Their five-game win streak is in the rear-view mirror at this point following back to back losses, one to the Oakland A’s in frustratingly late fashion and the next to the potent San Diego Padres. It’s time the Cincinnati Reds rediscovered their winning ways before this West Coast trip turns into one of the vintage meh editions again, and tonight that gets a boost with Graham Ashcraft slated to start.
To be blunt, Ashcraft has been pretty brilliant so far in 2023. He owns a 2.10 ERA through his 5 GS, and while his FIP (3.82) is significantly higher, that’s largely due to him rarely relying on striking out opposing batters and, instead, inducing groundball after groundball. His 56.1% GB rate currently rates as the 9th highest among the 132 MLB pitchers who have logged at least 20 IP so far this year, a trait that’s become quite descriptive of his approach in his still-early MLB career.
Cincinnati’s offense will be up against a righty tonight after a series of lefties in recent days, and it comes in the form of old-foe Michael Wacha. Wacha, who’ll turn 32 in July, has faced the Reds 24 times over the course of his big league career, the most against any one opponent in that time. Of course, the bulk of that came in his days with the St. Louis Cardinals - and came against a vastly different Cincinnati lineup - but there’s at least an odd sense of familiarity seeing his name on the docket.
First pitch is once again late for the easter-coasters, as it’s set for 9:40 PM ET.