Fresh off of a .500 road trip on the west coast, the Cincinnati Reds will open up a series against the Chicago Cubs today with a day/night doubleheader. The first game is a make up from a game that was postponed in the first week of the season. First pitch is set for 1:10pm ET.

Starting Lineups

Chicago Cubs

Cincinnati Reds

Mike Tauchman – CF Harrison Bader – CF
Nico Hoerner – 2B Spencer Steer – 2B
Ian Happ – LF Elly De La Cruz – SS
Cody Bellinger – 1B Hunter Renfroe – RF
Dansby Swanson – SS Christian Encarnacion-Strand – 1B
Seiya Suzuki – RF Nick Senzel – 3B
Christopher Morel – DH Tyler Stephenson – C
Miguel Amaya – C Noelvi Marte – DH
Nick Madrigal – 3B Stuart Fairchild – LF
Jordan Wicks – LHP Graham Ashcraft – RHP

Starting Pitchers

Graham Ashcraft 140.2 4.73 1.37 51 105
Jordan Wicks 5.0 1.80 0.60 1 9
Links: Graham Ashcraft’s Stats | Jordan Wicks’ Stats

Graham Ashcraft

The 2023 season has been one of the extremes for Ashcraft. His first handful of starts went great, but then he struggled for nearly two months and had an ERA of 12.82 in eight starts from May 7th through June 24th. But since then he’s made 11 starts with a 2.39 ERA and has gotten his season back on track.

During his struggles it was left-handed hitters that were just crushing the ball against him. But he’s fixed that and the numbers have been in decline for lefties in his most recent 11 starts. Right-handed hitters have always hit better against him and they continue to do so. Righties make more contact, walk more, hit for a higher average, and hit for more power.


RHH 314 78 12 2 12 31 48 .286 .371 .476
LHH 289 64 10 2 10 20 57 .242 .302 .408

Pitch Usage

2-Seam Slider Cutter
Velo 96.5 88.3 96.0
Usage 10% 37% 53%

Jordan Wicks

The Cubs will turn to Wicks in just his second career start. Wicks had split his season between Double-A and Triple-A where he posted a 3.55 ERA in 20 starts between the two levels.

The splits against Wicks aren’t huge, but how each group of players gets there is a bit different. Left-handed hitters make more contact, hit for a higher average, and as a result have a higher on-base percentage. Right-handed hitters don’t hit for much average at all and thus they are getting on base at a lower rate. Righties do hit for a lot more power, though.

Splits (MiLB & MLB)

RHH 286 54 15 0 11 23 85 .207 .274 .391
LHH 105 23 6 0 2 10 23 .250 .324 .380

Pitch Usage (AAA & MLB)

4-seam 2-seam Change Slider Curve Cutter
Velo 92.2 91.1 81.4 82.5 78.9 88.1
Usage 35% 20% 24% 5% 8% 8%

When and Where

  • Game time: 1:10pm ET
  • Where: Great American Ball Park
  • Watch: Bally Sports Ohio, (out of market), MLB Network (out of market)
  • Listen: 700 WLW AM (Cincinnati area)
  • Forecast: 78°, sunny, 0% chance of rain

News and Notes

Roster moves all day

Cincinnati made five roster moves today. They activated Jake Fraley from the injured list, called up Brett Kennedy from Triple-A, added Harrison Bader and Hunter Renfroe to the activate roster, and they placed Hunter Greene on the COVID-19 injured list. We wrote a bit more about all of those moves here.

Hunter Renfroe on joining the club


Team W L GB Playoff Odds
Brewers 74 59 0.0 96.8%
Cubs 71 62 3.0 75.0%
Reds 69 66 6.0 14.1%
Pirates 61 73 13.5 0.0%
Cardinals 58 76 16.5 0.0%
Playoff Odds via Fangraphs

104 Responses

  1. DaveCT

    While perception may (or may not) be reality, seeing a lineup with two real veterans named Bader and Renfro in there is encouraging. The fact that they’ve nemeses doesn’t hurt either. Not quite villains like Happ or Schwarber but still.

    • Chris

      You say so. I see two veterans who are not that good, which is why they were dumped by their subpar teams.

  2. JB

    Great. Just when we really needed Greene and he has COVID. Not sure how long he is out but could really use him on his next start. Hopefully Kennedy starts the second game and it’s not a bullpen game. Bullpen really doesn’t need that. Was hoping Richardson would start second game. Hadn’t pitched ,I believe, since the 23rd. Reds really need to win at least 3. They need to get hot in the worse way. Besides that, Let’s play two!

  3. Ghostrunner_onthird

    No kidding pivotal series. Red’s push for WC begins right now. Destiny beckons -let’s see who wants it more.

  4. Redgoggles

    Captain Obvious tells me that Game 1 is important, with our “ace” going and our Independent League starter in Game 2.

    Also, feel bad for Hunter Greene but more respect for his last performance if he wasn’t feeling good!

  5. Dennis Westrick

    Needless to say, this is likely a Make or Break series for our beloved Reds. Win 3 of 4 is an absolute must to bring us back into a tie for the 3rd NL Wild Card spot!

    Again, can’t sweep a DH without winning the first game! Go Reds! Beat The Stupid Cubbie Bears!

  6. JB

    Stephenson going to right is a beautiful thing.

  7. Protime

    Frankly, I’m more of a Ramos (switch hitter) than Fairchild fan. Will see what happens…

  8. DHud

    Can anyone at all please explain to me what EDLC is swinging at??

    • Jim Walker

      He must have asked himself the same thing when he got to 2 strikes. 😉 Turned out to be quite a PA.

  9. LT

    Huge play. That cutter is golden, struck out Happ and TS caught Hoener stealing.

  10. JB

    Homer. Well you can’t win when you can’t score. So the bats need to wake up against a scrub pitcher that has never got past the 5th.

  11. LT

    Missed location on the slider to Bellinger and paid hefty price.

    • Roger Garrett

      One run should not make the difference but Bellinger is the one guy you just can’t let beat you.I realize they go over the hitters and mistakes get hit a long way and its the new age and I am an old man but you can’t let the other teams best player beat you.Enough from me.GO REDS

  12. AMDG

    Senzel, Bader, Renfoe, & Fairchild all starting together. Yikes!

    Apparently Bell wants to limit the potential run scoring in Game 1, and save that for the second game?

    • DHud

      If we’re talking offense one of these is not like the other…

  13. LDS

    It’s still hard to fathom why the Reds didn’t try for Bellinger last year. Still wouldn’t have activated Fraley. Reminds me of the 70s. Hopefully, juicing a player through the pain is a thing of the past, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

  14. JB

    Nice job Marte. Walk and a rbi single today.

  15. JB

    That a boy stuie. First pitch swinging. Forget about the last few batters taking pitches. Guy is not a major league player.

    • DHud

      Thank goodness we have him to put in the lineup vs LHP!

    • Jim Walker

      The pitch he popped up was a strike per Gameday and a hittable pitch. It was a better pitch than either of the fringe called strikes or the pitch he missed for strike 3, which also registered as a fringe strike in Gameday, in his first PA K. So, he’s supposed to take that pitch, a classic get-ahead strike and hope he gets another as good down the line?

      I am with you and everybody else in wishing he had not popped it up; but, going after that pitch was not an inherently bad move any more than Bader missing a genuine hitters’ first pitch behind him only to subsequently go out on a check swing grounder on a pitch out of the zone.

  16. Beaufort Red

    Fairchild is not a major league ball player. Empty at bats. I would rather have Friedl in left.

    • LDS

      Come on man, Friedl is LH. He can’t start against a leftie, even if he is hitting .312 against LH’ers this year. You have to defer to Bell’s secret knowledge.

    • JB

      Exactly . In Bells mind he seems to think Friedl can’t hit lefties.

      • Melvin

        I’m sure Friedl still loves playing for him though. 😉

  17. JB

    People are actually fast Elly. Let’s hurry it up on the throw.

  18. Mark

    Guess we should have started the lefty lineup today the right handed lineup is pathetic today there is just no sense of urgency and putting together high quality at bats today

  19. Protime

    As I stated earlier, Fairchild is not who should be playing. Ramos is the better overall player, he, is hitting .324 in Louisville. Is Hopkins still with the club? If so, that’s insanity.

  20. Pete

    Ashcraft out??? Is he hurt – sore foot?

      • Pete

        Brantley says he has a limp. Willing to give Bell the benefit of the doubt on this one.

  21. Pete

    Wow, if this team doesn’t start hitting, and I mean right now, they don’t have any chance at all.

  22. JB

    Taking Ashcraft out at 72 pitches for the gasoline guy, Sims.

    • Chris

      Yep, makes me sick. We have an overworked bullpen, and Bell pulls his current ace after 70+ pitches. It is the part of the game that I absolutely hate now days. Sadly, bell is much like most other managers in the game now days.

    • LT

      Ashcraft’s ERA for 6 and 7 innings is not great. Lose lose situation for Bell. Sims made him look good today though

      • Chris

        That might be true, and it’s probably mental due to him knowing his manager is going to pull him so he tries to be perfect, which is always going to make you worse.

  23. RedAlert

    Sims – TERRIBLE PITCH : heart of the plate , awful

    • RedAlert

      Bell couldn’t help himself man – he’s pitiful

  24. Moon

    Red two pickups, Bader and Renfroe, 0-6.

    • JB

      Renfroe had a huge OPS last year at GABP. Maybe it was the Reds pitching and not the ballpark that he sees the ball so well. We will see.

  25. LT

    Keep the score at 3-1, Sims. Any more score and the game is over.

  26. Beaufort Red

    Haven’t said it all year but Bell is an idiot. Lineup structuring and pitching decisions are mind boggling. Only thing worse is listening to Sadak. Talking about CES hitting the ball a thousand miles an hour. I’ll settle for a 50 mile an hour bloop hit if it drives in runs.

  27. LT

    Good pitching there, Sims. The game is very simple. Cubs is leading because they have Bellinger and we don’t.

    • JB

      I have no problem with Bellinger playing CF next year for the Reds. Problem is Bob isn’t paying him.

      • Mario

        No way I am giving Bellinger 150 million. He’ll get that and maybe more.

  28. LT

    I mean the new pitcher just straight up threw 98 mph fastball, some times right down the middle, and Martini, TS, and Marte just couldn’t square their bats.

  29. Protime

    Bell, demonstrating who he is incompetent maximus. When Bellinger got the hit, the name that immediately came to mind, Chapman! he wanted to come back to Cincy and finish his career where he started. Pitching, Pitching, Pitching!!!

    • Kevin H

      How is not having Chapman Bell’s fault?? LOL

  30. Redsgettingbetter

    The offense struggles continue… 1 run against a non-elite pitcher…

    • RedAlert

      This is why Duarte can’t stick at big league level … TOO MANY WALKS

  31. LT

    LHP has given Reds fist all year. No surprise here.

  32. LT

    Keep the score at 3-1 and I have a good feeling offense will come alive 7-9 innings.

  33. Indy Red Man

    Went into Wrigley and scored a ton of runs in a sweep in May and now this. Every September I lose interest because it’s football season and the Reds can’t score.

  34. JB

    Not sure why they think Happ is going to swing at their garbage.

  35. Gpod

    Reds batting avg and runs scored against opponent’s starting pitchers since AZ series has got to be pitiful

  36. JB

    Worse thing for the Reds was when McLain went down. Steer and McLain are their best hitters.

    • Chris

      Actually, I think it was when India went down. In fact they’ve been bad ever since there was the news breaking suggesting that the Reds were open to dealing him. Look it up.

  37. RedsGettingBetter

    It seemst the Reds always find a way for not scoring

  38. JB

    No urgency with this team. Bring on football.

  39. doofus

    Geez, what small car did all these cub clowns crawl out of?

  40. Melvin

    What is that horn in the background?

    • RedAlert

      Reds need a new hitting coach badly …. And a new pitching coach as well …… this is
      Pathetic to watch . These 2 dudes ain’t
      getting it done period !

  41. Hanginwithem

    Shrewd move by Ross to start LHP game 1 and wait to name starter game 2, knowing he would face a RH lineup (because that’s what Bell does, predictably) which would likely include Bader and Renfroe, traveling before a day game.

  42. RedsGettingBetter

    Bader 0-3 , Renfroe 0-4 stranding many runners… Well , they were waivers…

    • Chris

      Yep, it’s pretty amazing that two other teams didn’t want these guys, but we get them for what should be bench roles, and the 1st thing Bell does is start them. The young players on this team are who got this team where they are. Yes they are struggling right now, but you don’t replace them with older struggling guys; you let them fight through it, and hope they can. New faces aren’t the answer.

    • West Larry

      Reds{not} getting better. Tiny sample sixe for Renfroe and Bader,,,give them 5 or 6 games before we damn them.

    • Kevin H

      Well that didn’t take long. Yesterday good pick ups. Today they suxk

      • Chris

        I don’t think anyone is suggesting that they weren’t good pickups. This is a young team with some very good young players. These two guys are veterans that aren’t as good as our young players. They should be used off of the bench where they can be productive. Using them as starters is just disturbing.

  43. Rick

    Well my fb game tomorrow won’t be televised because Spectrum’ contract was up with ESPN is up. (Tom Leach & Jeff Picoro for me on the airwaves).
    Just letting anyone know that might be affected for their college game tomorrow.

    • Jim Walker

      Hard as it is, I think we have to stay calm about the ESPN (Disney)/ Spectrum (Charter) situation. The two giants, Disney and Charter, are squared off because push has come to shove over Direct To Consumer versus traditional video (TV/ Cable/ satellite). Hopefully in short order they are going to figure out their interdependency and come up with a better solution.

  44. Chris

    Yes the team isn’t scoring runs, but burning up your bullpen isn’t going to help either. You can’t overwork a bullpen needlessly like this.

    • JB

      Yep and took Ashcraft out at 73 pitches. Just incredible how Bells mind works.

      • Melvin

        Larkin in the broadcast even mentioned the fact that a lot of pitchers were used today already and how we still have a month to go. He said, “We will need some length from our starters.”

        I don’t know if taking Ashcraft out was a good idea or not but he wasn’t pitching that badly. I doubt Sims was the best guy to do it with regardless. Time is running out. Of course there’s no way that everything is David Bells’ fault but the idea that he’s not responsible in a lot of ways I disagree with vehemently. I am SICK of losing. It seems for some David Bell can do no wrong. The one what really counts is Big Bob. He just doesn’t know what the crap he’s doing. New ownership is need desperately.

  45. RedAlert

    Derrick Law can’t help this team a lick – dude is a trash reliever

  46. Beaufort Red

    Sadak just shut up. This duo of Sadak and Larkin is the worst.

  47. RedsGettingBetter

    The Cubs are winning so easy to the Reds since the last series at Wrigley field. Remember the two embarrassing losses 20-9 and 16-6… Today they are starting to keep the same rythm in game 1…

  48. LDS

    Let’s extend Bell for life. The team has really soared since his extension in July. The Reds have to be the favorites to win this year’s World Series

    • Melvin

      No you’re wrong about that. It’s always NEXT YEAR we will be better. We will be winners.

      • Jim Walker

        Agree, as the saying goes south of the border, El mañana nunca llega

      • Melvin

        We’re using the old Cubs motto they used for about a 100 years. smh There’s always an excuse not to be winning this year so it’s, “Wait till next year”.

  49. JB

    The Reds players attitudes are the same as their manager. Just a ho hum no big deal about what’s going on. Well we will get them tomorrow or we learned a lot. Time is running out and I think it’s knocking on the door. Don’t worry it will take the manager a bit and his lackadaisical attitude to get the door.

  50. Kevin H

    Tough loss. Hopefully game two they can win and get a split DH.

    This team has been fun to watch and follow. The ups and downs of a young team.

  51. JB

    If Ross was smart , he would toss another lefty in game two. Bell will start the same pathetic righties again. Got to get Fairchild going!

    • Chris

      Ross is smart. He’s an outstanding manager.

  52. Chris

    LeCure speaking common sense again. Absolutely shocked how it is that Ashcraft with 60+ pitches has to look to the bullpen and see a reliever already warming up. This is the 2nd time he has taken a shot at Bell, doing it as gently as possible without getting himself fired. Utter nonsense by Bell in this case.

    • Pete

      I wouldn’t give a wooden nickel for David Bell, but Jeff Brantley said Ashcraft had a noticeable limp when he was leaving the mound. Either way, it’s very doubtful David Bell could ever bring a winner to Cincinnati or anywhere else for that matter. It’s just so depressing.

      • Chris

        Pete, I’m not buying that. If he had a limp, why was there already a bullpen going, and Sims warm? If it was a limp, then why did Bell send Ashcraft back out there; he could have came out without a warm bullpen due to injury.

        Listening to Bell now, this makes no sense. Why send him back out then?

    • Melvin

      “This is the 2nd time he has taken a shot at Bell, doing it as gently as possible without getting himself fired.”

      Even that might be enough to get him fired.

  53. Moon

    I am beginning to wonder if the Reds might better to located in Rhode Island since they are constantly laying big fat eggs.

    • Jim Walker

      My wife was raised on a commercial chicken/ egg farm; so, this one doesn’t leave me scratching my head. 😉

      • Moon

        Haha…good man. I was thinking how many would get the reference

      • Jim Walker

        @moon>> My wife’s brother and her daughter both live on double deep plat lots in the east LA county sprawl and both have kept a small brood of layers (3-5) “out back” at one time or another since I have been visiting SoCal with my wife over the last 30 or so years. 😉

      • Moon

        I have a good friend whose father had a huge chicken farm out in Ripon (near SF) in the 60’s and 70’s. His name was Don Nicolaysen. He got in a feud with several banks and lost everything. At one time he apparently had the largest farm in California.