The Cincinnati Reds entered play on Friday having lost seven straight games, but Graham Ashcraft held the Giants in check through a career high eight innings to stop the Reds skid. Ashcraft kept the Giants hitters off-balance all night.

The Reds got the scoring going in the top of the second on back-to-back RBI hits from Mike Moustakas and Nick Senzel. Another RBI single from Senzel in the 6th inning pushed the Reds lead to 4-1.

The Giants would get a run back in the 8th inning, but Ashcraft was able to get out of the inning with a 4-2 lead. Hunter Strickland finished off the Giants in the 9th inning.

Final R H E
San Francisco Giants (38-32) 2 6 2
Cincinnati Reds (24-46) 4 7 0
W: Ashcraft (4-1) L: Cobb (3-3) S: Strickland (3)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Biggest Play of the Game

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the biggest play of the game was Graham Ashcraft getting Tommy La Stella to ground into a double play with 0 outs in the 8th inning, runner moved to 3rd base, Reds lead 4-1. That play increased the Reds probability of winning by 15.7% (from 78.6% to 94.3%).


Graham Ashcraft was simply sensational. His final line on the night: 8.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 8 K. It is just remarkable that a pitcher making his 7th big league start can get through 8.0 innings without allowing a walk. He kept the Giants hitters off-balance all night. The Giants finished with a .189 xBA (expected batting average according to Statcast) off Ashcraft.

Nick Senzel had a great night. He had 2 hits, 2 RBI and really showed off his speed. He also incredibly reached base via catcher’s interference again. It’s a shame that catcher’s interference is not included in OBP, or Senzel’s numbers might look a little bit better.

Mike Moustakas had a 2-hit night and drove in a run.

The Reds have gone 4 consecutive games without an error (although, India make a pretty poor play…….see below).


Jonathan India misplayed a very routine ball in the 3rd inning. Thankfully, Farmer bailed him out with a great recovery to get the force out at second base, and then Ashcraft was able to sneak out of the inning. India entered play with -12 career outs above average. India’s defense at second base is starting to become a bit of a concern.

Not so random thoughts…………..

Nick Senzel was thrown out trying to sneak a run across in the 2nd inning, but I absolutely loved the effort from Senzel on the play. Senzel would use his hustle later in the game to steal a run on an error from Brandon Crawford.

Up Next:

Reds at Giants
Saturday, 7:15 PM
TV: Bally Sports Ohio
Mike Minor (6.97 ERA/5.07 xERA) vs Logan Webb (3.26 ERA/3.45 xERA)

33 Responses

  1. SteveO

    The Reds would never do it, but I’d like to see Lodolo replace Minor in the starting rotation or go with a 6 man rotation until the trade deadline. To see Mahle, Castillo, Greene, Ashcraft and Lodolo for 4-5 rotations would be so sweet for Reds fans. I’m totally expecting Castillo and Mahle to be moved for prospects. It would be the best month of this very frustrating season.

  2. GreatRedLegsFan

    Excellent showing by Ashcraft, his stuff and endurance are remarkable. Nice to see Senzel and Mostakas contributing, hopefully they will do it more often. India is sort of a slow start since returning from IL, with such a deep IF he may loose some playing time.

    • Tom Reeves

      Everything about 2022 has to be about player development for 2023 and beyond. That means India plays until he sorts things out. Wins and loss numbers are irrelevant in 2022.

      • Roger Garrett

        Exactly and I am waiting until after the break to see what happens but really getting tired watching Schrock going for coffee and Barrero still down in the minors while we showcase Pham and Solano and others.Reds just are so foolish when it comes to dealing with players and building a real winning team.They can not separate from the player long enough to see what they are doing and for some been doing it for a long time.Older slower players that are average or below average performers are not what you settle for.You must develop younger players and then give them a chance once they deserve it and stop throwing them under the bus after 80 or so at bats or a couple of rough outings on the mound.Whats even worse they go back to an older player in decline or a lifetime utlity guy as the answer.Look at the back of the card is all you need to know.Reds are awful and have been for a long time and parts of it is just what I said.

  3. redbeard

    Doug, now that we have seen some sample size of these following players that should figure into the Reds future in 2023 and beyond, what are your thoughts on the following players being part of the Reds long-term future (defined as being part of the 2024 Reds and beyond):
    Hunter Greene
    Graham Ashcraft
    Nick Lodolo
    Tyler Mahle
    Luis Castillo
    Tyler Stephenson
    Jonathan India
    Matt McLain
    Jose Barrero
    Nick Senzel

    To me, that seems like a great rotation (1-5) that’s still affordable, an infield that is extremely solid both offensively and defensively, and not a lot of future talent in the outfield. The others on that list are all potential contributors in 2022. It is a promising core of future Reds, but they seem to be missing a few star offensive players especially in the outfield.


    • Steve Hanshaw

      Only issue, if I understand correctly both Castillo and Mahle will be free agents after the 2023 season. Unless the club thinks they can contend in 2023 (which is possible but seems a significant stretch from where the roster is today) I would think moving one and extending the other is the best we can hope for. And both will likely be moved (my opinion) before the trade deadline to fill other 2024 and beyond gaps in the roster.

    • burtgummer01

      McLain is battimg .237
      India having a few different issues
      Senzel is a bust
      Barrero see Senzel
      It would be surprising if both Castillo and Mahle are still in Cincinnati

  4. Rednat

    speed was a big factor in this game which is good to see. I think the reds will be relevant in baseball when speed is relevant to the game. A lot of this will be determined by the fate of the shift ban. I am still not certain about it’s fate. not sure how it will be enforced? when will it start? what does it entail?

    there was a comment the other day on this site that many teams that have struggled in this century- the reds, pirates and royals, had success in the 70’s,80’s.90’s. A big reason for this was that they were utilize speed to their advantage. Then in the late 1990s you had the steroid era and the retro tiny ballparks were built and now the homerun is king again. this current era is more similar to the 1950s/1960s. homeruns were king then as well and like today it was basically dominated by the dodgers and Yankees.

    • LT

      Interesting history lesson. Appreciate it.

    • Jim Walker

      Football (US and international), hockey, and basketball all have offside or other rules governing where and how players must be or not be aligned or trespass as the action of the game is played. Baseball will get it figured out with the shift

      • Mike V

        God I hope you are correct .. I hate the shift and banning it WILL definitely help out the offense . Maybe its just because I am a lefty , but getting rid of it plus adding the clock between pitches should help in getting the game out of this “three outcome” era .. I am pretty sure the clock will become a reality in MLB soon. I am still crossing my fingers on the the abolishment of the shift ..

    • MK

      There was such a cry for an analytics approach for the Reds, and how far they lagged behind other organizations in this area , especially under Uncle Walt. They then have gone all-in with the hiring of David Bell and his staff. This has meant death to the speed game and what looks like weird Manager decisions etc. Sometimes people need to be careful what they wish for.

    • David

      The Reds from 1972 onward really tried to emphasize base running speed (part of the reason for acquiring Joe Morgan, according to Bob Howsam). in 1970, Bobby Tolan did lead the NL in stolen bases, beating out Lou Brock.
      Base running speed produces runs, stays out of double plays, saves outs on offense. When Joe Morgan got on first, he would drive the pitcher crazy paying attention to him. It also meant (inferred) that the hitter following Morgan got more fastballs, and fewer breaking balls that could bounce in the dirt and advancing Morgan.
      While Cesar Geronimo was not much of a base stealing threat, he did have very good base running speed, once he got going.
      Ken Griffey Sr. was very fast down the first base line, getting a LOT of infield hits early in his career. He was superfast running the bases.
      The Reds in those years scored a lot of runs consistently, and speed and base running were a big part of that. They myth that they clobbered other teams with home runs is just that, a myth.
      Everything old is new again. Why people sorting out advanced metrics/statistics don’t see this is a mystery to me. It does take skill and intelligence to actually be a good, consistent base stealer, and I think a lot of players in the present era just were never taught how to be successful at the ML level.

      • Oldtimer

        That was a big factor in the success of the 1964 Reds. Vada Pinson, Tommy Harper, Chico Ruiz, and Pete Rose (at that young age) all brought speed to the lineup. Ruiz was starting 3B off and on that season.

  5. AMDG

    I’m starting to wonder if perhaps Ashcraft will be the Reds’ lone All Star player?

    Stephenson would deserve to go, but I’m not sure he has played enough games to get a manager selection?

  6. RedsGettingBetter

    This is the first win in California in 2022… They went 0-7 ivs LAD and SD.
    I’m thinking Graham Ashcraft is not going to be a reliever… I don’t know what the scouts would say about it..

  7. Bigbill

    Maybe Ashcroft should show his sinker to Green? If Green could just keep the ball in the park we would have 2 dominant young pitchers.

    • MBS

      Hopefully he’s working with Castillo on his change up. That would be a game changer for Greene. I think Greene has a tell, some teams spot it, and tee off on it when they do.

      • David

        I read where an unknown opposing player said that Hunter’s change-up was about the speed of another player’s normal fastball. And they could really tee up on it if they knew it was coming (or guessed). Since Hunter throws in the high 90’s and hits 100 mph, his change is thought to be about 90-91 mph.
        Hunter generally needs a better off speed pitch, but what is commonly know as a “straight change” might not be the right pitch for him.
        I think Hunter’s biggest problem is location. He puts too many pitches in the good hitting zone of the strike zone, and regardless of velocity, a fair number of ML hitters can catch up with fat pitches in the zone.

    • Randy in Chatt

      They throw from different arm slots & they have different body types. Probably not that easy for HG to work on it/learn. GA is said to have a very unique set up in order for him to do what he does.

  8. MK

    I guess Votto’s moratorium of yelling the F-bomb in frustration ended last night. Hopefully all his youngReds fans were in bed or there will be a bunch of kids in trouble in their Saturday games today.

  9. MBS

    Senzel gets a lot of heat, from me included. So it’s only fair to point out that he’s had back to back multi hit games. I’d love to see his potential realized.

    2 for 4 with a run, and a SB
    2 for 3 with 2 RBI, a run and a SB.

    • Jim Walker

      Maybe getting dropped below Almora in the batting order and watching him from the on deck circle lit some light inside Senzel?

      • Roger Garrett

        Hope so cause I have always thought he was going to take off after his rookie season.Hope he gets regular at bats the rest of this year and next then.He pulled 2 balls hard last night and he could always run and defend.Lets not forget he was an infielder who switched to center field because he had the tools to do it.

      • MBS

        Plus Senzel’s last day off seemed like more than just a day off. Listening to Bell that day, it had the feelings of a benching, in the same vein as Votto’s benching last year. Maybe Bell had a man to man meeting with him?

      • David

        At Jim Walker:
        Almora is an interesting player. A guy who had a lot of promise with the Cubs, but then they let him go.
        Reds got him, and frankly, he’s played very well both as an outfielder and as a hitter. I would like the Reds keeping him, at this point.
        Frankly, I would like to see him at the TOP of the order (maybe batting 2nd).
        Senzel can run, but I don’t know if he deserves to be handed that spot in the lineup.
        I would frankly have Pham batting second (or trade him) and Drury batting third. That is, if he plays, as he is leading the team in HR, slugging and OPS; second in RBI’s. Didn’t play last night. Probably one of those Bell special “planned day off”.

      • Schottzie

        This is only one game, but Senzel will likely hit better in a larger ballpark given his line-drive approach. GABP isn’t as much a hitter’s ballpark as it is a home run ballpark. I don’t have the data to back it up, but I’d gather Senzel has somewhere around 10-15 outs that are due to the shallower outfield positioning that GABP allows outfielders.

        If I’m the Reds, I’m moving the fences back not only to take the pressure off some of the young pitchers but to allow their young hitters, who aren’t sluggers (India, Senzel, McClain, likely Stephenson) more space to gather base-hits.

  10. Mark Moore

    Saw the score first thing this morning. Just now (almost Noon) watched our scoring innings, the recap, and the condensed game. Pretty good feeling all around, especially with Ashcraft working 8 solid innings. Good to see Senzel add some fuel to our fire today. And I won’t overlook the double to that HUGE gap 3M hit (though in a previous life he’d have been on 3rd).

  11. Indy Red Man

    I didn’t realize the Cards sent Paul DeJong to AAA. He hit 30 hrs (probably 10 off the Reds) in 2019, but that was then and this is now. Thats the difference between the Cards and the Reds. Results matter in St. Louis

    • JB

      I was shocked as well. Maybe a month ago he was sent packing. Reds would never do that the Moose or others.

    • Old-school

      Don’t forget benching and DFA’ing Matt Carpenter last year.

      Firing Mike Schildt

      Firing Mike Matheny

      Benching Bader in the middle of the Reds game for not hustling and then having a “productive “ talk with Bader after the game.

      • David

        Well, that sounds pretty “old school” to me. 🙂