The Cincinnati Reds (14-11) hit the road for a six-game road trip, starting tonight in Arlington against the defending World Series champion Texas Rangers (13-13). The Rangers come into the weekend series scuffling a little, having lost their last two series to Atlanta and Seattle, and a 5-5 record in the last 10 games. They’ll have an ace on the mound tonight though in Nathan Eovaldi. The Reds will counter with Graham Ashcraft. First pitch is at 8:05 p.m. EDT.

Lineups

Cincinnati Reds

Texas Rangers

RF Will Benson 2B Marcus Semien
SS Elly De La Cruz SS Corey Seager
LF Spencer Steer 1B Nathaniel Lowe
1B Christian Encarnacion-Strand RF Adolis García
C Tyler Stephenson LF Evan Carter
DH Jonathan India 3B Josh Smith
3B Jeimer Candelario DH Wyatt Langford
2B Santiago Espinal C Jonah Heim
CF Stuart Fairchild CF Leody Taveras

Starting Pitchers

Pitcher IP ERA WHIP BB K
Graham Ashcraft 22.1 5.24 1.34 7 23
Nathan Eovaldi 30.0 3.30 1.20 12 28
Links: Graham Ashcraft’s Stats | Nathan Eovaldi’s Stats

Graham Ashcraft

Ashcraft has been really good to start the season, if you only look at the first four or five innings of each of his starts. He has a 2.25 ERA though the first three innings, but it gets progressively worse as he pitches deeper into the game. Of course, it’s common for pitchers to be better the first or second time through the lineup. In Ashcraft’s case, however, batters have an OPS against him of .537 in their first plate appearance against him. By the time Ashcraft is facing batters for the third time, their OPS against him is 1.125. That’s a significant jump.

Splits

Split PA H 2B 3B HR BB% K% AVG OBP SLG
RHH 53 11 2 0 1 8% 26% .225 .283 .306
LHH 45 12 1 0 3 7% 20% .286 .333 .524

Pitch Usage

2-Seam Cutter Slider Change
Velo 94.8 95.7 89.0 90.0
Usage 23% 45% 31% 1%

 

Nathan Eovaldi

Over his 13-year career, Nathan Eovaldi has been a mainstay in rotations across baseball. While his career ERA is 4.09, the last two seasons with Texas have been some of his best, making him one of the Rangers’ aces. (The Rangers also have a currently injured Max Scherzer on their roster, so I don’t know if he can be considered the sole ace). Eovaldi was an All-Star in 2023 and an important part of the World Series run.

Currently in 2024, he ranks in the 8oth percentile in MLB for fastball velo%, chase% and whiff%. He’s a right-handed pitcher who has faced mostly right-handed batters, but when he does face lefties, he has been dominant, particularly in recent times. Thus far in 2024, Eovaldi has struck out 13 and allowed only eight hits to left-handed batters in 46 plate appearances. In 2023, lefties hit .203/.258/.328 in 261 plate appearances compared to .243/.326/.429 against righties.

Splits

Split PA H 2B 3B HR BB% K% AVG OBP SLG
RHH 76 16 3 1 3 9% 20% .246 .342 .462
LHH 46 8 4 0 0 11% 28% .200 .283 .300

Pitch Usage

4-Seam Split Cutter Curve Slider
Velo 95.6 88.9 91.5 77.2 86.5
Usage 32% 33% 14% 17% 3%

Details:

  • Time: 8:05 p.m. EDT
  • Place: Globe Life Field, Arlington, TX
  • Weather: 76 degrees, partly sunny
  • Roof Status: Closed
  • TV: Bally Sports Ohio
  • Radio: 700 WLW

News and Notes

Elly De La Cruz’s Preparation

Charlie Goldsmith had a nice article in the Cincinnati Enquirer today about Elly De La Cruz, his pre-game routine and how that has translated to big results early in the season.

 

Notes from the Farm

A couple of players at Daytona and Chattanooga are off to hot starts, and a 2020 draft pick retires.

 

Stat of the Day

 

110 Responses

  1. Mark Moore

    Not sure how long I’ll last tonight with the later start … even though it isn’t a “school night”. I’ve got a great book on my nightstand and will need to read some before I turn out the lights.

    Regardless, here’s to a good outing from Ashcraft and our guys hitting like there’s no tomorrow.

    It’s almost time to KICK THIS PIG!!!

  2. Roger Garrett

    Miley to have Tommy John surgery.Best wishes to a real pro.

    • Mark Moore

      I’m guessing he’s still recovering.

  3. Old-school

    Per my daughter

    India has lost 8 pounds with his illness from a podcast

    Fraley hasnt played in eons

    Looked at Stuart Fairchild. Contrary to what you read on RLN…. He has major handedness splits. Im trying to get his 1-22 against righties reversed now and for his career

    This team desperately needs jake fraley

    • Mark Moore

      If I understand it correctly, there are a couple different strains they are battling. Not surprised to hear India lost a lot of weight. I’m sure that’s what’s dragging Fraley down as well. You’d think the League and MLBPA would figure out some kind of IL that doesn’t require the full 10/15 days to get a full roster available.

  4. Mark Moore

    Frankie interviewing Ashcraft is freaking hilarious!!! 😛 😀

  5. Mark Moore

    No excuses tonight like the wind or the rain or the cold …

  6. Mark Moore

    3-oh-leo … and then ball 4.

    Time to get off to the races, Elly.

  7. Mark Moore

    So these are the City Connect unis for Tejas? My reaction is … meh … 😐

  8. Mark Moore

    Great AB from Steer to wait out Eeovaldi.

  9. Mark Moore

    Try to get tricky and that’s what you get.

    My First Wife says she thought Elly was looking at his wrist. Anybody else see that?

  10. Mark Moore

    3 walks in the inning … I’d love to see that happen all night.

  11. DK in Erie PA

    India is probably the worst player in baseball right now. Always been a well below average defender and now an absolute wreck at plate. Who is worse?

    • Mark Moore

      He was battling before the bug … and I agree his defense is below average (though he does surprise us sometimes).

    • Daytonnati

      Maybe Bubba Thompson?

      (Sorry Bubba 🙂

  12. Mark Moore

    Somebody the other night was asking about umpires checking pitchers. That shot clearly showed Ashcraft heading over to the 3rd base umpire as he went to the dugout. I think the assumption was the HP umpire did the checks, but obviously that wasn’t the case.

  13. Melvin

    Looked like two balls that were called strikes on Benson there.

    • Mark Moore

      Because they were.

      Glad to “see” you, Melvin.

    • Mark Moore

      So Melvin, on the trip to the grocery store after dinner out, we picked up dinner for tomorrow. Wagyu burgers (same producer as our usual ones). Going on the griddle tomorrow evening probably in the middle of the game. We bought 2 packs (8 total patties), so if you want to make your way here … 😛

      • Melvin

        I’m in Indy but you make it sound so good it could be worth it. 😉

  14. Mark Moore

    Missed that call by a bunch. And he did it again.

    Bring on the robo-ump and the challenge system.

    Ashcraft had better get those.

  15. Melvin

    Would be nice to have Simien playing virtually every game every year.

  16. Mark Moore

    So the Chumpire’s zone has shifted down by about 3-4 inches … and Cowboy was saying early on he won’t give the low strike but will give the high one. It’s the complete inconsistency between Chumpires, games, innings, pitchers, you name it that really burns me.

    And, Mr. Candyman, you need to stop that krap right now!!!!

  17. Mark Moore

    There you go, RoY … a little knock to get you off the scneid.

  18. Harry Stoner

    Candelario is lost.
    He’s got nothing right now.

    Tough situation for the team.

    The Reds have been here before.

    • Mark Moore

      Is his contract one with a mutual option, or did we sign up for multiple years?

      • Harry Stoner

        I think it’s three years, flat out.

        Didn’t understand it then, don’t understand it now.

      • Melvin

        Probably understand it even less in the future. lol

    • Melvin

      Anyone particular you’re referring to? 😉

      • Mark Moore

        I won’t go so far as to compare him to 4M … but the bobbles are becoming the norm and that’s not good.

  19. Reddawg2012

    I’m at a point where I have more confidence in Santiago Espinal than Candelario. I know that probably won’t play out over the course of a whole season, but Jeimer has been so freaking bad. Offers absolutely nothing offensively.

  20. Mark Moore

    Bike Helmets to make us all feel better.

  21. Mark Moore

    And Stewie continues to look like he’s pressing too much.

  22. Kadavis

    Not related to Reds game but Chase Petty is having a bad start to the season. ERA at 9.5

  23. dimondfvr

    Four of our starters are hitting under 200, two others are batting just above the 200 mark. Is this all we’ve got? We can’t just “Cruz” through the season!!

    • Doc

      Makes the odds on getting a timely hit pretty darn low, statistically speaking.

  24. Mark Moore

    OK, Christian … time to lace one into a gap.

  25. RedsGettingBetter

    It is very hard to win games if your batters don’t even hit a single…

  26. Moon

    Seems one strategy against the Reds right now is just to walk Elly because no one else in the lineup can hit worth a crap.

    • Mark Moore

      Kind of looking that way. He’s not giving it up for the junk nearly as much this season, so they don’t want to run the risk of grooving one.

      • Harry Stoner

        Yeah, I don’t think it’s soley that he’s getting pitched around.
        He never got much in the way of good pitches after his initial outburst in 2023.
        He doesn’t seem as anxious to swing at anything, particularly the down and away offspeed stuff.
        Keep being patient and eventually they’ll have to start throwing something hittable.
        Opposition can’t keep turning walks into doubles.
        If Elly is seeing that as another tool besides his bat, then he’s even more deadly.

    • Melvin

      Still though I’ll take a walk for him just about every time.

      • Mark Moore

        Oh yes. Puts him on 2nd or even 3rd a whole lot. It’s what we all wished for with Billy Hamilton.

  27. Harry Stoner

    Ashcraft 5 innings, 61 pitches.

    Only 3 Ks.

    Is the rest of the staff paying attention?

    • Melvin

      Hope he doesn’t forget how he’s doing it.

    • Mark Moore

      If you didn’t catch the pre-game bit where Frankie “interviewed” him it’s worth looking up. Pounding the zone was a theme.

  28. MungoJer2@aol.com

    Man have to wonder a little is the Reds hitting coach maybe not helping these guys too much? Also noticed, Candelario striking out a ton. I can understand a slow start, but he’s struck out over 30% of his at bats.

    Concern with Benson that maybe he can’t handle the pressure of being at the top of the lineup.

    I don’t know…there’s a ton of guys in MLB who’ve gotten off to terrible hitting starts so the Reds aren’t alone. But not sure there are teams with 4 guys with over 70 at bats hitting below .200.

    Part of I wonder…you take out Fraley, Friedl and Mcclain and the Reds might be one of the worst 5 offenses in baseball. They’re just gonna have to grind out some wins in the meantime.

  29. Mark Moore

    At least Candy didn’t whiff and beat out the throw.

  30. Jeremiah

    India two hits nice! Cadelario…I’m not giving up on him, but man if he is kind of a bust that’d hamper the Reds a bit more so when everyone is healthy because you’d feel like you have to play him because of what you’re paying him. Maybe he’s like Votto though and just a really slow starter?

    • Harry Stoner

      Hopefully, he’s not more like Moose, “El Alce”, mailing it in after getting the big contract.

      He doesn’t really look like he’s trying at the plate right now.

      Not protecting the zone. No clear idea of what he’s looking for with his swings.

      It’s been going on for awhile now.

  31. RedsGettingBetter

    How many flies to the outfield do the Reds have tonight? I think literally they have no hit a ball outside the infield…It’s incredible …pathetic…

  32. dimondfvr

    Including games Monday through the six innings we’ve played tonight, the team has struck out 49 times, including 13 each Wednesday and Thursday. Yikes!!!

    • Melvin

      Might have SOMETHING to do with the .200 BAs. lol

    • Harry Stoner

      Bell: “We’re not going to change who we are.”

      • Mark Moore

        Yeah … he just continues to UNimpress me. Not sure when my first ranking will come out, but I’m pretty certain he won’t crack the top 30 Field Managers.

      • Melvin

        😀 The world is anticipating greatly your rankings. hahaha

  33. dimondfvr

    You may have something there Melvin! LOL!

  34. Mark Moore

    Getting through the 6th that way feels bigger than what it probably is. The GIDP really boosted my spirits. But now we gotta hit and score.

  35. RedsGettingBetter

    Nice job done by Ashcraft… The Lower’s AB was really hard but Ashcraft won…

  36. Harry Stoner

    Classic Ashcraft in the zone.

    Throwing strikes, getting ground balls.

    Efficient.

    Effective.

    Would love to see him get on another one of his ‘runs’ again.

  37. Indy Red Man

    24th in batting average. We’re coming for White Sox!

    • Melvin

      We’ll never win in the playoffs facing top pitchers doing that even if we make it. Too many Ks.

  38. Mark Moore

    CES is getting his work in tonight at 1st.

    Good for Ashcraft. Would love to see him finish the 7th.

  39. Melvin

    Might have to get him out of there. Could be getting tired.

  40. Mark Moore

    Can’t fault Bell for the timing of going to the pen. I may fault him for a LOT, but not that move tonight. Not quite sure if I would go with Sims, but then I’m sitting in my chair in Raleigh, not the dugout in Arlington.

  41. Mark Moore

    We get Mikey Biceps tomorrow? I completely forgot he signed with Tejas.

    • Melvin

      Be glad we’re facing him instead of their lefty that’s on the IL.

    • TR

      Lorenzen is a starter with the Rangers. Starting for Mikey never quite worked out with the Reds.

  42. Mark Moore

    I really don’t want to go extras tonight. I really don’t.

  43. RedsGettingBetter

    In the Reds lineup seems to be hitting 7 Wil Myers , Elly and Steer

  44. Melvin

    We’re up to 10 Ks again tonight. At least we’ve walked 5 times.

  45. Melvin

    Have to say David Bell has changed a lot this year in using relievers more than one inning on a regular basis.

  46. Doc

    Do Reds hitters understand that being 0-2 in the count puts them at a huge disadvantage? TS is the latest to take two called strikes, but this seems to occur all too frequently.i hear Game Day is not the greatest for accuracy but the two called strikes to TS looked safely in the zone.

    • Mark Moore

      No, they weren’t that marginal. And certainly too close to take given the Flex-o-Zone from this Chumpire. TySteve has seen that all night and should know better.

  47. Mark Moore

    That one feels like the back breaker tonight. Just grooved it a bit too much.

    Inability to hit and then string together a couple will be the undoing of our Reds.

  48. Daytonnati

    That was a juicy one, served on a platter.

  49. RedsGettingBetter

    Surrender a homer at this moment is ridiculous…

    • Mark Moore

      He’d have been better off hitting him.

  50. Mark Moore

    If India could catch one down the LF line …

  51. Mark Moore

    And it comes down to a Martini for the nightcap.

  52. Melvin

    Shame to waste good pitching by Ashcraft. On to tomorrow.

  53. Jeremiah

    Great job Ashcraft…my hope still the Red just hang around .500 hover at least slightly above it for the time being, Friedl, Fraley grt healthy, the other guys hit at like .230 instead of .175 and I think they’ll be in the race!

  54. LDS

    Candelario, 2 hits in his last 20 ABs. Makes me miss Newman, and I wasn’t a fan. Turns out that one sided players beat no sided players. Candy is hitting about 40 points lower than Barrero’s last year, and 20 points less than Aquino, both of whom were dumped by the Reds.

  55. Sean S.

    Hi Reds fans, I went to this game and a foul ball bounced off my hand 2nd Reds pitch. I want to see the footage but MLB.TV does not show it. Does anyone out there know how I can view the full game as broadcasted?

    Truly appreciate it, want to see why I missed it!.

    Sean, a life-long Reds fan.