They needed extra innings on Monday night, but the Cincinnati Reds took the series opener against the St. Louis Cardinals on a Nick Senzel walk-off sacrifice fly. The two teams get back at it tonight in game two of their 4-game series at Great American Ball Park, with the winner of the game avoiding last place in the National League Central. First pitch this evening is set for 6:40pm ET.

Starting Lineups

St. Louis Cardinals

Cincinnati Reds

Lars Nootbaar – CF TJ Friedl – CF
Paul Goldschmidt – DH Matt McLain – SS
Nolan Gorman – 2B Jonathan India – DH
Nolan Arenado – 3B Jake Fraley – LF
Willson Contreras – C Tyler Stephenson – C
Paul DeJong – SS Spencer Steer – 1B
Brendan Donovan – 1B Nick Senzel – 3B
Tommy Edman – RF Wil Myers – RF
Alec Burleson – LF Kevin Newman – 2B
Adam Wainwright – RHP Graham Ashcraft – RHP

Starting Pitchers

Pitcher IP ERA WHIP BB K
Graham Ashcraft 48.1 4.84 1.43 21 36
Adam Wainwright 15.2 5.74 1.60 5 8
Links: Graham Ashcraft’s Stats | Adam Wainwright’s Stats

Graham Ashcraft

The last two weeks have been tough for Graham Ashcraft as he’s watched his ERA jump from 2.00 on the season to 4.84 on the season in a span of just three starts. Last time out he allowed 10 hits and seven runs in 5.0 innings in Colorado.

Much like 2022, Graham Ashcraft has had reverse splits. Right-handed hitters are making tons of contact, walking at a solid clip, and hitting .309 against him. They aren’t hitting for a lot of power, but they’re finding success everywhere else. Lefties are not doing much hitting, posting a .198 average against him so far this season while walking a little less often than righties and striking out significantly more often. They are hitting for slightly more power.

Splits

Split PA H 2B 3B HR BB K AVG OBP SLG
RHH 112 30 6 1 2 12 15 .309 .387 .454
LHH 100 18 6 1 2 9 21 .198 .270 .352

Pitch Usage

2-seam Cutter Slider
Velo 97.0 96.6 88.6
Usage 6% 58% 36%

Adam Wainwright

After missing the first five weeks of the season, Adam Wainwright has returned to the rotation for the Cardinals and has had some struggles thus far. In the first two outings he allowed four runs in five innings. In his most recent start he allowed five, though only two were earned. He’s struggled to miss bats this season, picking up just eight strikeouts in 15.2 innings so far.

It’s still real early in the season for Wainwright, so his splits aren’t all the reliable from 2023. With that said, left-handed hitters have found a little more success – hitting for a higher average and more power – than righties have. In 2021 and 2022 there wasn’t much of a difference in the splits for Wainwright from a lefty/righty situation. Where there has been, though, is his home and road splits. Over the previous two seasons his ERA at home is 2.85, but on the road it’s 4.16.

Splits

Split PA H 2B 3B HR BB K AVG OBP SLG
RHH 34 9 3 0 1 2 4 .281 .324 .469
LHH 38 11 4 1 1 3 4 .324 .368 .588

Pitch Usage

4-Seam 2-Seam Cutter Curve Change
Velo 86.2 87.5 83.2 72.0 80.1
Usage 6% 38% 22% 31% 3%

When and Where

  • Game time: 6:40pm ET
  • Where: Great American Ball Park
  • Watch: Bally Sports Ohio, MLB.tv
  • Listen: 700 WLW AM (Cincinnati area)
  • Forecast: 79°, partly cloudy, 0% chance of rain

News and Notes

TJ Friedl is back, Will Benson is out

The Reds activated TJ Friedl from the injured list this afternoon and as you’ve probably seen above – he’s in the lineup and hitting leadoff. Cincinnati optioned Will Benson back to Triple-A today to make the roster move to open up the spot needed on the 26-man roster.

Standings

Team W L GB Playoff Odds
Brewers 25 22 0.0 58.8%
Pirates 25 22 0.0 14.7%
Cubs 20 26 4.5 13.8%
Cardinals 21 28 5.0 41.9%
Reds 20 27 5.0 1.0%
Playoff Odds via Fangraphs

121 Responses

  1. docproc

    Add CES and Hopkins to this lineup and it rocks.

    • SteveLV

      Was going to say CES and EDLC, but yes. A lotta hope between those top 7 and what is waiting in Louisville.

  2. Dennis Westrick

    What? No room on the bus taking Benson to Louisville for Newman? Bell obviously has a dislike for Barrero! At least Newman is NOT batting cleanup!

  3. Votto4life

    At progressive field watching the White Sox and Guardians. Small crowds aren’t limited to GABP.

  4. Mark Moore

    Here’s to an early exit for Whineright and a strong outing from Ashcraft.

  5. DHud

    Man this lineup is two away from being pretty solid top to bottom

    Where in this organization could we find two more solid hitters…

    • Dennis Westrick

      Yes! Where O Where? Maybe 110 miles down I-71 to Louisville?

  6. SOQ

    “Lars Nootbaar”
    Step aside Baby Ruth bar 🙂

  7. Mark Moore

    Nice bender to Arenado.

    At least it was a solo HR.

  8. Dennis Westrick

    Goldschmidt the Reds Killer strikes early! At least it was a solo shot!

    • Mark Moore

      As much as I despise the WLB Dirty Birds, Goldy is a great guy overall. Him, Joey, Rizzo, Freeman … it’s really hard to hate those guys as individual players.

      • VaRedsFan

        The others yes..no on Rizzo for me

  9. VaRedsFan

    18 starts without giving up a 1st inning run comes to an end for Ashcraft.
    Very impressive

  10. Mark Moore

    I’ll take that. It’s an 8-inning game now.

  11. VaRedsFan

    I loved India batting leadoff….Did a great job.
    I hope it’s not permanent.

    • DHud

      Idk VaRedsFan. Yes he was great at leadoff, but I looked at the lineup today and went “oh…ok”

      This gets Friedl-McLain-India all in the top 3. Right now India does seem to fit the mold of 3 hole hitter better than the others. Maybe if McLain starts tapping into that power he showed in Louisville you go India-Friedl-McLain?

      Willing to give anything a try

      • VaRedsFan

        They seem interchangeable (Freidl), so it might not mean much. I’d just leave the guy going real good where he is succeeding.

  12. Mark Moore

    That strike zone is Re-Donk-U-Lous!! Seems consistent, but at least 6″ tall.

  13. AMDG

    As a 23-year-old when Barrero was called up on Aug 16, of 2021 he received all of 18 plate appearances over the Reds next 23 games. And hit 0.250 during that span.

    Meanwhile, as a 23-year-old McLain (while batting a similar 0.250) already has 27 plate appearances over 7 Reds’ games.

    I don’t want to be the one to say Bell has something against playing Barrero, but it sure seems like it’s been that way since the beginning…

    • CI3J

      Yes, and Bell not only plays McLain every day, but hits him high in the lineup.

      While Barrero was sometimes hitting lower than the pitcher, when he did play.

      As others have said, it really does seem like Bell just personally doesn’t like Barrero. I really wonder what Barrero could do in a more nurturing environment.

    • Votto4life

      I am not so concerned where Barrero bats in the line up, but the fact that Jeff Newman starts games over Barerro is inexcusable.

  14. Dennis Westrick

    Wainwright is a crafty old veteran pitcher! The Reds need to be patient AND selective at the plate tonight! Plus, he has pitched past the 5th inning once so far this season and that was only 5.2 innings against the Dodgers!

  15. Old-school

    Nick Senzel with another solid play at 3b

  16. Jim Walker

    Little things, little things, little things. Giving the Cards 2B for free results in a run.

  17. VaRedsFan

    Ty doesn’t even attempt to frame close pitches. He just snatches the glove and leaves it up to the ump.

    Where are the coaches?

    • Jim Walker

      Then the TV shows us the replay of the 2nd time when they got it right versus who wasn’t watching or alerting the 1st.

  18. DHud

    Ashcraft is heading to the IL…I haven’t heard or seen anything, but this is 3 starts in a row now he’s getting rocked

    • CI3J

      It’s probably just a coincidence, but he started getting rocked after his grandma passed away.

      • DHud

        I’d say a mystery shoulder fatigue is a week away

  19. Mark Moore

    Taking on all the hallmarks of an early Clete from me. Just can’t watch a slaughter.

  20. Tom Mitsoff

    Ashcraft had a pretty good first inning, but they have been squaring him up ever since.

  21. AMDG

    Ashcraft being Ashcraft 🙁

    Last year he was awesome in his first 4 games
    but over the final 15 gave up a 5.98 ERA and a 0.308 OBA

    This year he was awesome in his first 4 games
    but has given up a 7.77 ERA and a 0.301 OBA ever since
    (although those #’s will be much worse after today)

    Have to give him credit for being consistent.

  22. LT

    The big 3 starters look like the small 3. Will Meyers continues ti hit groundout sigh

  23. LarkinPhillips

    Man the devil birds whine about everything. Wainwright has got every call and on the edge and he is still whining. Arrenado is upset about a strike and gets tossed. I can’t stand this team.

  24. Mark Moore

    Friedl looks okay to me after his IL stint.

  25. Tom Mitsoff

    It’s irritating to me when the Reds are bettered by a guy who can’t throw hard. But this used to be a regularity back in the day of knuckleballers and screwball pitchers. We don’t have any of those any more that I can think of.

    • SR

      Rick Mahler comes to mind. And or Rich Hill in this century. I am sure Bronson Arroyo Also frustrated a few teams as well sub eighty breaking ball looping in.

  26. Mark Moore

    There we go. Quite a valuable souvenir.

    • Mark Moore

      Did that guy just decide, “I’m wearing a Viking helmet to the park today just in case …” 😮

    • William

      If you think Barrera is better than McClain, I recommend glasses. Good ball players do not take forever to show up.

  27. Old-school

    There has to be a better way for umpires and players and managers to navigate things. Is that where we are in baseball??? Manager player umpire yell and scream cuss nearky every day and get kicked out?

    Im all for robo umps if needed but my gosh…. This isnt ok every game players and managers losing their minds.

    • Mark Moore

      +500

      Crappy strike zones don’t help

  28. Old-school

    McLain every day SS period for now

    • Mario

      2 more and he matches the career of Jose Barrero.

  29. LarkinPhillips

    Ashcraft has zero control today. The bullpen is very shallow. This might be a position pitching kind of day before it is over.

  30. Tom Mitsoff

    Wow, this is a big, big disappointment.

  31. Mark Moore

    Props to Newman on that play. Saved a run.

  32. Redlegs1869

    Can’t believe Larkin just literally said what a “nice play” Myers made on the ball that bounced off him. Also, Ashcraft may not be the guy we thought he was. Or maybe he will be her. Jury is still out.

    • Votto4life

      My only fear of David Bell being fired is him being replaced by Larkin.

      • LDS

        Don’t worry about it. Bell will likely be back next year.

    • AMDG

      Unfortunately Ashcraft is who we thought he was…

      He has an “in-game” ERA higher than 7.70 in over 34% of his MLB starts.

  33. Dennis Westrick

    Hello! McFly! Don’t give Goldschmidt ANY pitch he can hit! The ol’ unintentional intentional walk is OK if 1st base is open!

  34. Tom Mitsoff

    Since the first inning, it seems Ashcraft has no idea where the ball is going when he throws it.

  35. Dennis Westrick

    Looks like an early night for this old southern boy! Ashcraft with nearly pitches thru only 4 innings!

  36. LDS

    The Reds have a need for starting pitchers. Ashcraft seems destined for the IL. And as I’ve said before, where are DJ’s successes?

      • Votto4life

        +1,000

        This whole idea that DJ is the “pitcher whisper” is a bunch of non-sense. If he gets credit for a few success, he has to get the blame for many more failures.

    • Harry Stoner

      Linking a critique of Johnson to injuries to SP doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

      • LarkinPhillips

        Technically if you’re complaint is max effort and spin rate is all DJ teaches that could easily be correlated to an injury. Not sure that is Jim’s argument, but it is a bit of my complaint. I don’t feel like he develops pitchers. He only develops spin rate and velocity which many consider to be throwers.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        Pitching injuries are happening all over both leagues. Four of Milwaukee’s five starters are on the IL. Doug has hinted here that there may be a correlation with the pitch clock, new this year.

      • LarkinPhillips

        That’s interesting Tom. I was curious how the max effort guys would do with the pitch clock. Especially the relievers.

      • LDS

        An interesting theory, but the Reds blew a lot of arms last year. There’s more to pitching successfully than spin rate and power.

  37. William

    When they bring up De La Cruz later this year, he can play shortstop, and I bet we will not be waiting until 2025 to figure out if he can hit.

  38. LarkinPhillips

    Now the cardinals are complaining about getting hit by pitches like Ashcraft is throwing at them. (Dejong and Contreras) He clearly has no idea where the ball is going.

  39. Tom Mitsoff

    Gotta score these two guys in scoring position.

  40. LarkinPhillips

    McClain shortened his swing and made an adjustment to get a run in there. Love the winning baseball plays like that!

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Wainwright wasn’t going to give him anything straight. It was going to be slow curves.

      • LarkinPhillips

        That’s good pitching by him. There is a reason he has been around so long. Credit to our rookie though. Loved the adjustment.

  41. LarkinPhillips

    Personal preference, but I like India in leadoff, friedl in 2 hole and mclain in three hole. I think India has thrived as a leadoff and struggled greatly last year when he thought he was supposed to drive runs in. Friedl don’t walk so him in two hole to bunt or move the runner and McLain to drive runs in.

    • VaRedsFan

      See above…I mentioned the same thing.

      • LarkinPhillips

        I think as fans we under value the mental side to these guys. Or maybe I am projecting my opinion from when I played. But I always hit leadoff and just felt so much more comfortable there than 2 or 3 hole even.

  42. Terry

    Wil Myers, the six million dollar liability. Fork-sticking time. Shades in the shade?

  43. LarkinPhillips

    0-2 count to lead off walk by the bullpen. Standard operating procedure.

  44. AMDG

    Interesting stat:

    Percentage of starts with the Reds in which the starting pitcher gave up an ERA for the game of 7.70 or higher

    R Dempster 38%
    G ASHCRAFT 35%
    M Owings 35%
    J Lamb 33%
    E Milton 30%
    M Minor 26%

    Ashcraft has been one of the Reds most consistent pitchers over the past couple decades when it comes to getting shelled. Unfortunately I can’t say that’s an area I like my starting pitchers to be consistent in.

    • Votto4life

      You just don’t want to be on any list with Ryan Dempster.

  45. JB

    Wainwright doesnt want to leave the game. The Reds don’t want him to leave either.

  46. Mark Moore

    Took my walk and didn’t take the game with me … anybody else get tossed?

  47. Old-school

    Reds offense isnt terrible.

    Good: India,Friedl,Fraley(platoon)
    Solid( Steer,Maile)
    Decent( Senzel, mostly platoon but some big hits against righties)
    Promising(McLain)
    Underachieving ( Stephenson)
    Bad( Myers, Newman, Casali)
    Probably bad but dont know definitively) Barrero,Fairchild

    • Votto4life

      Definitely need to invest in pitching though.

  48. DataDumpster

    Ashcraft equaled his last start (5.0, 10, 7). Ouch! Still say he has the best stuff of the “Big 3” but clearly didn’t know where it was going tonight. The best 2 teams in the NL; LA and the Braves, are losing pitchers left and right. Seems to be a trend. Pitch clock is my guess.
    Love these games. I know the Cards lineup almost as much as the Reds (because it is relatively stable over the years) and the teams seem to really battle toe to toe no matter the standings. The hits may be there for the Reds tonight but the best 5 relievers were all used yesterday. They have developed nicely, thus far. Who is that new bullpen coach? Kudo!

  49. Votto4life

    I’m at the White-Sox- Guardianas game. Chicago’s DH Jake Burger is 0 for 5 with 5 strike outs. Rough night.

    • old-school

      Going to a game later this summer. Looking forward to it.

  50. old-school

    It’s time to disregard AAA stats. Pitching is a joke. Bats 11-11 in the 5th inning. AAA pitching is the worst ever. Matt Reynolds is babe Ruth.

    Reds are going to need to buy pitching in 2024.

    • MBS

      Yes, that is exactly what they need to do. No half measures either, get a top notch starter, and a closer. The rotation needs a veteran leader, and the Nasty Boys were all able to close games, we need that again. Urias, and Hader are my choices, but it’s going to cost some money. The good news is the payroll is next to nothing in 24.

  51. Melvin

    Just arriving. Looks like we need some runs.

    • VaRedsFan

      welcome!
      Hope you brought your rally-cap

    • Kevin H

      Reds won lastnight after I arrived. Maybe its your turn @Melvin

  52. Mark Moore

    Perhaps I’m just a hopeful old foolish fan, but it feels like we’re still in this one.

    • Kevin H

      I do hope Ashcraft finds his groove again as Reds need him.

      I agree Mark, I feel like Reds can win this one.

    • Mark Moore

      That feeling passed rather quickly

  53. CI3J

    On the Reds’ current roster, there are 3 players with an OBP below .300.

    One of them is Casali.

    Any guesses who the other two are?

    (Hint: Look at the box score of today’s game.)

      • LDS

        Oh I forgot. In all honesty, the Reds were better off with Aquino, young, cheaper, better defender, better hitter, and way more power. Think about about what that says about the Reds

  54. Daytonnati

    3 runs just so psychologically BIGGER than 2.

  55. Dennis Westrick

    Decent job by the Reds bullpen tonight! Gave up one run in 4 innings!

  56. Mark Moore

    Losing stinks. Losing to the WLB Dirty Birds is about the lowest point we reach. Kind of like the Pit of Despair from The Princess Bride.

  57. Erik the red

    Would playing Barrero be any worse than Will Myers right now?

  58. LT

    Let’s see what the young fellas can do here.

  59. Harry Stoner

    Impressive to see McLain lay off ball four.

  60. Daytonnati

    Man, how do you take that pitch! Wow.

  61. Kevin H

    Great effort by Reds. Lively pitches tomorrow.

  62. CI3J

    Will Myers: -0.5 WAR

    Kevin Newman: -1.0 WAR

    How long will this continue?

    • LarkinPhillips

      The fact that is all they are makes me question the validity of that stat.

    • Harry Stoner

      Newman is edging up towards .250.

      Myers edging down towards .150.

      Bell had him batting 8th this evening.

      The $7.5M man is clearly the biggest disappointment of the season so far.

      Not “fine” yet.

      Only getting worse. No signs of working his way out of it.

      • Kevin H

        What is your point about Myers? We all see he isn’t playing well and no signs of getting better

    • Melvin

      Bring up the young stars! 🙂 How much has McLain already contributed even though he’s going through growing pains?

  63. Dennis Westrick

    Hoping Ashcraft figures it out! Would help if the Reds had a real pitching coach! Nothing bad to say about Bell tonight! He managed the available bullpen arms as best he could. Just hard to win when your SP gives up 7 runs!

    Back at it tomorrow!

    • Mario

      DJ seems to have the bullpen tossing well. Can’t be that bad. Players play and coaches coach.

  64. Kevin H

    Curious Question, as I don’t see him play the field. Does De La Cruz need to improve his fielding? Is that why he isn’t up? Even having his bat in the line up in my opinion would help. Maybe I am impatient. LOL

    CES and Hopkins as well and I am noticing other teams are DFA players. Wonder what the hold up is with the Reds.