Wednesday, May 31, 2023
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MLB Preview: Cincinnati Reds (13-17) at San Diego Padres (16-15)


This afternoon the Reds are trying to win their third consecutive series and extend that season-best series streak (3-0 vs Tex, 2-1 at Oak, 1-1 at SD).

• In last night’s 10-inning, 2-1 win, relievers RHP Lucas Sims, RHP Ian Gibaut, RHP Derek Law and RHP Alexis Díaz combined to throw 4.0 hitless innings (2bb, 5k)…in the 10th inning, Díaz stranded the tying and winning runs by retiring Fernando Tatis Jr. (K), Manny Machado (F7) and Juan Soto (K).

• In the last 19 games beginning 4/13, Reds relievers have posted a 2.77 ERA (74.2ip, 23er, .217baa).

• TJ Friedl and Jonathan India each has appeared in all 30 Reds games, and each has amassed at least 30 hits…Scooter Gennett (30g, 34h) was the last Reds player to produced those numbers, in 2018…Friedly an India comprise the first pair of teammates to produce at least 30 hits while appearing in each of the Reds’ first 30 games since 2013, when Jay Bruce (30g, 32h) and Joey Votto (30g, 33h) did it.

• Is Game 3 (1-1) of a 3-game series vs Bill Blakeslee’s Padres and Game 6 (3-2) of a 6-game road trip that included a 2-1 series win at Oak.

• This road trip is the first of the Reds’ 3 visits to the West Coast.

• Beginning Fri night the Reds return to Great American Ball Park for a 6-game homestand vs the White Sox (3g) and Mets (3g).

• The Padres won 7 of the last 8 games, including all 6 games in 2022, and 13 of the last 15 games overall.

• Last night’s win snapped the Reds’ 7-game losing streak vs the Padres… was their first win vs SD since their final meeting of the 2021 season, a 5-4 win on 7/1 at GABP.

• Beginning in 2013 the Reds are 9-22 at Petco Park and lost 8 of the last 9 games here.

• Last night’s win snapped the Reds’ 9-game losing streak at Petco Park, their longest losing streak ever in San Diego and their first win here since 4/20/19…was the Reds’ longest losing streak at any road venue since they lost 11 straight games at Pit’s PNC Park from 9/3/18 – 9/27/19.

• The Padres swept the previous 2 series in San Diego (4-0, 3-0), including their first ever 4-game series sweep vs the Reds (6/17-6/20, 2021).

• Since the rivalry began in 1969, in 2022 the Padres produced the only season series sweep by either team.

• The White Sox won 21 of the previous 30 interleague games, including 8 of 14 games at GABP and 5 of 6 games at Cinergy Field.

• The teams are meeting for the first time since 2021, when the Sox earned a 3-1 series win with a 1-1 split at Great American Ball Park and a 2-0 series sweep at Guaranteed Rate Field.

• The Reds have won 2 of the last 3 season series vs WSox following an 0-6-1 start to the rivalry.

• Before the interleague schedule expanded this season to include games vs all 15 American League teams, from 1997-2022 the Redlegs went 188-
247 vs the American League, at .432 the lowest interleague winning percentage of any Major League team…in 2022 the Reds went 12-8 vs AL teams (0-2 vs Cle, 2-0 at Cle, 1-2 at Tor, 1-1 at Bos, 3-0 vs TB, 2-1 at NYY, 2-1 vs Bal, 1-1 vs Bos)…last season’s was their first winning
record vs the American League since 2013 (11-9)…in the 8 seasons between the 2013 & 2022 season series wins, the Reds went 61-99 vs AL teams (.381)

Today’s Pitcher – #85 Luis Cessa, RHP

• This afternoon is making his third career appearance and first career start vs the Padres…will be his first career appearance at Petco Park.

• In the 14-3 loss on 4/16 vs Phi, became the fifth pitcher since 1900 to allow at least 9 runs in the first inning and then pitch into the fourth (Mil’s Dave Bush 7/20/2010 at Pit, Col’s Mark Redman 4/26/2008 at LAD, SD’s Brett Tomko 8/9/2002 at Cin, Chi’s Nixey Callahan 9/6/1900 at Phi)…courtesy @EliasSports.

• Made his fifth Opening Day roster (2016, 2019, 2021 for NYY and 2022, 2023 for Cin).

• In 2022, in his second season with the Reds went 1-3, 4.30 in a career-high 10 starts and 3-1, 4.91 in 36 relief apps.

• In August 2022 joined and remained in the rotation after the Reds lost to trade or injury starting pitchers RHP Luis Castillo (to the Mariners), RHP Tyler Mahle (to the Twins), RHP Robert Dugger (right shoulder pain), RHP Hunter Greene (right shoulder strain), RHP Graham Ashcraft (right biceps soreness), RHP T.J. Zeuch (back soreness), RHP Justin Dunn (right shoulder tightness) and LHP Mike Minor (left shoulder soreness).

• Beginning 8/22 at Phi made his last 9 apps of the 2022 season as a starter (1-3, 3.77, .226baa).

• Between games of the day/night doubleheader vs Pit on 7/7/22 went on the 15-day injured list with a left intercostalis muscle train…missed 20 games (13-7) until he was reinstated on 8/2, after RHP Tyler Mahle was traded to the Twins.

• After he came off the 15-day IL on 8/2, posted a 3.26 ERA (.211baa) in his last 15 apps and 9 starts of the season.

• During 2023 spring training made 1 appearance for Mexico in the 2023 World Baseball Classic.

• Pitched the sixth and seventh innings of Mexico’s 10-inning, 5-4 loss vs Colombia in Arizona Pool C (2ip, 2h, 1er, 0bb, 1k, 25 pitches).

• Returned to the Reds after Mexico’s 5-4 quarterfinal win vs Puerto Rico and finished the spring with 1 “A” game appearance.

• Is the only player, manager or coach in Reds history to wear uniform #85.


Wacha goes 6.0 scoreless and Soto doubles twice as Padres fall 2-1 to the Reds in extras

• The Padres scored 1 run last night on a Juan Soto 2-out double in the 3rd, and despite a 2nd Soto double, the Padres fell short in 10 innings to the Reds.

• San Diego batters went 0-for-12 with RISP last night… Fernando Tatis Jr. went 0-for-5 with 2 strikeouts, snapping a 9-game hitting streak.

• On the bump, Michael Wacha pitched 6.0 scoreless innings, allowing just 2 hits and 2 walks with 3 punchouts. Josh Hader wins NL Reliever of the Month

• Josh Hader claimed his 6th-career Reliever of the Month Award and his 1st since joining the Padres in 2022…he previously won in April 2018, May and June of 2019, June 2021, and April 2022…he became just the 2nd reliever to win the award at least 6 times, joining Edwin Díaz (has won a record 8 times).

• In 13 appearances in April, he posted a 0.69 ERA in 13.0 IP, converting each of his 10 save opportunities, which led MLB entering May…Hader allowed 1 run on 4 hits with 5 walks and 17 SO in his 13 app. RISP problem: Padres have 0 hits with RISP in their last 4 losses

• On Tuesday night, the Friars went 0-for-12 with RISP…it was the Padres’ 6th game this year with at least 12 AB’s with RISP, and it was the only game so far in which in which they went hitless in such situations…their .212 average (55-for-260) with RISP overall this year ranks last in the NL.

• In the Padres 3 prior games (all of which they won), the Padres went 17-for-48 (.354) with RISP…in fact, in the last 4 Padres losses, the Padres did not have a single hit with RISP.

• In their wins in 2023, the Padres are hitting .329 (49-for-149) with RISP…in their losses, they’re hitting .054 (6-for-111) with RISP. Off day tomorrow is Padres 1st in San Diego in 2023

• After the Padres played 18 straight games in 18 days from April 6-23, the Padres are enjoying 4 off days in a 15-day span from April 24-May 8…tomorrow will be the 3rd off day in that stretch, and their next one will be on May 8 (in Minnesota).

• Tomorrow’s off day will be the Padres’ 1st in San Diego this year, with their prior 3 coming on the road.

Lugo set for 2nd career start vs. Reds 33-year-old Seth Lugo takes the mound for his 2nd career start vs. the Reds today in the series finale…he earned the win in his lone career start vs. CIN on Sept. 8, 2017, tossing 6.0-shutout innings of 4-hit ball…since then, he’s made 13 consecutive relief appearances vs. the Redlegs since May 8, 2018, going 0-1 with 1 SV, 1 HLD and a 1.59 ERA (2 ER, 11.1 IP).

Run support
After starting the season 2-0 with 13 combined runs of support in his first 2 starts (April 2 vs. COL & April 9 @ ATL), Lugo got another 3 runs of support on April 15 vs. MIL in a no decision before going 0-2 across his last 2 starts with 1 combined run of support on April
21 @ ARI and April 27 @ CHC.

Rare long balls at Wrigley
Lugo allowed 2 home runs last Thursday, April 27 at Wrigley Field (Eric Hosmer and Nelson Velazquez)…it was just his 8th-career multi-HR start, and his first since allowing a career-high 4 HR on Sept. 17, 2020 @ PHI…in his 108 consecutive relief appearances for the Mets from 2021-22, he had just 1 multi-HR game (Sept. 15, 2021 vs. STL).

Pitch counts
2 of Lugo’s 7 100+ pitching outings have come so far this season, highlighted by his 109 pitches on April 9 @ ATL, the 2nd-most in his career and trailing only his 114 on Aug. 11, 2017 @ PHI w/ NYM…he was 2 shy of 100 with 98 pitches in his last start last Thursday at Wrigley. Entering today’s action, his 98.6 pitches per game so far in ’23 are 6th-most in the Majors and 3rd in the NL, trailing only ATL’s Spencer Strider (100.2) and rotation-mate Yu Darvish (98.8).- min. 5 starts.

Land vs. Air
So far in ’23, Lugo has posted a career-high 53.6% ground ball rate, ahead of his 45.6% career ground ball rate…his 20.2% fly ball rate is the 2nd-lowest of his career, trailing only the shortened 2020 (19.8%) his career fly ball percentage is 24.9%.

Starting vs. Relieving
Lugo spot in the starting rotation this season mark his first starts since the 2020 season, when he made 7 starts out of his 16 total appearances during the pandemic-shortened campaign…his start in his Padre debut on March 30 vs. COL snapped a streak of 108 consecutive relief appearances dating back to June 2, 2021. In his 43 career starts, has gone 17-12 with a 4.25 ERA and a .272 opponents’ AVG…in his 237 career relief outings, he is 17-14 with 16 SV in 30 SVO, 61 holds, 2.91 ERA, and a .212 opp. AVG.

Filthy with the curve Per Statcast, last season he relied on his curveball 34% of the time with opponents hitting .159 (11-69) against the pitch and ranking in the 99th percentile in spin rate (3,253 rpm)…this season, he again is relying on the curveball (37%) the majority of the time with opponents hitting .275 (11-40) against the pitch. The 7.8 inches of vertical movement is the 5th-most vertical movement among all ML curveballs, just behind Nick Martinez’s 8.2 inches for 4th-most.

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