Joey Votto belted a 3-run homer in the 1st inning, Graham Ashcraft put up another 6 innings worth of zeros, and not even The Cincinnati Reds Bullpen [TM] could put the spoil on the offensive outburst that happened in Great American Ball Park on Tuesday evening.
The Reds socked 5 homers on the night - Votto was joined by Brandon Drury, Matt Reynolds, Tyler Stephenson, and Tommy Pham - and put up 14 runs, and while the Cincinnati relief corps managed to hurl up 8 runs to the Arizona Diamondbacks late, it was the kind of emphatic victory that I think all parties involved here desperately needed to both witness and be a part of.
That the fireworks blasted on the same day that Jonathan India started his rehab assignment with AAA Louisville once again injected some hope into this oft-moribund franchise. That Ashcraft continued to emerge as a legitimate wunderkind yet again made even the most grinchy Grinches among us smile from ear to ear. Ashcraft, the clear Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game on a day when the offense did all of the above, continued to flash his patented 100 mph bowling-ball fastball, and he left the Arizona bats completely in the dust.
His final line: 6.0 IP, 3 H, nary a walk, 4 K on 76 pitches, and he exited looking as if he could’ve run it back five times over again. Considering what Hunter Greene just did yesterday, there’s again excitement that the Reds might be on to at least a little something-something these days.
It’s worth pointing out more than just the homers, I suppose, as the Cincinnati offense pounded out 16 hits while coaxing 5 walks on top of that. Each of Nick Senzel, Pham, Votto, Stephenson, Kyle Farmer, Albert Almora Jr., and Reynolds had a pair of hits on the night in an outing that certainly helped flush away some of the godawful early-April stats for many.
Reds 14, Diamondbacks 8, and while Jared Solomon and Joel Kuhnel will be the two Cincinnati Reds who’ll like to forget this evening, it was otherwise one to remember.
Tony Graphanino (link)
- Votto’s 1st inning homer came off a LHP, which is awesome.
- Entering play on Tuesday - so, before we even factor in his excellent outing on the day - only 12 players in all of baseball had a higher wOBA than Votto’s .378 since he returned from his benching on August 27th, 2020 with a new and improved swing. That’s with his godawful April 2022 stats included, too.
- Mike Minor will make his second start as a member of the Reds on Wednesday when Cincinnati looks to clinch the series victory. He’ll be opposed by Arizona starter Merrill Kelly, with first pitch once again set for 6:40 PM ET.