Previewing the pitching matchups: Reds vs. Dodgers
Apparently, the Cincinnati Reds pitching staff aren't the only ones who will be tossing curveballs this weekend in Los Angeles. It was revealed late yesterday afternoon that Cincinnati manager David Bell has tabbed Luis Cessa (0-0 0.00 ERA) as the starter for tonight's contest. The Dodgers will counter with All-Star right-hander Walker Buehler (1-0 3.60 ERA) for their home opener.
This will obviously be an "opener" type situation for the Redlegs considering Cessa has made just 19 starts in 157 career appearances over seven years and none since the 2018 campaign. Don't be surprised to see some roster movement among the pitching staff before tonight's first pitch.
Even though Walker Buehler wasn't overpowering in his 2022 debut, he was good enough to secure a victory on Opening Day in Colorado. Look for the 27-year-old to tread carefully around the Farm Dawg. Kyle Farmer is 4-for-8 with three doubles in their head-to-head meetings.
Jackie Robinson Day will feature Vladimir Gutierrez (0-1 4.15 ERA) battling Tony Gonsolin (0-0 3.00 ERA) for Dave Roberts club. Following a shaky first inning in his season debut, Gutierrez regrouped before dropping a 2-1 decision to the Atlanta Braves.
This will be the Cuban right-handers first appearance against the Dodgers. Throwing strikes will be paramount for Gutierrez. His 3.7 BB/9 rate could spell trouble versus a Los Angeles team who is consistently among the league leaders in reaching base.
Tony Gonsolin will also be making his first start against the Redlegs. Similar to his Cincinnati counterpart, the strike zone can be elusive for the 28-year-old California native. Tossing just 55.2 innings last year due to injury, Gonsolin issued 34 free passes.
Reds flamethrower Hunter Greene returns home on Saturday night.
Electricity will be in the air Saturday night as Hunter Greene (1-0 5.40 ERA) makes his second career start against one of the best young pitchers in baseball as Los Angeles will have Julio Urias (0-1 13.50 ERA) on the mound.
Reds Country could not have been more excited with Greene's debut. Granted, he was taken deep a couple of times, but the big right-hander hit 100 MPH on the radar gun an astonishing 20 times. Additionally, his secondary pitches appear big-league ready.
It's highly doubtful the Redlegs will see the same Julio Urias who allowed six runs on as many hits in just two frames in his season debut. The left-hander is coming off a spectacular 2021 campaign with a league-leading 20 victories. In addition, he ranked in the NL's Top 10 in ERA, WHIP, innings pitched, and BB/9 rate.
Sunday's matinee series finale will star Tyler Mahle (1-0 1.00 ERA) playing opposite Andrew Heaney (0-0 0.00 ERA) of the Dodgers. Even though the numbers only show one earned run allowed in his last start, Mahle was not his typical sharp self.
The California native completed only four innings while surrendering four hits, and committing an error as the Cleveland Guardians dented the plate four times in the short outing. However, Mahle has dominated Los Angeles in four career starts.
Tossing 22 innings the Reds hurler has allowed just one homer and compiled an incredible 2.05 ERA. Next, Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman are the only Dodgers with have extra-base hits when facing the Reds right-hander. Let's hope, for Mahle's sake, history repeats itself.
Newly acquired Andrew Heaney will be making his first start versus the Reds since June of 2019 when he was a member of the Los Angeles Angels. The southpaw was more lucky than good in that outing. Even though he allowed just one run in 5.1 innings, he surrendered five hits and issued four free passes.