Welcome Taylor Swift fans! Wait, that’s the stadium up the street. Today the Cincinnati Reds and San Diego Padres will open up a 3-game series at Great American Ball Park. Due to the previously mentioned Taylor Swift concert tonight, the Reds game was moved up to a 5:10pm start to attempt to alleviate some of the traffic congestion.

Starting Lineups

San Diego Padres

Cincinnati Reds

Fernando Tatis Jr. – RF TJ Friedl – CF
Juan Soto – LF Matt McLain – SS
Manny Machado – 3B Jonathan India – 2B
Xander Bogaerts – SS Elly De La Cruz – DH
Jake Cronenworth – 1B Jake Fraley – RF
Gary Sanchez – C Joey Votto – 1B
Matt Carpenter – DH Spencer Steer – 3B
Rougned Odor – 2B Tyler Stephenson – C
Trent Grisham – CF Will Benson – LF
Seth Lugo – RHP Graham Ashcraft – RHP

Starting Pitchers

Graham Ashcraft 69.0 7.17 1.67 30 52
Seth Lugo 51.2 4.01 1.32 12 47
Links: Graham Ashcraft’s Stats | Seth Lugo’s Stats

Graham Ashcraft

After spending two weeks on the injured list, Graham Ashcraft returned to the mound last week. The results were more of the same as his struggles since the second week of May continued – he allowed three home runs among his 10 hits allowed in 4.0 innings while giving up six runs.

Right-handed hitters have found success against Graham Ashcraft for his big league career. But for the first year and the first month of his career, left-handed hitters had next to no chance against him. In his first 25 career starts lefties hit .201/.270/.251 against him with two home runs. In the last eight games they’ve hit .484/.522/.766 with four home runs against him.


RHH 178 47 7 2 7 18 26 .307 .390 .516
LHH 143 38 8 1 5 12 26 .295 .359 .488

Pitch Usage

2-seam Cutter Slider
Velo 96.7 96.5 88.5
Usage 8% 54% 38%

Seth Lugo

After missing just over a month while on the injured list, Seth Leguo rejoined the Padres rotation two weeks ago. Tonight he’ll make his third start since returning. San Diego has lost each of his last four starts, scoring just 13 runs in those games.

This season the splits have been pretty strong in the favor of left-handed hitters against Seth Lugo. Lefties are hitting for a higher average, getting on base a little more, and they are showing more power. Both lefties and righties walk at about the same rate, with lefties striking out a bit more often but doing more damage on contact.


RHH 117 29 5 0 2 6 22 .264 .308 .364
LHH 101 27 5 0 4 6 25 .287 .337 .468

Pitch Usage

4-seam 2-seam Cutter Curve Slider Change
Velo 93.8 93.5 87.9 79.6 81.4 87.2
Usage 35% 16% 6% 36% 4% 3%

When and Where

  • Game time: 5:10pm ET
  • Where: Great American Ball Park
  • Watch: Bally Sports Ohio, MLB.tv
  • Listen: 700 WLW AM (Cincinnati area)
  • Forecast: 87°, cloudy, 15% chance of rain

News and Notes

Nick Lodolo’s heading to Arizona for rehab

Ben Lively could return before the All-Star break

The All-Star break starts on Monday July 10th. That would mean that in the next week-and-a-half the Reds are expecting Lively to return to the rotation.

Elly’s cycle was the most thrilling ever

Jayson Stark of The Athletic took nearly a week to write about Elly De La Cruz’s cycle, but once he finally did, he declared it the most thrilling cycle of all time and tried to back it up with plenty of data.


Team W L GB Playoff Odds
Reds 43 38 0.0 21.1%
Brewers 43 38 0.0 56.6%
Pirates 38 42 4.5 5.4%
Cubs 37 42 5.0 13.8%
Cardinals 33 47 9.0 9.4%
Playoff Odds via Fangraphs

330 Responses

  1. Rednat

    strong line up although I would consider switching Steer and India and Benson and Votto In the order at this point.

    • LDS

      Or India and Friedl. India hit much better when leading off. But what I’d really like to see is Ashcraft pickup a QS of 6+ innings

      • Chris

        …But he never hit as well as Friedl in the leadoff spot. I’d pencil Friedl in at the top lefty or righty every darn night.

      • CI3J

        I’m actually not sure I’d hit India leadoff at this point. He may not even really deserve a spot at the top of the lineup anymore.

        If I were making a lineup just based solely on the players’ production, this is what it should probably be:

        RF Benson
        CF Friedl
        SS McLain
        3B EDLC
        DH Steer
        LF Fraley
        2B India
        1B Votto
        C Stephenson

        Also, can we PLEASE move Benson back to RF? Has anyone heard a logical explanation why Bell decided to move the team’s best RF to LF? It really makes zero sense.

      • BK

        So is the cause of India’s lack of production due to his lineup spot or some other factor? It’s highly unlikely it has to do with his lineup spot, as he is only guaranteed one time to lead off an inning.

        Of note, his BABIP is more than 100 points lower in June than Mar/Apr/May, indicating there’s a good deal of bad luck working against him of late.

      • BK

        @CIJ3, per Statcast, Fraley has the best arm among Reds outfielders with over 50 throws. Teams usually put their best arm in RF.

      • LDS

        Trading India for pitching is still an idea I lean toward

      • MBS

        @CI3J I like Benson in the leadoff with his high OBP and speed, but I also like him as the 9 hole. When the lineup starts to swing back he gives the 1-2 batters a good RBI opportunity. Currently I’m favoring a lineup like this.

        EDLC, McLain, Friedl
        Steer, Votto, India
        Fraley, Stephenson, Benson

        I’m not ready to push Votto to the 7 hole yet, but if he doesn’t turn it around soon, Fraley could certainly swap Votto spots. That is in my imaginary lineup that Bell will never do.

      • Votto4life

        LDS I agree, I think they should consider moving both India and Stephenson for pitching.

        They apparently don’t think Stephenson is the answer behind the plate and he doesn’t hit well enough to DH.

    • Matt McWax

      I would move Benson up to #2, and shuffle some guys around, but maybe leave Votto around where he is. Benson’s .472 obp in the last 30 days is all you really need for justification.

  2. Chris

    I too would switch Steer and India. I love Benson 9th though. What a nice way to flip over the order. On another note, we are in rough times starting pitching-wise when excitement grows that Ben Lively might be back sooner than later. LOL. No disrespect to Lively, what that guy has done so far is pretty cool, when you look back on his career.

    • Rick

      I think that we all feel the same way. Lol

  3. Melvin

    Although the batting order can be debated David Bell is again putting the best lineup he has of the guys on the 26 man roster. I give him credit for that.

    • CI3J

      That’s a pretty low bar to clear.

      But then again, this is the same guy who thought hitting Newman leadoff against RH pitchers was somehow a good idea.

    • VaRedsFan

      At the stadium. Dodged thousand of Swifties to get in here.

      Ballpark filling up. Club level seats today. All the food you can eat.

      Is this heaven?

    • Doc

      Votto is in the lineup with his .185 average so I don’t think it’s the best possible lineup.

      I’m not meaning to disparage Votto, but making a counterpoint to a declarative statement.

      • Melvin

        Very few ABs so far. His BA can spike up real fast.

      • Melvin

        I guess we’ll see. lol This is not directed at you or anyone particular but I often feel like I’m pulling out the nails that others are pounding in Votto’s coffin. lol

      • Tom Diesman

        A .185 BA? How could anyone possibly argue with that?

  4. Cincinnatus Rex

    I’m also wondering if/when EDLC will get a crack at lead-off. Maybe it wouldn’t make sense if/when his power sets in, but until then, worth a shot?

    • Doc

      Once his power sets in I see him as #3/4 hitter. Until his power sets in, he’s ok where he is since they don’t have, currently, any proven 30+ HR guys on the 26 man.

  5. Matt McWax

    I think with so much power and speed spread about the lineup, it’s mostly a toss up where to put everybody, but I like the idea of having the guys least likely to make outs bat the most.

  6. Mark Moore

    It’s a good lineup overall. It’s game #2,000 for Employee #19. Let’s hope he celebrates that milestone in fine fashion.

    Bench is good tonight as well. Let’s get through these prima donnas in the first part of the Friars lineup and do some damage early and often.

    Time to Kick This Pig!!!

    And I need to go put on my hat 😀

  7. Indy Red Man

    Their lineup is scary. Wish they’d won a few last series. I doubt they sleepwalk this weekend

  8. CI3J

    I feel like if Ashcraft can just get one good start under his belt, that can be the confidence boost he needs to rediscover his early season form.

    Hopefully today is the day that happens.

  9. Melvin

    One pitch one out. That’s efficiency. 🙂

  10. Bet on Red

    early start due to the Queen… Taylor swift showing up….

  11. Melvin

    Seven pitches three outs. Very good. Very good. 🙂

  12. Mark Moore

    That’s the way to start. I haven’t put my hat on yet and am wondering if I should … 😛

    Got to start fixing some dinner.

  13. CI3J

    Knock on wood, Ashcraft is looking great so far.

  14. J

    I assume Ashcraft will eventually give up 7 or 8 runs, but these weak grounders have been nice to see. Baby steps.

  15. Melvin

    Did we just trade for a pretty good starter without giving up anything? 🙂 Ashcraft looks like the guy tonight.

  16. CI3J

    Ashcraft is pitching the way he was earlier in the season.

    1 hit, 3k, 0 BB, 36 pitches through 3 innings.

    Hope he can keep it going. He looks fantastic out there.

    • greenmtred

      Exactly. That’s why it would be crazy to give up on him.

  17. GreatRedLegsFan

    Of course, not everybody can be a 300/400/500 hitter, but Stephenson’s line after almost 300 AB is worrysome. Votto should do better after a few more AB.

  18. Indy Red Man

    Back to Elly’s screaming liner. If he shows bunt once in a while, no way is Machado in position to make that play. Cleanup hitter yes, but not a normal one

    • Mark Moore

      If somebody could help him learn that skill … he certainly could cover a lot of the plate with his height and wingspan.

  19. Mark Moore

    I’ll take that Odorous E-4 after the brutal calls on Steer. All I can say is Ashcraft better get the same treatment.

    Again on Benson. HDTBell’s gonna get jacked if this keeps up.

  20. Tom Reeves

    I might be the only one but I like the nickname, “The Lt Governor,” for Benson.

    • Mark Moore

      50th for the month of June. Haven’t done that since 1912 (says Cowboy).

    • Melvin

      If Mr. Sadak is correct that’s 50 SB for the Reds in June.

  21. Bet on Red

    58 steal attempts in a month….astounding

    • LT

      Really is. Make up for lack of pitching

  22. Mark Moore

    Ashcraft’s gonna get that pitch too? I’m OK with that.

  23. CI3J

    Wow, this ump is terrible, but at least he’s terrible to both teams.

  24. Mark Moore

    This is the kind of night we need from any starting pitcher. Now let’s get busy and back him big time!

  25. LDS

    A good start by Ashcraft thus far but the offense is lagging today. I like Ashcraft at 11-12 pitches/inning. His outcome s are usually better vs. when he’s SO a bunch.

  26. Mark Moore

    There you go, India! Off the schneid (for now).

  27. Cincinnatus Rex

    Feels like one of those games where all the contact is on borderline Hit/Errors. I remember the no-hitter we suffered in Oakland a few years back, and how unimpressed I was because of all the hard-hit balls called infield errors. I’d like to see some aggressive swings in a pitcher’s duel like this — and right as I say that, India with the first hit!

  28. Mark Moore

    And that’s a too aggressive TOOTBLAN in my book.

    • BK

      Yep, got to know who is in the defensive positions. Tatis is an athlete with a gun.

    • Erik the Red

      Agree. Odds are ELDC would steal 2nd base on the first or second pitch anyways.

  29. Mark Moore

    Probably can’t play the “missed opportunity” card too many times. Padres will likely “wake up” and it could get ugly.

    Meanwhile, back to the new and improved Ashcraft, right?

    • CI3J

      He’s not new and improved, he’s returned to form (so far).

  30. Matt McWax

    Bad one Elly. Just take the single and steal the base on the next pitch!

  31. Beaufort Red

    A fine line. Cost us 1st and 3rd one out. Hope Cowgill didn’t send him , but it looked like EDLV had his mind made up.

  32. J

    Someone in this organization (I know it’s not likely to be a certain person even though I believe it’s supposed to be part of his job description) needs to have a serious chat with the players about finding a good balance between “aggression” (as a certain television personality likes to call it) on the basepaths and “playing smart fundamental baseball” (as I like to call it).

  33. Mark Moore

    55 pitches through 5 for Ashcraft. How long has it been since we’ve seen that kind of performance? And no extreme high or low count innings either.

    But we’ve GOT TO BACK THE MAN!!!

    • Tom Reeves

      If they hurry the throw to second and it’s mishandled, India scores. I don’t mind EDLC finding that out through aggressive trial and error. He’ll learn where his limits are – and aren’t.

  34. Rick

    Keep it up(or depth more appropriately).
    Man, If Graham is consistently back, awesome for us.

  35. Matt McWax

    Stephenson, two nice aggressive first pitch hits (well almost, one was ruled error).

    • Mark Moore

      2X that after the dinger. We need Crooked Numbers, please!!

    • Melvin

      “The Rangers announced they’ve acquired Aroldis Chapman from the Royals. Left-hander Cole Ragans and outfield prospect Roni Cabrera are going back to Kansas City in return”.

      MLB Trade Rumors

      • Melvin

        I don’t know about the players KC got in return but if we could have beat that without giving up the farm we’re going to regret it.

  36. J

    Chapman traded to Texas, so now we can become obsessed with someone else. I am shocked — shocked — to learn that trades are able to occur more than 10 minutes before the trade deadline. People keep telling me it’s impossible.

  37. Indy Red Man

    One more zero and I think we’ll get to Lugo. They played yesterday too so our pen should have the advantage

  38. Dennis Westrick

    Genuinely concerned about this series with the Friars! They are currently on a 5-game losing streak and their bullpen melted down twice against the Pie-Rats!

    Need to be cautious with Juan Soto as he was a Reds Killer when he played for the Washington Gnats!

    One good thing is that we won’t be facing Musgrove, who I consider their best SP in this series!

  39. CI3J

    There goes the shutout.

    Hopefully it doesn’t rattle Ashecraft and he can keep going.

  40. J

    Again, the Reds’ decision-making is driving me nuts. Elly should have stayed at first and then (probably) attempted to steal second. Steer should probably have attempted to steal second, because then he probably scores on a single. (Worst case scenario is he’s out and TS is out, and then Benson leads off the next inning.) Their sense of risk/reward is generally at odds with mine.

  41. Melvin

    Good play by Votto against the net.

    • CI3J

      That girl and her mom seemed to enjoy the show!

  42. Beaufort Red

    Sadak opens his mouth and says Ashcraft has been untouchable and home run next pitch. I wish he would keep his adjective filled commentary to a minimum. Kiss if death.

  43. Rick

    Graham hating on that black heat drawing jersey – I’m guessing.

  44. Mark Moore

    Is it evil of me to really love it when Machado whiffs like that?

  45. Old-school

    Ashcraft strikes out soto and machado back to back

    What a performance

    Reds needed this

    • Ted Alfred

      Yes they did… this pitching performance by Ashcraft gives me hope…much more important than the result of this game

    • Rick

      Yes. And his confidence, swagger is back.

  46. Mike Adams

    Time for the youngsters to put together all they have learned and score a run or two.
    The friars think they are ok but the never say die Reds are coming for them.

  47. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Starter has gone good for 6 innings. Bell’s trend – take him out.

    I say keep him in. It’s only been 73 pitches. Ashcraft probably has more in him. Maybe on a short leash, sure, but send him back out. We have to get rest for the bullpen.

  48. Ted Alfred

    Keep him in…not even a question.

  49. CI3J

    This ump is truly, truly awful.

    Calling strikes a mile off the plate.

  50. Rick

    We got the Pad’s right where we want them. Come from behind territory.

  51. Mike Adams

    This home plate umpire sure has a wide strike zone.
    Almost like his calls determine whether the game is a pitchers’ duel or not.
    You watch, there will be some runs scored later if he widens the strike zone a little.

  52. Ted Alfred

    This umps strike zone is huge and inconsistent…brutal

  53. Melvin

    Fraley comes through again. I sure would like to let him maybe hit ninth for awhile against LH pitching to see how bad he really is. I’ve never seen him look that bad in his swings.

  54. Mark Moore

    BTW, I pulled the trigger on the DC trip. Monday evening and Tuesday AM game. Seats out near the Reds bullpen both games.

  55. Mark Moore

    WOW! Hope that’s the only one that gets away like that tonight. Almost “hit the bull”, Crash Davis!

  56. Mark Moore

    Losing focus here … bear down or yank him. I’m good with a switch here to get a reset.

    • Jim Walker

      After those 2 (or was it 3) wild high ones after being up in the count on the 1st walk, I might have actually gone and got him.

  57. Mark Moore

    That’ll do, Lucas. You picked him up. Now back to the boys to pile on.

  58. LDS

    Good start by Ashcraft finally. Too bad the offense has been AWOL today. At least get the win.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      The Pads do have one of the better staffs in the league. This pitchers have been one of the better pitchers in the league against us.

      • LDS

        True, but if the Reds are truly competitive, now is the time to show it. SD is in 4th place in the West. Got to put them in their place. And I see Stephenson just put them up.

  59. Ted Alfred

    So will Lucas Sims go out in the 8th inning go back out for the 8th inning? I would be in favor of that but the way David Bell operates the bullpen in regards to Sims I doubt it.

    Regardless, this was an absolutely huge…huge…huge outing for Ashcraft. He looked totally different, his stuff look better. Like Barry keeps saying, his he’s coming more over the top and his stuff is more on a downward plane instead of side to side and I think it’s creating a lot more ground balls Etc.

  60. J

    I really don’t understand what TS has been doing today. Ump is consistently calling strikes a few inches off the plate and a few inches low, and TS seems to be setting up in the strike zone almost every time. Sims gets the K on a pitch right down the middle. Glad it worked out, but I don’t get it…

  61. Mark Moore

    For anybody in the ballpark, just how hazy is it? Long camera view looks pretty bad.

    • CI3J

      I know pollution is bad, but I like the haze. Makes the game feel timeless, like you’re watching something from far in the past.

    • Jim Walker

      The haze seems to come and go. That is how it was in my neighborhood about 55 miles NNE of GABP Thursday and at times there was a hint of a “smokey” odor but not as noticeable here today,

      It has been this way off an on for over a week with maybe a break of day or so once or twice

  62. Mike Adams

    Ruh roh. The umpire had been calling the third and fifth pitches to Steer strikes.
    If he has expanded the zone the Reds can get some runs

    • Melvin

      Pretty good lineup when you have Stephenson and Benson at the end.

  63. J

    Stephenson! I did not see that one coming.

  64. Mark Moore

    Makes that pick-off unfortunate, but we’ll take a lead.

    • Cincinnatus Rex

      I like to think of the Butterfly Effect on those occasions. With no pick-off, maybe we don’t that exact pitch and swing a little while later!

  65. Harry Stoner


    TS sure waited and worked for his pitch.

  66. J

    Since I’m such a Debbie Downer… Again, maybe it’s time for *someone* to have a chat with the guys about finding a balance between “aggression” on the bases and “smart fundamental baseball.”

    • Mark Moore

      Especially late in the game when you aren’t ahead yet. I’m with you.

  67. Mark Moore

    Come on Jobu!!! Wake up those bats!!!

    😛 😀

  68. Cincinnatus Rex

    I am loving Will Benson at #9. Puts together a nice chain of threats as the line-up turns over.

  69. Rick

    Yay yay! Tyler’s swing paths have looked good today. Even tho that one was a hanger.

  70. J

    Um… maybe that chat should happen NOW.

  71. CI3J

    TWO pickoffs in ONE INNING!


  72. Mark Moore

    I don’t know about y’all … but I am NOT happy about how we got picked off 2x that inning. By two different pitchers no less.

  73. Harry Stoner

    That was pretty embarrassing.

    Two pickoffs and an I’ll conceived 2-strike bunt.

  74. Rick

    2 PO’s in one inning? That can’t happen.

  75. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Boy, 3 running mistakes tonight.

    Not to leave out, from what I could tell, on a pitch or two, with Stephenson at the plate, Bell had Steer going on the pitch. Why didn’t he have India do that against the Braves in the 9th in that one game?

  76. J

    I bet that’s the first time in the history of major league baseball that an inning has included two pickoffs, a foul bunt for strike three, and a solo home run. Check the record books!

  77. Mark Moore

    OK, boys. You know what to do. I’ve bet on you enough to shell out a couple hundred for a trip into enemy territory next week. Show me you love me as a fan as much as I love you as a team.

    Let’s do this thing!!!

  78. Ted Alfred

    Not sure what happened there…. but I can report Bell did indeed leave Sims in for the 8th inning

    • old-school

      Sims threw 5 pitches WEdnesday , had the day off yesterday and was ready to answer the bell today. Great job.

  79. ryan

    Diaz throwing? I nominate him for the Wayne Simpson All-Star break memorial award.

  80. Mark Moore

    For all his other shortcomings and reasons I’d never be a fan, the man has a solid glove at third. That’s all I’ve got to say about that.

  81. Mark Moore

    HDTBell’s either forgotten to shave or is growing a beard 😮

  82. Mark Moore

    That haze must be heavy … I thought he’d crushed that one.

  83. Melvin

    Thought that was gone by De La Cruz.

  84. Melvin

    Good job by Votto knocking it down to keep it from going into the outfield.

  85. Mark Moore

    Now the zone is shrinking back … the Flex-o-Zone on full display again.

    Those TOOTBLANS may come back to haunt us yet.

    • Tom Reeves

      I think the Reds have run into a strong defensive team. And they weren’t impressed with the pressure. That’s a good lesson for the Reds. There are some teams who have struggled with the Reds’ level of aggression.

  86. Mark Moore

    And we’re back to needing a comeback win. Plus we’ve got to get out of this inning first.

  87. Melvin

    I thought that was a three run homer. Ball not carrying to RF it seems. Tie game.

  88. Cincinnatus Rex

    Sure wish Elly had hit that ball just a touch harder…

  89. Mark Moore

    First blown save for Diaz … had to happen at some point. Now let’s pick him up for a walk-off win.

  90. Votto4life

    That first picked off runner may have just cost them the game.

  91. J

    The Padres seemed to have a pretty good sense of how to use “aggression” on the bases in that inning.

  92. old-school

    No one said a young team learning how to win would be easy.

    See what they do against Hades.

    • J

      Instead, we get the check swing strike three. Yet another of my pet peeves.

  93. Melvin

    Senzel for Votto. Hmm If you want to know what the guys on The Riverfront podcast think about Votto being pinch hit for just listen to their latest broadcast.

  94. Mark Moore

    Switched to the TV and the app won’t let me play the WLW feed. Now we really need to end this now so I don’t have to listen to my favorites for very long.

  95. Mark Moore

    Larkin defending the aggressive moves with “you create your own luck”.

    At least Steer waited out a walk. Come on TySteve!!!

  96. Ted Alfred

    It’s too bad Diaz fielded the bunt because Steer was right there for a much easier play right as Diaz is feeling it. As soon as I saw how rushed Diaz was I knew he was going to be off balance throw in the dirt and that’s exactly what happened. We just needed Elly’s ball to travel another 3 ft in the 8th

  97. Rick

    Barry has interjected more so today, nice.

  98. Mark Moore

    Sadak rightly calling that the “Bizzaro Zone”

    • Mark Moore

      My wife is LIVID over that call and even she realizes that kind of crap is detrimental to the game.

    • Ted Alfred

      It’s really sad when you get professional umpires that are this off when it comes to the strike zone. It is just a determining factor in who’s going to win and lose the game. I am really looking forward to the automated strike soon because I am worn out watching these umpires continually screw up balls and strikes…and you can’t question them because they’ll get their feelings hurt.

  99. Tom Reeves

    How had David Bell not gone nuts over this strike zone?!

    • magi210

      He did, somehow he wasn’t ejected.

    • J

      He doesn’t want to get tossed because the team would be lost without him.

  100. Rick

    I hope that Hader goes only one inning today.

  101. magi210

    So a ball 3 inches below the zone is a strike and a ball 4 inches above it is too. Glad we’re all on the same page.

    • Ted Alfred

      Sometimes…and that is the key

  102. LDS

    It’s almost like the Wayne Simpson comparison came back to bite the Reds. Let’s hope the comparison ends here.

  103. Mark Moore

    Need to see the best Gibault possible here.

  104. Rick

    I wished we had not given the 3 outs away on the bases.

  105. Mark Moore

    And we’re set up for the come-from-behind win AGAIN … I need to check my BP. I’m sure Dennis is on life support by now.

    • Rick

      Mine is up too. Headed for my Avalide bp med now.

  106. J

    The Reds ghost runner will be a catcher unless a pitcher is used. Maybe someone other than people who comment on this blog ought to consider the logic of this roster construction.

    • J

      Well, now the ghost runner is moot, so I stand corrected.

  107. Ted Alfred

    Not really sure why he went slider away there 0-2 when Tatis hhas been swinging at high fastballs all game long

  108. Mark Moore

    And it’s getting away from us … those TOOTBLAN pickoffs are looming HUGE. Wasted a great start by Ashcraft.

  109. Ted Alfred

    This game is just a total giveaway against a not very good team that wasn’t playing very well and really didn’t play well again today. Can’t believe Diaz made that throwing error on the bunt and that cost us the game.

    • Votto4life

      I can’t see Williamson beating Wacha tomorrow either. Brewers up big over pirates early

  110. Votto4life

    Spencer Steer getting picked off first cost the reds this game. Terrible home plate umpire hasn’t helped.

    • jazzmanbbfan

      I think he just made up for it.

  111. Mark Moore

    Anybody still wondering if India has the arm to play 3rd?

  112. Mark Moore

    Still have Benson at the plate with TySteve on 2nd. Time for Wil to mash one to the river.

    • Mark Moore

      Nope. It’s Benson. Can’t wait to see the OF shuffle if we somehow tie this.

  113. Cincinnatus Rex

    The score stands Four-to-Two, with but one inning left to play…

    No need to overreact — two out of three would be great — but this sure would be an ugly loss. Can’t spoil that sort of a gem from Ashcraft.

  114. Melvin

    Maile for Benson. Another Hmm Hope it works.

    • CI3J

      At some point I really wish Bell would let Benson hit against LHP. It took him a long time to figure out that Friedl can hit LHP, who knows what Benson can do?

      • J

        Well, he did let him do it the other day when it came down to Benson or Casali, and Benson tripled. But apparently Bell didn’t notice it.

      • Cincinnatus Rex

        Agree. Sadak mentioned how Bell had only one man left on the bench — Casali — whom I wouldn’t be surprised if Bell used, lol. I know Benson bats left, but he seems like just the kinda kid who WANTS to make the difference-making play. Call me crazy, but (with all the work Benson has done) I want his explosiveness over a back-up catcher’s dominant hand.

      • Melvin

        He let Casali and Newman bat for themselves against a righty in the 7th recently four runs down when he had Votto, Fraley, and Benson on the bench. There is NO understanding David Bell. I don’t think he wants us to. 🙂

  115. Mark Moore

    And it comes down to this … you up to it, MattyMc?

  116. Dennis Westrick

    Biggest problems I see with this 2023 Reds team is too many strikeouts with RISPs.
    Secondly, the base running is just horrendous! Little league mistakes!
    And, finally, lack of consistent starting pitching has required way too many innings by the bullpen!

    Wasted a great start by Ashcraft!

  117. Mark Moore

    One time I’m not unhappy that I’m on the Bally feed … Sadak’s head exploded. Larkin seems in awe.

  118. Melvin

    McLain!!!!!!! Ties it up!!!! Two run Homer!!!!! CF!!!!!

  119. LT

    Unreal. Just unreal. Can’t describe this.

  120. J

    Yeah, so about that third catcher this team so desperately needs…

  121. Rick

    I scared my dog to death! On Matt’s bomb!

  122. CI3J

    India ALMOST had it.

    That means EDLC starts on 2nd next time. If the bullpen can stop the Pads from scoring here, I like the Reds’ chances.

    • J

      India starts on second. EDLC starts at the plate.

  123. Steve Schoenbaechler

    When did the Swiftie concert start?

    • Mark Moore

      Warm-up act was at 6:30. Gates opened just after 4:00. She’s supposed to come on stage right about now.

  124. Ted Alfred

    That kid is such a stud. As great as Elly’s talent is I really believe McClain is going to be an 7-8 time All Star if he stays healthy. He’s got such a great mental demeanor to play the game at a consistently high level. He is going to be FFFunnnnn to watch for the next decade.

  125. Dennis Westrick

    I said earlier that the Reds need to pitch carefully to Juan Soto, perennial Reds killer! So, what has Soto done tonight? He’s 3 for 5 with a RBI. Slow learners I guess!

  126. Mark Moore

    Well, we know it won’t come down to a pitcher batting for us, right?

  127. Mark Moore

    Ate him up the way that one did to MattyMc in the first inning.

  128. Mark Moore

    Bike helmets … bike helmets … bike helmets … I’m calling it.

  129. Mark Moore

    I really hope the handedness doesn’t bit us in the @$$ here. Young was still fresh.

  130. J

    I guess Farmer is being saved because he’s tomorrow’s closer, or something like that?

    • Mark Moore

      No idea. Pitchers have to be baffled as hitters on a night like this where the “Bizzarro Zone” is on display (TM John Sadak).

  131. Mark Moore

    Remember way back when Ashcraft pitched 6.2 innings for a quality start? Was that yesterday, or last week?

  132. Mark Moore

    Time to put up or shut up here.

  133. Steve Schoenbaechler

    The one night we get some good starting pitching, the pen is going.

  134. Melvin

    Need EDLC to get on base here one way or another to score the winning run.

  135. J

    This organization has some really good hitters in AAA right now, and some of them aren’t catchers…

  136. Melvin

    De La Cruz with a double!!! Ties it up!!!

  137. Mark Moore

    Perfect execution by Newman. Show us your stuff, Nick.

  138. Melvin

    Good bunt by Newman. Winning run at 3B.

  139. Mark Moore

    Oh Holy Crap!!!

    Blocking the plate rarely gets overturned here. Maybe tonight.

    • Melvin

      Yep. Still a tie game. De La Cruz was blocked.

  140. J

    Maybe next time you try the safety squeeze.

  141. Dean

    Home plate ump is doing everything in his power to screw the Reds.

  142. Mark Moore

    Yeah … Larkin explained it well. No blocking call in effect when it’s a hard-hit to a drawn-in infield.

    Steer time.

  143. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Boy, is that 4 or 5 running errors tonight?

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      I mean, I do believe he was blocking the plate, like I believe all of us. But, it was called an out.

  144. Dean

    He’s clearly blocking the plate with his leg. Runner scores easily without that. Run counts. Game over.

    • Mark Moore

      And it doesn’t matter anymore!!!!

      Steer for RoY!!!

    • Mark Moore

      BTW, Larkin explained that doesn’t come into play for a drawn-in infield. But do we care?

      • Votto4life

        It’s a crappy rule…why wouldn’t a catcher just stand there and prevent the runner from scoring? The runner should have access to the plate. Terrible rule.

  145. J

    Casali will be pinch hitting next inning….

  146. Mark Moore

    For the record, that was solid aggressive play, not reckless in my book.

    • J

      For once, I’ve got no beef with the “aggression.” I do have a beef with the lack of a safety squeeze, but Steer has made me forget all about it.

  147. magi210

    Steer says he’s got this covered.

  148. Kevin H

    This Team is unreal!!! another win

  149. Bet on Red

    most heart attacks i have had in a game good win though

  150. Tim

    Oh my goodness. Steer clear the fence. This is the most fun since the mid 70s

  151. Harry Stoner

    The long ball saves the Reds again.

    Get more of it.

  152. LT

    OMG..Steer said let’s end this thing with a bang!!!!

    • Harry Stoner


      I acknowledge that I’m a Southerner, but what’s that all about, Mark?

      • MBS

        Why make that weird, Steer has a Farmer’s tan

      • Harry Stoner

        Now I get it.
        My misread.
        Not trying to be overly PC, but I guess I would use ‘paler’….if I were writing on a message thread.

        There is a related expression down here. Not a complimentary one,

    • RedsMonk65

      Great hit. Great win. But what?

  153. CI3J

    This is like the ’99 team all over again.


  154. Dean

    Did anyone else notice if Joey was in the dugout for McLain’s game-tying home run? I understand he is competitive and doesn’t want to be pinch-hit for, as he and Benson both were in the 9th. But Joey needs to be out there with the rest of the guys if he wants to fit in with this iteration of the Reds. Team Ball, Steele, to quote an 80’s hoop movie starring Robbie Benson.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      He could have been in the bathroom or something. I wouldn’t worry about it.

    • Chris

      Stop! He was there, and cheering on his team. I don’t understand this kind of crap. Just enjoy, will ya.

  155. Mark Moore

    That was CRUSHED!!! Out in every park, I do believe.

    • Rick

      Would have to be.
      Maybe even the old polo grounds!

      • TR

        Waite Hoyt, the Red’s former broadcaster, used to call the Polo Grounds the bandbox because down both foul lines was less than 300 ft. each with centerfield extending out at least 450 ft.

  156. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Well, G** D***!!!

    I believe Lance has said, “They are never easy!”

  157. RedsGettingBetter

    This game finish being a devastating loss to Padres. Only a good team makes winning this kind of weird game where the ump was sent from hell to call tonight

  158. Harry Stoner

    That’s the way a 1st place team wins.

  159. RedsMonk65

    To quote Brantley: Perhaps a “Team of Destiny”

    • Rick

      They are so so special. They seem to be.

    • TR

      The hundred loss season is in the past. A lot of credit to GM Nick Krall for the trades to restore the Red’s farm system which has brought exciting baseball back to Cincinnati and the Metro area.

  160. Stoney

    Just incredible!! What fun this team is. These young Reds can compete with anyone. What a great year this has been. I don’t see them slowing down. Great outing by Ashcraft too. Just what we needed!

  161. Tim

    Mucho Kudos to Ashcraft. This performance was a good sign.

    • Rick

      Yes. A great sign & sorely needed going forward.

  162. Melvin

    Pirates coming back on the Brewers. 4-3 in the 5th.

  163. J

    Casali seems like a nice guy, and I think he was the MVP of the Karcher game, but PLEASE let this be the last three-catcher game of the season…

  164. Harry Stoner

    Classic Ashcraft: 8 ground outs, 7 Ks.

    I hope he’s on the way back.

  165. Mark Moore

    Sam with the cap on backwards … 😀

  166. Soto

    Wow! It was really nice to see Ashcraft rediscover his mojo!

  167. Protime

    Great come from behind win. Believe it, and live it!

  168. Dennis Westrick

    This team NEVER ceases to amaze me! First blown save by Diaz, down 2 runs in the bottom of the 10th and then BOOM! Another 2-run BOOM in the bottom of the 11th!

    Who needs fireworks when you have these kids never giving in or giving up!

    Too bad about Diaz’s save streak ending! Maybe that will keep them from using him in the All Star game! Just kidding!

    Excellent use of the bullpen by Bell in the 2 extra innings! There, I said it!

    • Daytonnati

      Streak over, but we still won. Now, he doesn’t have to drag that weight around. Start a new one!

  169. Beaufort Red

    Dumb reporter just asked McClain what he thought of EDLC. I mean the guy just hit a game tying 2 run homer with 2 put.

  170. PatTheBat

    Per the bullpen, is it new news or out there earlier that Aroldis Chapman going to the Rangers from KC? Just saw the flash on MLB network.