The Cincinnati Reds were cruising, holding a 5-0 lead heading into the bottom of the 5th inning. Then things fell apart in disastrous fashion as the Rockies scored five runs in the bottom of that inning to tie things up and then scored six more runs in the 6th to seemingly put the game away. Cincinnati would score a run in the 9th and load the bases after that, but they couldn’t keep it going and fell 11-6 in the final game of the series at Coors Field.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (19-24)
6 12 1
Colorado Rockies (19-25)
11 13 0
W: Suter (2-0) L: Ashcraft (2-2) SV: Johnson (8)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

After both teams failed to take advantage of a baserunner in the 1st inning, Cincinnati was able to capitalize on their opportunity in the 2nd. Kevin Newman, who has been crushing left-handed pitching this year, kept it going as he singled to lead off the inning. He moved up to second on a ground out and then scored on a single by Jose Barrero – but Barrero was thrown out at second base trying to advance on the throw to the plate. That proved costly as Jake Fraley followed with a walk and then scored on a Luke Maile double that made it 2-0.

Three innings later the score was still 2-0, but Luke Maile had different ideas about the score once again. This time around he led off the 5th inning with a solo home run, crushing the ball 424 feet into the 15th row or so in left-center. That was just the start of things in the inning, though. Jonathan India and Spencer Steer would both single before a pitching change. Stuart Fairchild welcomed Fernando Abad to the game with a 2-run ground-rule double to make it 5-0.

The bottom of the inning didn’t go the Reds way. After getting Harold Castro to fly out to start the inning, Graham Ashcraft gave up three straight singles to load the bases. Ashcraft lost his shutout when he followed that up with a walk. Jurickson Profar followed up with a 2-run double to cut the Cincinnati lead to 5-3. Kris Bryant hit a liner towards left-center, but Jose Barrero leapt and made a nice catch for the second out of the inning. The baseball Gods evened things out on the next play as a blooper into center by Elias Diaz fell in for a 2-run single that tied the game up.

Despite a tough 5th inning, Graham Ashcraft went back out to begin the 6th inning with a low pitch count. And that move didn’t go well as he allowed a double and a single to start the inning before the Reds went to the bullpen to bring in Lucas Sims with runners on the corners and no outs. That move didn’t work out, either, as Brenton Doyle, who apparently is now at the very least a part-owner of the Reds, tripled on the first pitch from Sims to put Colorado ahead 7-5. Things didn’t get better for Sims as he walked then hit the next two batters before finally recording an out on a pop up. Kris Bryant followed that with a 2-run single and it was 9-5 and Lucas Sims was on his way to the dugout and Silvino Bracho was on his way to the mound to try and stop the bleeding.

He didn’t. Elias Diaz singled on the second pitch he saw and extended the lead to 10-5. Ryan McMahon followed up with an RBI ground out as Colorado continued to put runs on the board. Harold Castro would fly out to end the inning, but not before the Rockies put up six more runs and took an 11-5 lead. Bracho returned for the bottom of the 7th inning and sat Colorado down in order.

Cincinnati tried to get a 1-out rally going when Wil Myers singled and Jose Barrero walked for the second time on the day to put two men on. It wasn’t meant to be, though, as Jake Fraley grounded out before Luke Maile struck out to end the inning. Kevin Herget took over for Cincinnati in the bottom of the 8th inning and he would work around a 2-out walk to keep the game at 11-5 and give the Reds offense a chance to pull off a Coors Field miracle in the top of the 9th.

The Rockies sent Riley Pint to the mound for the top of the 9th inning to make his big league debut. The 4th overall pick in the 2016 draft had an ERA of 7.41 in Triple-A with 16 walks in 17.0 innings before his call up. After getting Jonathan India to ground out to start the inning, Pint walked Nick Senzel and Spencer Steer before getting a visit to the mound from his catcher and then the pitching coach. Whatever was said didn’t pay immediate dividends as Stuart Fairchild lined the first pitch he saw after that into right field for an RBI double that made it 11-6. Kevin Newman followed up with a walk on four pitches and that would be it for Pint as the Rockies called down to the bullpen to bring in Peirce Johnson with the bases loaded. The first pitch he threw to Wil Myers was popped up for the second out of the inning. That brought Jose Barrero to the plate, who had reached base all four times he’d stepped to the plate on the day, but he struck out to end the game.

Key Moment of the Game

Sending Graham Ashcraft out for the 6th inning after giving up five runs in the 5th. The floodgates opened after that.

Notes Worth Noting

The poor start from Graham Ashcraft sent his ERA up to 4.84 on the season.

Lucas Sims didn’t allow a run in his first 11 appearances this season. He’s allowed five runs in his last two appearances that have seen him record just three outs.

The Reds hitters have seven walks and just four strikeouts in the game but left 10 men on base.

The Reds pitchers allowed the Rockies to go 7-12 with runners in scoring position on the day.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

New York Yankees vs Cincinnati Reds

Friday May 19th, 6:40pm ET

TBA vs Ben Lively (1-1, 1.69 ERA)

54 Responses

    • SteveAreno

      Yes, what a quick turnaround. Got to be proud of Luke Maile with his limited playing time getting a home run and a double tonight. HIs average is a strong .278. Hats off the Fairchild for his 3 rbi’s

  1. AMDG

    The Reds “big 3” pitchers are now 4-6 with a 5.30 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP on the season.

    • Rob

      I think we falling too quickly to the “they are young”. I would like to see a comparison to other top 10-15 draftees who are in their second year. I believe the Gore kid in Washington is doing pretty darn well. No, we are not in panic city but you would think 1-2 of our guys would be in the upper echelon of other second year guys. Or at least be approaching that at year end. I fully recognize there are slow starters but for 3 top of the line guys, we shouldn’t have all 3 guys trying to find their way.

  2. CI3J

    Barrero absolutely got hosed on his final AB. 2 clear balls called for strikes.

    Maybe the ump was feeling that breakfast burrito he ate before the game and really needed to get out of there.

  3. Jeff Morris

    Reds record around 500….but less. Could be worse. They could have a overall record like the A’s or the Royals have. Also…..there is no expectations this year for the Reds. Just hoping they don’t get 100 losses, like last year. Also, it could be worse. What about the Padres or Phillies, who have underachieved this year, and have been real disappointments this year… far!

  4. Tim

    The scouting in mlb really shows up when teams figure out pitchers.

  5. Mark Moore

    We got Coor’s Fielded (plus our own meltdown).

    I still need to think about that gear we’ll be sporting Friday evening. I really like the look.

  6. RedsGettingBetter

    The series vs White Sox and now vs the Colorado are pretty similar in my opinion. First game a 1-run loss , second game a nice win and the finale a blowout loss… Overall have been two bad tasting results against struggling teams

    • JayTheRed

      I have said this earlier this season. Seems like the boys put a lot of effort into the game when we play teams we are not supposed to win against. Then when we play someone that is around the same record as the Reds they don’t play quite as hard. Just seems to be how it goes. I’ve watched most of the games too.

  7. ChrisInVenice

    Hoping Ashcraft just got shelled because he was bad and we don’t have another injury report coming.

  8. Andy

    Reds starting pitching has been putrid this year…. Outside of Williamson the other night, lodolo in Philly and a couple of ash craft starts every other one have been for the most part bad. High pitch count low inning slogs.

    Got to figure it out. Offense on most nights is pulling its weight as is bullpen. Defense is not great but it’s also not terrible

    Starting pitching is the Achilles heal and unless ashcraft and greens figure out how to avoid the meltdown inning I don’t see it getting better anytime soon

    Even series with ashcraft going you win that game. Up 5-0 your really win that game.

    Bring on the Yankees! Let’s get back on track

  9. DataDumpster

    Decided to take the day off from looking at the game and just read the RLN comments to try to figure out what happened. There was a lot of vitriol directed toward the lineup construction but I got tired of that and just went to the box score. Holy moly, how did that happen? Well, there is the David Bell post presser, this one might be worth it for once. It lasted only 1:03 and Bell said that Ashcraft had perhaps his best stuff all year for the first 4 innings. Then, the Rockies made a nice adjustment (and repeated that thought twice more for emphasis.) No word on what that adjustment was or what the Reds response was…just, he’s got to have an answer for that! Ok, they lost badly, enough said.

  10. TR

    What a shocking loss; up 5-0 after 4 innings with the Red’s ‘ace’ on the mound. I stepped out after 4 and a half confident of a series win. Coors is a big arena.

  11. Votto4life

    My wife is British and is still learning about baseball. We were taking a road trip today and listening to the game. She was giddy when the score was 5-0. I told her not to get too excited because the game could change quickly. Sure enough it had some 15 minutes later.

  12. Still a Red

    Worrisome. All 3 starter-prospects struggling (injured) at the same time doesn’t bode well. Not much in the well to draw upon.

  13. David

    Well, the starting pitching kind of stunk.

    Is this a “thing” or are Hunter Greene and Graham Ashcraft just in a funk?
    It happens.

    Notice Bell is pushing everybody back a day, and starting Lively on Friday. Maybe he sees this as some kind of fatigue or “dead arm” period. And really, it’s not like they have all pitched that many innings.
    And just to note, most of us thought it was dumb for Stuart Fairchild to bat clean-up today. It probably was a bad idea, but Stuart was 2 – 5 with 3 rbi’s.
    The Reds scored 8 runs on Monday and lost by a run. They scored 6 runs today and lost by 5.
    CES and EDLC would not have saved the day. The pitching was bad.
    There was a game the Reds played against the Rockies in 1999 at Coors Field, and the final score was 21-14, Cincinnati. I remember ESPN made a joke about it being a football score, and originally listed it as the Bengals versus the Broncos.
    I recall that because Eddie Taubensee had a big day, hit a couple of homers and one was a grand slam or something like that.

    • Randy in Chatt

      I was at that game. It was crazy. In-laws were in from Michigan and it was our 1 year anniversary when we lived in Fort Collins. Sat in the upper level in RF. We almost had a home run up our way.
      What a game to luck into for a family outing.

    • Randy in Chatt

      Just looked the game up. It was Sean Casey that hit two dingers that day. On May 19th into the season, he had 9 home runs and was hitting .399. Mike Cameron had 15 steals at that point in the season. Jeffrey Hammonds had 14! total bases on the day and Sean Casey had 10 total bases. Incredible!!! What a fun day. Larry Walker was 4 for 5 and was hitting .431 at that point in the season. Wow!

  14. Smedley Potts

    Looks like Ashcraft has been getting lit up the last two games. Either they have figured him out or he’s tipping his pitches.

  15. Protime

    As stated in previous postings: David Bell is the front runner for the worst mgr of the year award. Who leaves a starting pitcher to getshellacked and surrender a 5-0 lead. He’s clueless! never sees the game in front of him. You play to win, not to see if the starting pitcher can get through the 5th inning to be eligible for the “W”. Another wasted opportunity for improvement…

    • greenmtred

      Who? Any manager who reads our comments and gets roasted for pulling starters too early. Just kidding. Any manager who wants a young pitcher–a possible future ace–to work through a rough patch. He did bring Sims in and Sims, who has been pitching well, got hammered. My understanding is that it’s tough to pitch in Colorado.

  16. CFD3000

    Weird collapse for Ashcraft. I don’t think the Rockies somehow “figured him out”, he just stopped locating his pitches and left things up. His cutter and slider work so much better down in the zone.

    Nice days at the plate for Maile, Fairchild and Barrero. Jose really got squeezed (twice) on a critical at bat in the 9th or he’d have reached five times. And even though Fraley didn’t have a hit, he looked comfortable against the lefties. No need to sit him for Newman or Myers against left handed starters.

    Three under .500 would have looked a whole lot better than 5 with the Yankees coming to town, but their TBD starters should be hittable. I’ll be at all three games for the annual pilgrimage from Atlanta. Hoping for an unexpected sweep, but I’ll be happy with a series win. Go Reds!

  17. Dennis Westrick

    Bottom line is simple! “Good” teams DO NOT often lose a game with a 5-0 lead! Yes, it happens over a162 game season! Put it in the review mirror and get ready for a tough series with the Yankees!

    Dis find it “odd” that neither DJ or Bell made a trip to the mound when it was obvious Ashcraft was struggling in the 5th inning! Were they paying attention? Didn’t care? What? Young pitchers need coaching!

    • DataDumpster

      That’s telling as I didn’t see the game. I watched the post presser later to try to figure out what happened and Bell said 3 times that “they made a nice adjustment” without further detail. Now, it seems that either nobody could figure out what the adjustment was and counter it or this was just another “he’s got my back” as support when the discipline faded. Not helpful and more of the same. I’m still convinced we got the horses but have doubts about the men controlling the reins.

    • Rednat

      good post. kind of your standard reds loss of the past decade. starting pitcher has a bad inning, bullpen can’t stop the bleeding. offense tries to make a mini run to get back in the game but comes up short. Rinse AND REPEAT

    • Harry Stoner

      I agree.

      Bell seems to flip flop between micro managing and appearing disengaged from what is enfolding in front of him on the field.

      Some nights he’ll yank a pitcher early and blow through my entire bullpen 1 inning or one pitch at a time, others he’ll inexplicably leave someone in when they’ve clearly lost it.

      He vacilates between being analytics driven to working from his gut…and his instincts often prove to be of little use.

      He’s not a winning manager and the Reds will never develop a winning culture with him as manager.

      • greenmtred

        I don’t know if it was the case in this game, Harry, but managers have the benefit of feedback from the pitching coach, the catcher and the pitcher himself, so that feedback could influence the decisions. I recall a few weeks ago that Ashcraft was pulled (to considerable consternation here) when he was pitching well. After the game he said that he hadn’t wanted to come out, but he was gassed.

  18. Jim Walker

    Hours later if I let myself think about it, I am still baffled by the thought process that results in a guy who just allowed 5 runs in a 25 pitch fifth inning being sent back out for the sixth inning.

    And let’s dispense with the narrative that Ashcraft was not being hit hard and was nickeled and dimed in that 5th inning. 6 balls, including all 3 outs, had exit velocities GT 90mph. The lowest expected batting average of the hits was .350. All the other hits had an XBA of .770 or higher.

    • DataDumpster

      That is helpful too. (Looking like I missed one of the most baffling games of this season). After last year, I believed we did have a “Big 3” but Ashcraft has the nastiest movement on his pitches, challenges the strike zone, and at least now the top dog on the SP staff.
      So, he has perhaps his best stuff of the year the first 4 innings (according to David Bell) and then gets absolutely clobbered thereafter (not according to David Bell). A strange one, an anomaly hard to explain.

    • Kevin H

      It is baffling and if hitters made adjustments then why couldn’t the pitcher counter? Is that being taught? Do the second year pitchers know how to make adjustments in the fly? Where is the catcher in this

      Does the speed of game hurt young pitchers process? How does one goes from dominant to bam. 5 runs

  19. Rednat

    OUR reds have been consistently inconsistent so far this year. they have been more fun to watch for sure but still only 6 games ahead of the team last year this point.
    the starting pitching has been frustrating to say the least. 2 factors that I wonder are a factor in the poor performance of the starters? 1. no veteran presence on the starting staff and 2. the pitch clock. Just seems when these guys struggle they could use a few extra seconds to gather themselves.

    • SlippinJimmy

      For $50 dollars, I’d go to a Chinese restaurant, stick my head in someone’s soup, and blow.

      -G. Costanza

  20. Reddawg2012

    The starting pitching is a complete disaster. Are they just young, or are they not as good as we thought they were? I really don’t know, and it’s probably too early to say. But it’s super discouraging right now.

  21. SlippinJimmy

    Are the Reds “big 3” not as good as they thought they were? Maybe we’ve all been a little indoctrinated by the Sadak & Co Times?

    Or is it just that Darth Bell Palpation likes to leave guys in when it immediately appears a pitcher has lost it–yet he yanks em out when they’re doing just fine?

    To a point, most guys learn from failure, but some guys need success to have confidence, and too much repeated failure, well, maybe that isn’t so good…

    • Kevin H

      No they are good and talented. Pitching in the majors is hard. Some get it quick others take a few years. What makes it such a issue is the Reds have no solid veterans on the pitching staff. Like sonney Gray or Luis Castillo. So growing pains are going to happen.

      Some fans have very high almost perfection expectations of Greene, Lodolo and Ashcraft.

  22. AMDG

    Ashcraft’s first 4 starts in 2022: 3-0 , 1.14 ERA , 0.177 OBA
    The rest of the way: 2-6 , 5.98 ERA , 0.308 OBA

    Ashcraft’s first 6 starts in 2023: 2-0 , 2.00 ERA , 0.202 OBA
    The rest of the way: 0-1 , 13.50 ERA , 0.343 OBA

    I’m not quite ready to call it a trend. But it’s difficult not to notice that in both 2022 and 2023 Ashcraft had phenomenal starts, and followed that up with some subpar pitching, including some horrendous starts.

    • SlippinJimmy

      Even as a simple fan, there seems to be that “eureka” moment when hitters suddenly start hitting him hard. It’s like a switch being flipped. And as soon as that switch is flipped, he needs to be taken out ASAP.

      One would think, young pitcher or old, that a pro athlete would at least be able to detect this as well, instead of “Oh no! They’re crushing it now! What do I do? MOMMY!!”

      I really like Ashcraft, think he appears to have a good mentality for the most part, but this is not a good trend.

      • greenmtred

        As an older fan I didn’t immediately pay much attention to the third-time-through-the-order theory, but when the numbers are mentioned in broadcasts, they’re eye-opening. Like going from BA against of under .200 for the first two times through the order to BA against of well over .300 the third time. I believe that most or all teams base decisions on this information: starting pitchers average under six innings around the entire league. A savvy older pitcher might have more tools in his arsenal to deal with this, but our pitchers are young, talented and haven’t been around long enough to have reached that exalted state. Baseball is hard.

    • Redsvol

      everything comes back to starting pitching. If we get it, we will be fine and 2024 will be a very good year. If we don’t, it will be a looong year and it might be back to the drawing board for 2024 starting pitching.

      Others on here have suggested signing some pitchers and a clean-up hitter-type player. The talent available this off-season is very suspect – unless you’re in the Ohtani sweepstakes. Good starting pitching will cost 20-25$M per season along with the risk of injury. League average will cost 15$M per year. #4 hole hitters are non-existent.

      However, its clear we need some experienced major league pitching. It will be expensive, but 1-2 innings eaters are going to be required. There is just no way around it. So pay for it or trade for it (India + Marte would get a nice one) but its going to be necessary. The #4 hole hitter is likely going to have to come from within.

      • David

        Four hole, cleanup hitter? CES.

        Say it again.


        What was that?



      • Melvin

        David – Sounds reasonable but where does he play to get regular playing time under David Bell’s system especially? You can’t use him primarily as a DH. Bell uses that to give guys rest. You can’t use him primarily at 1B. Stephenson and Steer have that kind of locked up for the most part. Senzel has 3B for now. I still don’t understand why neither CES, DLC, or MMc haven’t played any outfield at all. I just don’t understand what they’re planning. Votto IS coming back. You can bet on it.

  23. LarkinPhillips

    Reds are 4-9 in final game of series this year. (counting a rainout as last game of cubs series in April).

  24. SlippinJimmy

    Indeed it is. But if that’s what you’re telling yourself as a professional athlete after a terrible outing, it may not be the most productive of mantras.

    Hopefully these are nothing more than Growing Pains–but maybe it’s time for a new Jason Seaver.

  25. Mark A Verticchio

    I think India and Marte would get a #2 pitcher.

    • Melvin

      Who has “extra” pitching? Seems it’s at a premium right now most everywhere.

    • greenmtred

      You might be right, with pitching at such a premium. Not sure I’d trade India and well-regarded prospect for less than a #one, and maybe not then. Pitchers get hurt all of the time.