, Jordan Diaz struck out to leave two on base.

Lucas Sims settled things down by retiring the A’s in order in the eighth. Fernando Cruz surrendered a two-run blast by Rooker while finishing things up in the ninth.

What’s news

Friedl is showing that he can smoke the cheese …


Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds at Oakland Athletics

Saturday, April 29, 4:07 p.m. ET

Hunter Greene (0-1, 3.52 ERA) vs. Kyle Muller (0-2, 7.43 ERA)

74 Responses

  1. Melvin

    Good job Tom. I’m sure it’s more fun for you to do the write up when the Reds play well and actually win. 🙂

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Thank you very much, Melvin. It most certainly is more fun in every way when they win. 🙂

  2. Rednat

    The A’s help support my theory that there are not enough good position players around to fill 30 rosters. Let alone expansion? forget it! there defense was really , really bad!

    • Tom Mitsoff

      That is truly a not very good Class AAA team. It’s a travesty that any team could be allowed to put themselves in that position.

      • redfanorbust

        Hey Tom. I see where Oakland fans plan to attend a game in mass, in protest of the proposed move sometime in the future. My understanding is they are showing that if the A’s put a quality team on the field there are plenty of fans to go to games. Last’s night game drew about 6400.

  3. JayTheRed

    These games we should be winning. Nice writeup though. I always enjoy your game summaries.

    • CI3J

      Are we absolutely sure Steer and Senzel didn’t do some Freaky Friday-style body swap about a week ago?

      Because that would explain a lot.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Thank you, Jay, much appreciated.

  4. Melvin

    According to Doug in his minor league review about McLain, “He’s now hitting .333/.467/.655 with 13 extra-base hits, 19 walks, and 7 steals in 24 games. His OPS for April currently sits at 1.122. The best OPS he’s ever had in a month for his professional career is .963, which also came in April (2022). The 7 homers in a month matches what he hit in May of 2022. He’s never had more than 3 in any other month.”

    He now has 105 PA. Others are hitting well down in AAA but it’s getting past the “small sample size” for McLain. What to do? What to do? 🙂 At least it’s a good problem.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      The fact that Matt Reynolds instead of Matt McLain was brought up was a reminder that this team is not in the win-first business. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen McLain play, so I can’t offer a first-hand opinion. But his production at the highest level of minor league baseball absolutely makes him one of the 24 best players in this organization at the moment. The only legitimate excuse I can think of for not bringing up McLain is that India, Senzel and Barrero are all hitting and playing well. Their positions are the positions McLain would play. No need to mess him up by moving him to the outfield — and for that matter, the same would go for Senzel and Barrero at the moment. So upon quick reflection, maybe there IS a good reason for not bringing McLain up. Let him keep pounding the ball and playing his natural position at Class AAA. 🙂

    • redfanorbust

      Nice states in AAA but what might that equate to in the majors I wonder.

  5. MichaelA

    Very happy and excited for Senzel. Still really pulling for him. Hopefully this is just the beginning of turning things around for him.

    • TR

      For me the big turn around for the 2nd. round draft pick, Nick Senzel, is not playing him in the outfield. I’ve always thought Senzel was ready to break forth offensively if he’s injury free.

      • Luke J

        He was a 1st round pick (2nd overall).

      • MichaelA

        Completely agree about putting him back in the dirt. Yes, he can play the outfield. That doesn’t mean he should. No reason not to keep him at 3B for a good while.

  6. Reddawg2012

    You write the best game recaps, Tom! I like how you incorporate the highlights and some of your own analysis in addition to the game summary. Wish you did them more often.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Thank you for the very kind words, Reddawg!

  7. Redsvol

    Anytime Cessa completes 5 innings of 3 run ball should be counted on as a win for these Reds.

    Bullpen faltered a bit. Defense has to improve.

    Kudos to the offense for continuing to add on runs in late innings instead of resting. This offense can be fun. Let’s go Hunter Greene!

    • Grand Salami

      Farmer and Cruz look like mop up guys only. Cessa should still be on a very short leash. 10 base runners through 5 against the worst team in baseball is no turnaround. FO should be looking for a new #5.

      Senzel hitting is just amazing. I love it. The team has such great chemistry.

      • Colorado Red

        3 ER in 5 is not good, but for a #5 it is fair, if the other 4 do there job.

      • wkuchad

        Problem is, our #4 is at best a #5, and 1-3 are still young and will continue to have growing pains as they keep maturing.

      • Kevin H

        Farmer had 1 bad game this month. He is far from a mop up guy

  8. Old-school

    This team is back to being interesting having come off the mat after the 7-15 start. Good for them.

    I would keep the Senzel, Barrero train rolling and give them every day at bats and see what they can do in may.

    I would keep CES in AAA at least through Memorial Day. Let him rake but most importantly work on his first base defense. Reds haven’t had a franchise first baseman in forever in the minors and now they do. In spring training, CES needed some work defensively so thats what another 4-6 weeks in AAA finishing school should be. He brings everything you need at first base for a team lacking power.

    As for McLain I view him as a SS or 2b and NOT an OF. Im a big India fan but i do think perhaps moving him off 2b is the long term answer but that s not going to happen during the season. That would be an off-season move. Ultimately Id go with India/Barrero/Senzel and Steer at 2b/SS/3b with Steer flexing to first base and DH several days a week and India getting some DH duty twice a week. I would not bring McLain up until there is a clear plan on him playing 5-6 days a week. Cards poor start is in large part to a crowded unproductive young OF and no regular playing time or roles so they sent their Uber prospect down to AAA to get regular at bats and work on Turner Ward homework.

    • Tom Reeves

      I know the Reds have some awesome IF talent coming with some competent talent at the major league level. I wonder if it’s time to flip a couple of those pieces for OF talent.

      TB had like four great SS prospects a few years back and flipped a couple of them and, well, just look at the standings.

      It is interesting what happened when guys have to play for their jobs because the talent in AAA is raking.

      • redfanorbust

        Been wondering that for a while now Tom. Reds need a power hitting OF. Such a waste having little to no power hitting players at a ballpark like GABP.

    • MBS

      @Old, “Im a big India fan but i do think perhaps moving him off 2b is the long term answer but that s not going to happen during the season. That would be an off-season move.”

      That has been my contention for over a year now. I think the Reds know it to, but they didn’t make a move this last offseason. They are either burying their heads in the sand, or they have a different plan, trade India. Adding to the “trade India” evidence is the lack of contract extension, while the younger players have had talks, and Greene even has a contract. The emergence of McLain, and EDLC will result in the trade of India.

      *I’d move him to a corner, I want to keep India, just not as a middle infielder.

      • BK

        I agree. I have to think the Reds are pleasantly surprised by McLain’s emergence this year. When the Reds entered ST, 3B was Steer’s to lose. Perhaps the Reds thought Steer at 3B and India at 2B was the best combo for 2023. From my observation, Steer has better range than India. Long-term, I would move India to 3B, but I doubt the Reds will make that move in-season.

      • redfanorbust

        I don’t want to trade India either but it seems to make sense. We have too many infielders for spots available. India right now would fetch the most in a return I think. However not too sure if the intangibles Indian brings other than his hitting would be as valuable to another team as it is to the Reds. Looking at competing teams Dodgers look like they could use a 2B but not sure who they have the Reds could use in their minors.

  9. old-school

    Its coming. Former Braves Lefty Kyle Muller starting today and Bell could unleash the all right handed batting order, headlined by the Kevin Newman/Matt Reynolds SS/1b exacta today.

    I am predicting :

    India 2b
    Fairchild LF
    Steer 3b
    Stephenson DH
    Reynolds 1b
    Ramos RF
    Senzel CF
    Newman SS
    Casali C

    Barrero and Friedl draw the short stick today. Hope I am wrong.

    • LDS

      You probably aren’t wrong. But, he should start exactly the same lineup as yesterday. Senzel has hit well since moving to 3rd. Steer unfortunately is hitless at 1B and hitting over .300 when playing 3rd. It could well be a statistical fluke. It could also be an indication that moving players around disrupts performance.

  10. GreatRedLegsFan

    At sometime tough decisions will have to be made: McClain is already due in the bigs, Encarnacion-Strand will be very soon and eventually De La Cruz, not to mention Robinson if he continues raking up. There’ll be no room in the active roster for Myers, Newman, Maile and Reynolds.

    • wkuchad

      I know it’s very subjective, but ETA per MLB prospect rankings shows McClain as 2024 and de la Cruz as 2023.

      • BK

        Those estimates are very subjective. They are also static, written prior to ST, and not updated at this point. Before ST, most would have expected McLain to spend the year at AAA. He’s been much better than expected in 2023 lending little utility to MLB’s prediction.

        Also, MLB.com has the best graphics for sorting prospects, but they are nowhere near as good as Doug Gray’s prospect analysis (or Baseball America). Doug is easily the gold standard for anything with the Red’s minor league system.

    • redfanorbust

      Sounds reasonable GreatRed but I am not sure Reds will eat the 7.5M they gave Wil Meyers. Right now his trade value is little to nothing. He could start hitting once over Covid/neck or whatever he has and once weather warms up. His bat, when right plays well in GABP. That’s why they signed him in the first place. Hit 15-20 homers before trade deadline and trade him for someone decent.

  11. SlippinJimmy

    I believe it has been made clear that Luis Cessa is not a major league quality pitcher. We really need to find a suitable replacement for that spot in the rotation–at least someone with an upside who can improve.

    If that wasn’t the A’s he was facing last night, I feel like it would’ve been another disastrous start for him.

    • Tomn

      I could see Cessa as a long man in the BP. He had good stuff and location through 5 innings last night. But faded fast after that. True it is a poor A’s lineup but cessa did what he needed to do. Hopefully the reds will bring up a quality #5 starter in the not so distant future. Boyle? Abbott? …

      • Tomn

        Lively is starting to come alive in AAA. Maybe the Reds could live with that solution.

      • Mark Moore

        Yep, yep, and yep … long man and emergency starter (for no more than about 4 innings). That’s what his calling card should be.

  12. GMan88

    Who else gets that glint in their eye when Cincinnati and Oakland play?

    • CI3J

      That feeling when you realize 1990 was 30 years ago.

  13. MBS

    If we end April with 2 more W’s, we’ll be 13 – 15. that would be a pretty good month all things considered. I like our chances with Greene, and Lodolo on the mound today, and tomorrow.

    If we remain in striking distance when CES, McLain, EDLC, Abbott, and others are promoted I like our chances!

    • Harry Stoner

      I wonder if anyone in the organization was prepared for this…for the potential to be actually competing with this team.

      The middling winter acquisitions (Myers, Newman, Weaver) haven’t contributed much yet, but are clogging the way for McLain and CES who seem very ready to join the team.

      Adding Reynolds into the mashup isn’t going to help.

      Perhaps Votto, too.

      It would be a shame to miss the opportunities in 2023 because everyone is so convinced to wait for ’24 or ’25 or ’26 or whenever.

      I don’t think Bell has the stones for trusting the youth movement.

      I’ll trade ‘mediocre veteran experience’ (whatever that means) for young hungry talented Turks any day.

      • wkuchad

        A lot wrong there.

        Newman and Weaver aren’t clogging anything. If (and that’s a big IF), any of our minor league pitchers are ready for the big show, they would take Cessa’s spot, and he could go to the bullpen. And I don’t want any of our young stars replacing Newman (and his role). If they’re coming up, they need to play fulltime. Our bench players are blocking no one. And technically, Myers also isn’t clogging anything at the moment.

        If you bring guys up to start, you have to bench a starter. I liked last night’s lineup.

        Bell is giving the heavy majority of at bats to the younger players and the majority of starts to the younger pitchers.

      • Jim Walker

        I agree Harry. There is an energy in that group from last night that emerges when they are together on the field. Friday seemed to be another step ahead with Senzel and Ramos inserted for Newman and/ or Myers (or an alternate catcher with Stephenson at DH).

        It would be a hard pill for the organization to sit Myers when he was their billboard off season signing they hoped to flip for a keeper prospect at the trade deadline. However, the best path for the future is to go with the group from Friday night and mix in the guys coming up as they are ready from June onward.

        Krall should make it a top down order to Bell; and, if Bell doesn’t want to go along, then make a change there too.

      • Harry Stoner

        Yeah, I shouldn’t have included Weaver…and edited him out from the clog up list.

        Not much else wrong if you look at it with out the Bell-Colored-Glasses.

        Newman is a problem. His ‘role’ hasn’t been the “play against lefties”, but winds up bumping Barerro a fair share..or moving him to CF, which I suppose some people here think is a good idea.

        I’m not one of them.

        Newman is getting plenty of ABs. I’d much rather see McLain in that “role” playing the Bell shuffle at SS, some 2b and maybe in the OF.

        If Bell can find abs for both Newman and Reynolds, then there would be abs for McLain as well.

        Myers is a problem. He’s not hitting and winds up on the IL. Getting paid to much $$ to unload to make room for a much better hitter, CES.

        Could CES “problems” at 1B be much worse than putting Myers, Stephenson or Steer in that role?

        Clearly the Reds don’t know what to do with their riches, and Bell won’t give up on his 30-something mediocre utility players.

        Waiting on someone to get hurt to solve the clog up isn’t a strategy.

  14. Mark Moore

    Tapped out after the 6th and woke up to “WOW! What happened???”

    Did my walk (3.2 miles, thank you very much) and set up the laptop to watch our 7-8-9 innings while I prepped my breakfast scramble. Didn’t watch the Aces half of any inning. We just kept on smacking the ball and that’s a good thing.

    Way to Kick the Pig to start the series. Here’s to productive games today and tomorrow regardless of any DTBell manipulation of our line-ups.

    • Mark Moore

      And a very nice night at 2B for India. That one diving snag of the liner was a web gem that saved a bunch of heartburn.

  15. Mark Moore

    Just looked at the attendance numbers … 6,400. I know Welsh was saying the move to Vegas is a long way off, but I’m thinking that might not be the case. While MLB owners/execs really don’t want to see the oldest franchise move, Oakland is another matter. Somebody noted that expansion isn’t the answer given the talent pool isn’t really that deep. Contraction might be a better option, but I don’t see any way they choose that route. I’m still betting we see the Las Vegas Ace-thletics within the next couple of years.

  16. Kevin H

    Correct me if I am wrong here. This is first time in recent memory where guys from triple A are pushing way into a legit conversation to get called up.

    McLain, CES, and maybe Robinson. Cruz isn’t there yet, and Abbot could be up to replace Cessa?

    Truly fun and exciting to be enjoying Reds baseball on April 29th.

  17. Ron S

    Seems Steer has been in a funk since moving up to the top third of batting order.Maybe pressing too much.Probably needs to slide back down to middle of the order.

    • CI3J

      The funk also coincides with him moving to 1B.

      Maybe changing positions really does affect players’ offense. Who knew?

      • redfanorbust

        Depends on the player but a definite possibility for any given player. Hard enough to hit a baseball without having to learn a new position on the fly.

  18. Kevin H

    Line up out. Friedl, and Fraley not in lineup

    • Mark Moore

      The “handy” DTBell strikes again.

      At least Senzel and Steer remain where they’ve been.

      • Dennis Westrick

        I like that moniker for Bell Mark! Going forward I will refer to D. Bell as Handy Bell!

    • SlippinJimmy

      David Bell’s potential reasonings for Saturday’s lineup:

      1. “Lefty’s can’t hit lefty’s. It’s a fact. Those other coaches must be editing the film, changing stats, or playing Jedi mind tricks.”

      2. “Man, we scored way too many runs last night…”

      Please get rid of this clown. This team needs a real leader, not a t-ball coach who likes to make sure everyone gets a turn playing a different position on the field every night.

      • SlippinJimmy

        Seriously, can you imagine if by some strange chance David Bell ended up coaching a team with ONLY left-handed batters against a LHP?

        His head would literally explode.

        You could give him a theoretical all-time great lineup of guys like Barry Bonds and Ken Griffey, Jr, but Mr. Bell knows better. LEFTIES CAN’T HIT LEFTIES!

      • Old-school

        McLain turned (3) 6-4-3 DP.

        One was a nifty glove only flip

    • Melvin

      Yep. He’s good. 🙂 I’m sure he’s able to play multiple positions until everything gets figured out.

  19. LDS

    Let’s play some Bell Ball. Friedl and Fraley to the bench in favor of Maile and Newman. Stephenson to DH and Barrero to CF. Bell either likes losing or doesn’t have a clue how to sustain momentum and development. Friedl is hitting .306 vs. RH and .294 against LH’ers. That’s not something you bench over your handedness obsession. And other than Ramos short stint, Friedl has the best average on the team. Bell should not be managing in MLB. Send him back to the little leagues.

  20. Kevin H

    Newman is batting in front of Senzel and Barerro. Both players are hitting better than Newman right now. Fairchild isn’t a 3rd place hitter. That should be Stepheson right now or heck even Ramos as he is hot. Not taking away from Fairchild, however yet again it seems like a batting order of any regularities doesn’t matter to this manager.

    Last night batting order to me is what it should look like today, and well guess what NOPE

    • Mark Moore

      Mr. Handy DTBell must know something the rest of us don’t. That’s the only explanation. Heck, I don’t want Senzel in CF, but he’s better there than Barrero and his continued learning experience. Newman could man 3B or 1B (and bat 9th, of course) if he has to play.

      At least it’s the Ace-thletics, so anything can happen, right?

      • Kevin H

        Truly I don’t know what its like to be a mlb manager. I don’t know all the ends and outs as far as this and that.

        What I do know or believe is, if you have a hot team and the players are playing off each other, you ride the horse. Yesterday’s game is a example. I am sure the Ranger series is another example. I just don’t understand the obession with messing with lineup. I am a believer consistency matters.

        Just like the bullpen and I think maybe you disagree here Mark, which your allowed. LOL… but Bullpen pitchers need roles of some sort. Bringing in Young to pitch the 5th when he is a 8th inning guy well I dunno. Again I don’t know much LOL

      • Old-school

        @LDS and Mark

        Bell makes my brain hurt but im glad Senzel is playing 3b and not CF

        Lets end that senzel outfield experiment altogether.

        Im all for Barrero at SS 6 days a week.

        That said and im squinting really hard to see…. IF krall and bell are using Newman as a place holder to give Barrero some CF experience until McLain comes up and enters the SS 2b equation…. Im ok with it.

        Fast forward 6 weeks and McLain and CES get promoted.
        Newman/Reynolds/myers/3rd catcher exit stage left… some faster than others.

        Votto is a special case

        Steer 3b/1b and DH as biggest flex piece
        India 2b and DH
        Senzel 3b/2b
        Barrero SS and occ cf
        CES 1b and DH
        Stephenson C 70% DH 20 %
        McLain 2b/SS

      • LDS

        Greene really needs to be on today. The Reds gave up far too many runs last night. The A’s pitching is worse than the Reds which may be the only saving grace of today’s game. Certainly, not the Reds’ strongest lineup. And if anyone needs a break, it’s Steer. Thus far he is 0h for 1B. He was hitting .308 playing 3B. And he’s not likely to get back to 3B unless Senzel cools off. Even then, Senzel is older, costs more, and was a high draft pick, all key variables in who plays where – Newman for instance.

      • LDS

        @Old_school, I envy your optimism. Newman, Myers, Maile, and Reynolds gone? That’s far too much to hope for. Next you’ll be telling us that Krall secures a starting pitcher or two and that Bell is sent packing.

  21. Mark A Verticchio

    I feel bad for any left handed batter with Bell, no matter how good he is, Friedl leads team in average, he will never play against a left handed pitcher. What Bell fails to understand once the opponent puts in a right handed pitcher he will sub in his left handed bats and have no bench left. Please somebody, anybody, stop this madness.

    • Harry Stoner

      For Bell, “managing” means this constant shuffling around of players and positions.

      He feel he needs to have his thumbprints on everything and the more the better.

      A new lineup every night suggests he’s “thinking” and “managing”.

      His “handedness” is his trademark, until it isn’t and he wants to squeeze one of his favorites into the lineup “to get them going”.

      The A’s lefty starter has a 7+ ERA coming into the game. Might not be the pitcher to bench Friedl and Fraley against.

      No doubt Bell is tantalized by their prospective PH roles late in the game when he can then do his great switcheroo: Senzel to CF, Steer to 3B, Stephenson to 1B, Fraley to DH. Or whatever.

      I’m glad / surprised that Senzel is sticking at 3rd, though I do think the Bell shuffle is getting into Steer’s head again this season.

      But I’m down for giving it a try.

      One thing Bell did try for awhile before abandoning, was loading the 8-9 spots in the lineup to provide some potential baserunners for India.

  22. LDS

    “So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work.”
    ? Peter Drucker

    Sums up Bell nicely.

  23. Melvin

    79 pitches thru 3. Yikes! The A’s are happy about that.