Graham Ashcraft was outstanding as he fired 6.0 shutout innings on Tuesday night. Cincinnati’s offense appreciated the effort, too, as they pounded out 16 hits and scored 14 runs as they beat down the Arizona Diamondbacks to pick up their 20th win of the season.

Final R H E
Arizona Diamondbacks (26-31)
8 10 1
Cincinnati Reds (20-35) 14 16 0
W: Ashcraft (3-0) L: Gilbert (0-3)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

Cincinnati got out of the gate quickly on the night. Nick Senzel reached base via catchers interference once again. Tommy Pham would later draw a walk to put two men on for Joey Votto. The first baseman worked a full count before unloading on a 403-foot 3-run homer that gave the Reds a 3-0 lead. They weren’t finished, though. Kyle Farmer would draw a walk, steal second base, and then come around to score on an Albert Almora Jr. single to give Cincinnati a 4-0 lead after the 1st inning.

Tyler Gilbert didn’t have any more luck in the 2nd inning. He hit Nick Senzel with a pitch before giving up a 2-run homer to Brandon Drury – the 11th of his season. Tommy Pham doubled off of the wall in left and then scored on a Tyler Stephenson single that made it 7-0 and led to a pitching change with just two outs in the second inning.

The pitching change didn’t matter much. Aristides Aquino had a 1-out walk in the 3rd and Matt Reynolds followed with an opposite field homer to make it 9-0. Nick Senzel doubled and then Alejo Lopez, pinch hitting for Brandon Drury, walked. Tommy Pham would ground into a double play to end the threat. The offense went quiet from there, not scoring again until after a rain delay nearly three hours later.

Arizona came out of the rain delay swinging and scored five runs in the top of the 8th to cut into Cincinnati’s lead. That didn’t sit well, apparently. Tommy Pham hit a solo home run in the bottom of the frame and after a Joey Votto walk, Tyler Stephenson homered as well to make it 12-5. Albert Almora Jr. would single and move to third when Aristides Aquino doubled off of the wall in left. Matt Reynolds then singled in both of them, giving him four RBI on the night as the Reds made it 14-5. Arizona decided to go to a position player to finish out the inning and put Jake Hager on the mound to face Nick Senzel and while Senzel hit the ball hard it was nabbed at third base and thrown across the diamond for the out. Those five runs gave the Reds enough breathing room as they would hold on for the win.

The Pitching

Graham Ashcraft was in control of the game early, not allowing a hit to  Arizona in the first three innings while getting seven ground outs, a fly out, and a strikeout. He began the 4th inning by catching a pop up on his own. Easy work. Not that Ashcraft needed much help, but when he did, Albert Almora Jr. was more than happy to oblige.

Well, maybe we got ahead of ourselves because the next batter singled to Almora, but he was charged with an error as Ketel Marte was able to advance to second on the misplay. It didn’t matter much as Ashcraft got Christian Walker to line out on the very next pitch as he kept the shutout intact and maintained a 9-0 lead.

After a 1-2-3 5th inning, Graham Ashcraft gave up a leadoff double to Jake Hager. While the game wasn’t in doubt, the shutout could have been. The next batter grounded out, but Hager advanced to third base with just one out. Ashcraft locked in and he struck out the next two batters to escape the jam. With a 9-0 lead that would be the last batter he’d face despite having thrown just 76 pitches in his 6.0 shutout innings. The big right-handed starter left the game with a 1.14 ERA.

Jeff Hoffman took over for the 7th inning and he picked up right where Ashcraft left off by getting two ground outs to start the inning before striking out David Peralta to end the inning. Before the 8th inning started rain began to fall and the tarp came out.

Fortunately for the Reds they held a 9-run lead because when the tarp came off of the field the Diamondbacks took it to Jared Solomon. Jordan Luplow was hit by a pitch, Jake McCarthy doubled, and then Jake Hager walked to load the bases. That led to a visit from Derek Johnson. Whatever he said wasn’t it because the next pitch from Solomon landed five rows deep in the moon deck for the first home run of Geraldo Perdomo’s big league career. After getting the next two hitters out, Solomon gave up another home run as Arizona made it 9-5. That was the last pitch he threw as Cincinnati went to the bullpen to bring in Joel Kuhnel and he got out of the inning without any more damage.

Cincinnati’s offense matched Arizona’s top of the 8th output and scored five runs of their own to make it a 14-5 game. Joel Kuhnel returned for the top of the 9th. He ran into some problems, giving up three runs on four singles, but the Reds held on for a 14-8 win.

Notes Worth Noting

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Arizona Diamondbacks vs Cincinnati Reds

Wednesday June 8th, 6:40pm ET

Merrill Kelly (4-3, 3.66 ERA) vs Mike Minor (0-1, 11.25 ERA)

72 Responses

  1. Rut

    That’ll do pig, that’ll do.

    (1st 8 innings anyway!)

  2. Bet on red

    when Lodolo is healthy we are going to have ourselves a rotation for sure and Overton.

    • DaveCT

      Wouldn’t hold your breath on Overton. A ‘stress reaction’ at its best is a bone bruise. At its worst is a stress fracture. I’m sure he’ll push to get back. But this type of thing is tough.

      • MK

        My grandson currently has a stress reaction in his elbow coming out of high school season and he can’t do anything arm related until high school basketball practice begins. never heard of a stress reaction diagnosis before his but doesn’t sound good to me for Overton in 2022.

    • Old Big Ed

      Lodolo, though, is never healthy. Breathing injures him.

  3. CFD3000

    Really strong back to back starts from the rookies. If Lodolo can get and stay healthy this season could get really fun. Senzel starting to pick up some steam, and Drury, Reynolds and Almora, Jr. all continue to contribute (with Drury looking like more than just a role player). Votto on base 6 times in two days vs. lefty starters with three hard hits and two XBH knocks is also very encouraging. Rain delay late bullpen woes aside this has been two fun and promising games. Here’s hoping a better Mike Minor shows up tomorrow, or that the offense continues to rack up runs and bail him out.

    • David

      I wouldn’t count on too much from Minor.

      It would be nice if Lodolo could finally put it together and not hurt himself, but I think he’s the pitching version of Nick Senzel.

      I think we’ll see Andrew Abbott in the Reds’s rotation as a lefty more regularly than Nick Lodolo. A pitcher with the name “Nick” has bad mojo with the Reds.

      • Jonathan

        @David & Old Big Ed – really stop with the injury none-sense.

      • Old Big Ed

        Are we wrong about Lodolo, though? He pitched 50.2 innings in 2021, and has pitched 14.2 innings in 2022. Counting the 2020 Covid year (not his fault), Lodolo has pitched 65.1 innings over the past 3 years.

        They will be hard pressed to get him built up to much more than 100 innings next year, even if he stays healthy. At best — and nothing ever goes best — he will be James Paxton, the Big Maple, who finally got above 136 innings the season before his walk year.

    • TR

      With the acquisition of Almora, Jr., Senzel could be on the trading block with Mahle and Castillo.

      • Jim Walker

        Senzel has several more years of team control than Almora who was only 19 days short of 5 years at the start of this season. However, the other side of the coin is that Senzel is already arbitration eligible and many would say overpaid based on his actual performance to date.

        I don’t see Senzel as being trade bait or top of the dance card material at this deadline; but, he could end up in a multiplayer deal if the Reds don’t see him as a long term solution in CF or another team holds out for him in a deal the Reds really want to make otherwise.

    • AMDG

      If you are hoping for a better Mike Minor, you might be hoping for a time machine which can take you back to 2019 before his ERA was perpetually above 5.00 🙂

  4. Bet on red

    Looked at the Mariners stat line. Winker worse then Suarez who is not great. Trade starting to look better and better as we have Almora and Drury. Seriously beginning to think that either Moose will be DFA when the IL is healthy or that he “will have covid” until new injuries require his return

    • GreatRedLegsFan

      It’ll be interesting how roster will be set, but Drury, Reynolds, Farmer, India and Solano are fixtures, leaving only a single spot available for Shrock, Barrero or Moustakas.

      • AMDG

        How are Drury, Reynolds and Solano “fixtures” if they are only here on 1-year deals. And Solano hasn’t even taken an AB for the Reds.

        Drury and Reynolds are playing well above what the back of their baseball card says they should. And the Reds should ride that ‘hot hand’ while it lasts. But at some point, they are going to regress.

      • Indy Red Man

        I don’t agree on Drury. He hit well when he came up with Arizona and Coors East builds confidence. Its not like he’s hitting .340 anyway. He can hit .265 with power

      • Jim Walker

        India is the only fixture I see in that group of “fixtures”.

      • Chris

        I’m surprised no one is talking about Brandon Williamson the player we got from Mariners as being part of this rotation. See even if Lodolo can’t stay healthy and let’s hope he does it won’t be the end of the world.

    • Bill

      My problem with the trade, wasn’t that Winker was traded, it was that they traded Winker to get rid of Suarez. I felt Suarez still had something left. I also don’t think Winker will continue to hit that poorly.

      The Drury signing has been great and his numbers are essentially the same as Suarez for less money, so no production lost at 3B. However Moose is the contract they needed to dump. If the pitcher turns out good the trade will be ok, but I would have been happy if they dumped Moose and got nothing back.

      • Hunt4RedsOct

        Two real possible MLB starters in Phillips and Williamson. Not an accident that I list Phillips 1st. Some exciting things going on in the reds minor leagues.
        I really suggest regularly visiting Doug’s sister site …

        AND supporting him on patreon.

      • Bill

        Hunt4RedsOct I am well aware of what the return was. The minor leagues are full of potential MLB starters. That doesn’t mean anything unless it actually happens. Look no further than the three LHP the Reds got for Cueto. I believe all three were top 100 prospects at the time of the trade, and pitching at AAA. Some even had some time in the majors.

        These guys could become stars and the trade looks great. They are just as likely to add to the long list of failed prospects the Reds have traded for. The last “rebuild” failed because none of these potential MLB starters never became stars. We won’t know for a few years, but we have been waiting since 2014

  5. Melvin

    Ashcraft continues to Impress big time.

  6. Indy Red Man

    Could the Reds do anything to move the fence back a little in RF? These HRs are ridiculous. Its like a slowpitch softball game sometimes. Nothing drastic like Camden Yards, but maybe 2 rows?

    • Old Big Ed

      I agree, but I understand that some engineering aspects of the construction would make that prohibitively expensive in right field, even aside from the Castellini factor.

      I think that they could raise the fence about 2-3 feet, which would lose the seating in the first few rows, but make for more doubles and triples.

      • AMDG

        I hope they don’t lose any seating. I’m not sure how they would find room for those 5,000+ fans every night if they lost any seats 🙂

      • Jim Walker

        A 3′-5′ high screen on the fence or behind the current 2nd/ 3rd row might make things really interesting.

        Or if their focus groups say don’t put a screen in the fans’ site line, how about a hardcover from the back of the 3rd row angling to the top of the fence with a low ledge like they have now?

        There are all sorts of possible ways if the interest and will was truly there.

    • Westfester

      Yeah, less offense. Offense is LAME!!!

  7. Old Big Ed

    Angel Hernandez will be the plate umpire in tonight’s game, so it will be an adventure.

    • MK

      Actually got three calls correct at second on Wednesday. Thought they should stop the game and present him the base.

  8. Jim t

    Ashcraft with another nice outing. I hope Drury has just a minor injury. Would love to sweep these guys

    • Tomn

      What happened to Drury? He left the game but I never heard.

    • MK

      Bell said after the game Drury has the aches and pains most players are experiencing at mid season and not a big deal. Just got him out because they had a nice lead. It’s been a while since he has played every day.

  9. Reddawg2012

    Any idea how many innings Ashcraft and Greene will be allowed to pitch this season?

  10. Kevin H

    So Reds aree 17-13 after the horrid start. So over next 30 games can they go 20-10??

    With players getting healthy and coming back. Starting pitching looks to be solid and a half and half bullpen..

    Look at the Angels, lost 13 in a row and they r more talented than the Reds.

  11. Gonzo Reds

    If we could replace Bell with Joe Maddon we might have something with this team going forward. Maddon took rag tag groups of non-stars and won with them in several cities… just not in LA where Trout/Otani both have been in horrible slumps, not the manager’s fault. I’d take him over what we have in a heartbeat!

    • Jim t

      No manager will win here unless ownership changes it’s philosophy.

  12. Mark A Verticchio

    The Reds can trade Castillo and or Mahle and still have a great staff next year with Ashcraft, Greene, Lodollo and Abbott. Wow who would have thought that possible. With that staff moving the fences back would be a good idea. I forgot about Williamson and a few others, Dunn, Petty and Overton.

    • MBS

      The future of the rotation looks bright, that’s for sure!

    • MK

      Those right field seats are very popular (try to buy them sometime. They are not taking them out.

  13. Eddie

    Bullpen almost caused Ashcraft great performance to not matter again. Solomon allowed 5 runs and kuehl allowed 3 runs. Bullpen is our Kryptonite as usual and bell of course

  14. Klugo

    Greene and Ashcraft along with Overton and Lodolo make Mahle and Castillo expendable.

    • Indy Red Man

      Castillo can be frustrating but to hold the Red Sox to 1 hit with all those .330 hitters in the middle of their lineup? If he could ever work the top of the zone consistently with 97-99 then he’d be a monster. Keeping the ball down actually seems to work against him I think or atleast the fastball down.

      Losing him would be a loss. I hope they give him a nice offer and he doesn’t try to break the bank. Its not like he’s ever been great for a long stretch

      • Klugo

        I agree. I like Castillo, but without really knowing his contract situation, I dont think he’ll be around if/when we are actual contenders and he should net a pretty nice return.

    • TR

      Hopefully Mahle and Castillo can bring a couple offensive boppers with the intensity of Castellanos.

    • Eddie

      I agree and also got minor who old with big contract though

  15. Doc4uk

    Abbott and Boyle and Williamson and Phillips on the Horizon for 2023 as the potential fourth and fifth starters.

  16. Steven Ross

    To hear Larkin say this is the best young starting pitching, with success, he’s seen since being a part of the organization, speaks volumes. Nice to see for a change.

    Some tough decisions going forward on position players. India goes back to 2nd but Drury will be tough to take out of the lineup at 3B. Solano? You tell me. He played well for the Giants.

    • MBS

      I think Drury stays at 3B, Solano can play 2B, 3B, SS, DH so he’ll make the perfect backup for the infield. I’d trade Reynolds, he will at least bring back some money.

      1B Votto / Stephenson
      2B India / Solano
      3B Drury / Solano
      SS Farmer / Solano
      DH Schrock / Stephenson / Moustakes / Solano
      C Stephenson / Garcia
      LF Pham / Almora
      CF Senzel / Almora
      RF Barrero / Almora

      That’s how I’d set my team up if I was Krall / Bell if they wanted to win games

      • Jpser05

        I like this! Schrock could also give you a left-handed bat in LF when needed.

      • VaRedsFan

        Schrock has been playing LF on his rehab assignment.

      • Jonathan

        Barrero needs to SS and Farmer can shift to 3rd

      • Eddie

        I would keep Reynolds and get rid of Moose. Reynolds can play anywhere on the infield and good defense. We would be crazy to trade him or whatever. Moose to injured prone lately. Eat money and dfa him or get whatever for moose

  17. JohnnyTV

    Where does De la Cruz fit into folks’ planning. He’ll likely move up to AA this summer, and perhaps make the jump over AAA as India did.
    Could be knocking on the door in 2023.

    • Old Big Ed

      I predict he ends up in center or right field, which allows him to use his speed and arm. They have Barrero at shortstop, and India will play 2B or 3B, which leaves the other spot for McLain or Jose Torres or Max Schrock or whoever else seizes the opportunity.

      • MBS

        Yes, Centerfield for De La Cruz, I like Torres for SS which is why I’m ok with Barrero and De La Cruz in the OF. Really only time will tell, but that’s what I like.

    • Greenfield Red

      He will have to bring his strike outs way down before he is a factor in MLB. He has been a little better since the end of April, but he still has a long way to go.

  18. JayTheRed

    Just wanted to give a shout out to Farmer this season. Guy has been pretty good over the entire season, and I think his defense is getting better and better the more he plays SS. I know everyone wants Barrero there, but the kid really has not proved that he can hit major league pitching yet.

    Just want to say great job Farmer and thanks for your efforts.

  19. MK

    Those right field seats are very popular (try to buy them sometime. They are not taking them out.

  20. Old-school

    Some Kyle Farmer statistics for 2022:

    Against LH pitchers in 56 PA: 380/.429/.800/1.229. ISO .420 wRC+ 226

    Against RH pitchers in 129 PA: .224/.289/.284/.574. ISO .060 wRC+ 61

    Against lefties he is Barry Bonds
    Against righties he’s Jose Peraza.

      • JohnnyTV

        In 2018 Peraza had 182 hits, scored 85 runs, hit 31 2bs, 4 3bs and 14 hrs, stole 20+ bases and only struck out 75 times in 680+ PAs. All that with only a .320 obp.
        Reds started rotating him around different positions, even CF, juggling him in the line and along with his non-existant plate discipline his hitting has plummeted. OBP well into the Billy Hamilton zone.
        He did prefer to swing at nearly anything that looked like a pitch.
        And his fielding was pretty bad.
        An enigmatic vato.

  21. Mark Moore

    Current line-up shows Drury back at 3B tonight. That’s good news that he didn’t injure himself severely.

    TySteve gets the evening off, quite possibly due to the Noon-thirty start tomorrow.

    Forecast no longer calling for rain at game time, so maybe we get this one in. Hoping a good version of Minor shows up tonight.

    • MBS

      Yes, that is good news. I’m cutting Minor some major slack. If he looks bad after 2 more starts, then I’ll start to judge the guy.

  22. JohnnyTV

    What are folks’ expectations viz Justin Dunn?
    Some positive word from him recently and sounds like he’s preparing to start preparing for pitching again.