If we had asked you which Reds’ rookie starter would have a 1.53 ERA with only 5 walks and 3 total runs allowed over his first 3 starts, we wouldn’t blame you if your answer was either Nick Lodolo or Hunter Greene. While both of those pitchers have had some impressive outings in their own rookie campaigns, Graham Ashcraft has been fantastic since getting the call from Louisville. He had arguably his best start in his young career tonight, as he held the Washington Nationals to only 1 run in 7 innings of work while allowing 4 hits, a walk, and striking out 5. That’s enough to earn himself tonight’s Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game.
Ashcraft was able to pitch with a lead from the get-go, as the Reds got on the board in the bottom of the 1st inning. After a 1-out single by Brandon Drury followed by a walk by Tommy Pham, Joey Votto would hit a ball halfway up the moon deck in right field to give the Reds an early 3-0 lead.
Things remained at 3-0 for much of the night until the 7th inning. The Nationals were able to get 1 of those runs back on a home run to left by Josh Bell. The Reds, however, blew things open in the bottom of the inning. Matt Reynolds got things started with a solo home run to right on the first pitch of the frame. He was followed up by a single from Nick Senzel, who went 1st to 3rd on a single by Brandon Drury (that’s how they do it in Cincinnati). After a Tommy Pham sacrifice fly scored Senzel to make it 5-1, Joey Votto would draw his 2nd walk of the night to put 2 runners on again. Kyle Farmer would empty the bases on a home run to the bullpen in left and bring the score to 8-1. Art Warren and Joel Kuhnel would finish things off with little issues to give the Reds an 8-1 victory.
- Matt Reynolds’ home run in the bottom of the 7th inning was his first dinger since May 21, 2017. That is quite the streak.
- Speaking of Nick Lodolo, he threw 35 pitches in a bullpen session today and things seemed to have went well for him.
- Tyler Naquin strained his quad on Tuesday night in Boston and, according to David Bell, we could see him out for about a month.