Friday, June 2, 2023
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MLB Preview: Cincinnati Reds (19-23) at Colorado Rockies (18-25)



  • In last night’s 3-1 win, Brandon Williamson became only the 10th visiting pitcher to make his Major League debut with a start at Coors Field, the first since Hou’s José Urquidy debuted here on 7/2/2019…Williamson became only the fourth Reds pitcher in the expansion era (since 1961) to retire at least 14 consecutive batters in his Major League debut, joining Wayne Simpson (16, 4/9/1970 at LAD), Rob Bell (16, 4/8/2000 vs Cubs) and Johnny Cueto (15, 4/3/2008 vs Ari)…courtesy @EliasSports.
  • Reds relievers are tied with the Marlins for the Major League lead in wins (13) while ranking second in the National League in both innings Pitched (170.0, Col 170.1) and bullpen ERA (3.60, Pit 3.57).


  • Is Game 3 (1-1) of a 3-game series vs Mike Moustakas’ Rockies and Game 5 (3-2) of a 6-game road trip that included a 2-1 series win at Mia’s
    loanDepot park.
  • After tomorrow’s off day, the Redlegs return home to Great American Ball Park for 7 games vs the New York Yankees (3g) and Cardinals (4g)…on Fri vs NYY, the Reds will debut their new City Connect uniforms.


  • The Reds’ 3-1 series win from 5/30-6/2, 2016 is their only series win at Coors Field since 8/27-8/29, 2012.
  • Beginning in 2002 and with a minimum of 40 games, the Reds’ .343 winning percentage at Coors Field (23-44) is the third-lowest at any current road ballpark in that span (Phi’s Citizens Bank Park, 21-43, .328; LA’s Dodger Stadium, 22-43, .338).


  • The Reds and Yankees this weekend at Great American Ball Park will meet for the first time since a 2-1 Reds series win last July at Yankee Stadium…will be Cin’s first ever home weekend series vs NYY.
  • Will be former Red Aaron Boone’s first visit to GABP as Yankees manager.
  • The Redlegs are 10-12 all-time vs NYY, including 4-4 at Great American Ball Park, and 4-3 in 7 season series.
  • During the New York Yankees’ visit to Cincinnati on 6/3/2003, Hall of Famer Derek Jeter was named the team’s 11th captain.
  • The teams met in 3 World Series, including Yankees wins in 1939 (4-0) and 1961 (4-1) and the Big Red Machine’s 4-0 sweep in 1976.
  • Before the interleague schedule expanded this season to include games vs all 15 American League teams, from 1997-2022 the Redlegs went 188-
    247 vs the American League, at .432 the lowest interleague winning percentage of any Major League team…in 2022 the Reds went 12-8 vs AL teams (0-2 vs Cle, 2-0 at Cle, 1-2 at Tor, 1-1 at Bos, 3-0 vs TB, 2-1 at NYY, 2-1 vs Bal, 1-1 vs Bos)…last season’s was their first winning record vs the American League since 2013 (11-9)…in the 8 seasons between the 2013 & 2022 season series wins, the Reds went 61-99 vs AL teams (.381).


  • In 2022, the Cardinals won 12 of the 19 games and 5 of the 6 series.
  • From 7/15-7/24 and surrounding the 2022 All-Star break, the Reds and Cardinals played 5 straight games for the first time since 9/7-9/11, 1962.
  • From 9/15-9/18, 2022 at Busch Stadium, the Reds and Cardinals faced off in a 5-game series (3-2 Cardinals series win) for the first time since 7/25-7/27, 1958 (3-2 Reds series win).
  • The Cardinals’ .506 winning percentage at Great American Ball Park (85-83) is the highest among NL Central Division opponents.

Today’s Pitcher – #51 Graham Ashcraft, RHP

  • This afternoon will make his first career appearance vs the Rockies…never has faced any Rockies batters.
  • Produced 5 of the Reds’ 8 quality starts.
  • Became the first Reds pitcher to begin a season with 6 starts without allowing more than 2 earned runs in any of those starts since Luis Castillo began the 2019 campaign by allowing 2 ER or fewer in each of his first 7 starts.
  • In his first 3 starts (19ip, 3er) became the eighth Reds pitcher, since 1901 and including Nick Lodolo in 2023, to begin a season with at least 17.0 innings while
    allowing 4 earned runs or fewer.
  • Between a solo HR by Pit’s Bryan Reynolds in his season debut and a 2-run HR by WSox’ Hanser Alberto’s on 5/7 in his seventh start, Ashcraft recorded a career-high homerless streak of 33.0 innings.
  • In the 17-4 loss on 5/7 vs WSox allowed a career-high 8 runs in 1.2 innings…was the shortest start of his career and the shortest start by a Reds pitcher to that point in the season…was charged with all 8 runs in the second inning after throwing a perfect first…entered that 5/7 start leading all National League pitchers in bWAR (2.1), the third-best bWAR among all players in the Major Leagues (Gerrit Cole 2.5, Ronald Acuña Jr. 2.2).
  • Became the first Reds pitcher to begin a non-COVID season with 3 consecutive quality starts since Amir Garrett in 2017 (3qs).
  • Started the third game of the season and on 4/2 earned the 3-1 win vs the Pirates…following 2 rainouts, didn’t pitch again until 4/10 at Atl.
  • In the 5-3 walkoff win on 4/26 vs Tex, was pitching 2 days after the death of his 82-year-old grandmother, Ann Ashcraft, a Rangers fan who lived in Fort Worth… the next day went on the bereavement list…in his next start, on 5/2 at SD, allowed 1 run in 6.0 innings.
  • In his last start of spring training, on 3/22 vs SD, allowed 1 hit while recording 10 strikeouts without a walk in 6.0 innings…time of game was 1:52.
  • In 2022, in his Major League debut ranked among the National League rookie pitching leaders in starts (T3rd, 19gs), innings pitched (4th, 105.0), ERA (7th, 4.89), strikeouts (11th, 71), opponents’ BA (8th, .281) and WHIP (1.42, 8th).
  • In 2021 was an Organization All-Star,’s Reds Pitching Prospect of the Year, the Reds’ Minor League Pitcher of the Month for June and a 3-time league Pitcher of the Week.
  • His fastball, slider and curveball all have been rated by Baseball America the best among Reds minor league pitchers.
  • Was selected by the Reds in the sixth round of the June 2019 draft…was signed by Jonathan Reynolds.



  • The Colorado Rockies wrap their six-game homestand today with the rubber match of their three-game set against the Cincinnati Reds, their first series facing the NL Central opponent this season.
  • The Rockies dropped two of three to Philadelphia to begin the homestand, their first series loss in the month of May … the Rockies had won three-straight series entering this homestand after losing or splitting each of their first seven series of the season, a franchise record.
  • Following today’s game and an off-day tomorrow the Rockies will embark on a short three-game road trip to Texas to face the Rangers Friday-Sunday.


  • The Rockies are off to an 9-5 start in May, a .643 winning percentage that is tied for the fourth-best mark in baseball this month trailing the Dodgers, Tigers and Yankees … Colorado went 9-20 in April, their worst record in the month of April in franchise history.
  • The Rockies have won 10 of their last 15 and are 12-8 through their last 20 since April 24, a .600 winning percentage that is tied for the fourth-best mark in the Majors over that span.
  • Colorado has posted a 3.66 team ERA (177.0 IP, 72 ER) over its last 20 games, the fourth-lowest mark in the NL over that span … Rockies starters have posted a 4.00 ERA (96.2 IP, 43 ER) with seven quality starts over this span after posting five quality starts over the first 23 games of the season.


  • Monday, OF Brenton Doyle connected on two home runs, his third and fourth of the season, while going 3-for-4 with three runs scored, one double and three RBI … third time this season a Rockie has had a two-home run game (last: Jurickson Profar, May 9 at Pittsburgh).
  • Became the fourth Rockie all-time to hit two home runs from the ninth spot in the order (last: Brian Serven, May 21, 2022 in game two of a doubleheader) … 10 total bases and three extra-base hits the most in franchise history from the ninth-spot in the order in Rockies history.
  • His 10 total bases also tied for fourth-most by a Rockies rookie in team history, the most since Ben Paulsen’s 12 on July 26, 2015 vs. Cincinnati.
  • Doyle’s four home runs are tied for fifth-most among NL rookies while his six stolen bases are tied for the fifth-most among all Major League rookies.
  • Is the only Rockie in franchise history to record four home runs and six stolen bases through his first 17 career games.


  • After committing 20 errors through their first 27 games, the most in the Majors, the Rockies’ five miscues through 16 games since April 29 are tied for the fifth-fewest in the Majors while their .991 fielding percentage is also fifth-best.
  • SS Ezequiel Tovar and C Elias Díaz lead the team with three defensive runs saved this season while the Rockies’ nine DRS as a team are the eighth-most in the Majors … their five DRS at pitcher are tied for the second-most in the Majors while only 13 other teams are in the positive at that position (per Sports Info Solutions).


  • Jake Bird leads all NL relievers with 27.0 innings and is tied for fourth in the NL with teammate Justin Lawrence with 28 strikeouts out of the bullpen … has posted a 0.84 ERA (21.1 IP, 2 ER) with seven walks and 24 strikeouts over his last 14 appearances since April 11.
  • Brent Suter’s 26.2 innings of relief are third in the Majors and second in the NL behind Bird … his 1.01 ERA (26.2 IP, 3 ER) is the second-lowest in the Majors among relievers with at least 20 innings pitched … it is also the second-lowest through a Rockies pitcher’s first 17 games (min. 17 IP) with the club, trailing Chuck McElroy’s 0.53 ERA in 1998.


  • The Rockies lost their streak of four-straight wins at home against the Reds with last night’s loss … had swept Cincinnati April 29-May 1, 2022 at Coors Field … have won five of their last eight against the Reds overall … the Rockies are 69-45 overall against Cincinnati in Denver, winning 10 of the last 15 meetings at Coors Field since 2018.
  • Through 95 career games against the Reds, OF Kris Bryant is slashing .304/.402/.564 with 26 doubles, 23 home runs and 63 RBI, his most home runs and RBI against any single opponent in his career … has three multi-homer games against the Reds including a three-homer game on June 27, 2016 in Cincinnati.


  • Winter Garden, Fla., native is in his 10th professional season, his fifth in the Majors and his third with the Rockies.
  • Acquired by Colorado, along with four other players including INF Elehuris Montero in exchange for 3B Nolan Arenado.
  • Originally selected by St. Louis in the fourth round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of Florida Atlantic University.


  • Has earned the win in three of his last four starts … has allowed six runs over 23.2 IP for a 2.28 ERA … seven walks and 16 strikeouts across that span with opponents batting .195 (16-for-82).
  • Tossed a quality start last time out, allowing three runs over a season-high 6.2 innings, striking out six and walking none.
  • Was on the losing side of each of his first four starts of the season, the eighth time a Rockies starter has started 0-4 through their first four starts of a season … first since Roy Oswalt (five straight, June 20-Sept. 14) and Jeff Manship (four straight, Aug.8-24) in 2013.


  • Since his first win on April 24, his 2.28 ERA ranks as the 10th-best in the National League while his .195 opponents’ batting average ranks as the sixth-lowest in the senior circuit.
  • Over his last four starts, opponents have a .206 batting average on balls in play against the lefty, eighth-best over that span in the Majors and third in the National League.
  • Also over his last four starts, holding NL hitters to a .258 on-base percentage (10th-best) while his 0.97 WHIP over that span is the ninth-best in the league.
  • His 53.0 ground ball percentage ranks fifth in the NL since April 24.


  • Today’s start will be his seventh career outing against the Reds (third career start) … overall vs. Cincinnati, has gone 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA (16.2 IP, 5 ER) with 12 strikeouts and five walks. • In his two career starts against the Reds, both in 2018, is 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA (13.1, 4 ER), striking out nine and walking two … also hold a 2.70 ERA in his four relief outings against the Redlegs, allowing one run over
    3.1 innings.
  • Last faced Cincinnati on Sept. 2, 2020, a relief outing which saw the southpaw toss a scoreless 0.2 innings.


  • Since joining the Rockies, has held left-handed hitters to a .237/.289/.402 slash line with 11 home runs allowed.
  • Held opposing left-handed hitters to a .221 average in 2022 (30-for136), the lowest lefty opponent average by a Rockies left-hander since Kyle Freeland in 2018 (.185) and the ninth-lowest in a single season in franchise history (min. 140 batters faced).


  • In 53 career home games (28 starts) with both St. Louis and Colorado, is 12-9 with a 4.39 ERA (184.1 IP, 90 ER).
  • Since joining the Rockies, has gone 9-7 with a 4.61 ERA (138.2 IP, 71 ER) at Coors Field with 35 walks and 100 strikeouts … in 2021, went 5-1 with a 2.09 ERA (47.1 IP, 11 ER) in nine starts at home, posting a 0.95 WHIP.
  • Since 2020, is 9-7 with a 4.25 ERA (152.1 IP, 72 ER) in 37 games (24 starts) in his home ballpark … in road games through the same span, is
    8-14 with a 5.67 ERA (150.2 IP, 95 ER) in 40 games (27 starts).


  • Last season, made 17 starts and 16 appearances out of the bullpen in his second season as a Rockie … went 5-7 (Rockies 9-24) while posting a combined 5.56 ERA (124.2 IP, 77 ER) across his 33 appearances … his 124.2 innings pitched set a new career-high.
  • Began the season in the Rockies rotation, making 12 starts through June 15 and going 3-7 with a 6.43 ERA (63.0 IP, 45 ER), 20 walks and 49 strikeouts.
  • Moved to the bullpen at the end of June and made two relief appearances June 22 at Miami and June 26 at Minnesota … allowed four runs over a combined 4.1 innings (8.31 ERA).
  • Went back to the rotation in July and made four starts prior to the All-Star Break, going 2-0 with a 4.15 ERA (21.2 IP, 10 ER), four walks and 15 strikeouts … allowed three or fewer runs in each of his last three starts prior to the Break, pitching to a 3.38 ERA (16.0 IP, 6 ER).
  • Returned to the bullpen following the All-Star Break and posted a 4.68 ERA (32.2 IP, 17 ER) with seven walks and 24 strikeouts across 14 relief outings in the second half.


  • As a starter in 2022, went 5-7 (Rockies 7-10) across 17 starts while pitching to a 5.75 clip (87.2 IP, 56 ER) … walked 25 and struck out 68 while opponents hit .292 (101-for-346) with 13 home runs … seven of his starts were quality.
  • Posted a 5.72 ERA (50.1 IP, 32 ER) with 14 walks and 32 strikeouts across nine starts at Coors Field … 5.79 ERA (37.1 IP, 24 ER) with 11 walks and 36 strikeouts in eight starts on the road.
  • 8.68 SO/9 on the road compared to a 5.72 SO/9 at home.


  • Made 16 appearances out of the bullpen in 2022, his most since 18 relief outings as a rookie with St. Louis in 2018 … posted a 5.11 ERA (37.0 IP, 21 ER) out of the bullpen with nine walks and 27 strikeouts … opponents hit .254 (36-for-142) with seven home runs.
  • Made 12 appearances of two or more innings, four with three or more innings and one career-long outing of 4.2 IP (Aug. 24 vs. TEX).
  • In his outing against Texas on Aug. 24, became the first Rockie in history to toss 4.2 or more scoreless frames out of the ‘pen while allowing one or fewer hits.


  • 2.45 BB/9 in 2022 was the lowest of his career while his 2.79 SO/BB ratio was his highest … BB/9 was the sixth-lowest among National League
    lefties and his SO/BB ratio ranked 10th (min. 120.0 IP).
  • Did not issue a walk in seven-straight relief outings from Aug. 31-Sept. 29, the longest single-season streak by a Rockies lefty since James Pazos from Sept. 6-28, 2019 (seven games).
  • Has walked three or more batters 12 times in 47 starts since joining the Rockies, going 1-9 with an 10.22 ERA (46.2 IP, 53 ER) in those starts … has walked two or fewer batters 36 times over that span, going 16-11 with a 4.08 ERA (196.1 IP, 89 ER) in those starts.


  • Of his 52 career Minor League starts in which he pitched six or more innings, 49 were quality starts and 13 were scoreless.
  • Made his Major League debut on June 2, 2018 vs. Pittsburgh and pitched three scoreless, hitless innings of relief for the Cardinals.
  • In 2018, became the first Cardinals rookie left-hander since 1912 to win five games in the month of August … did not allow a hit to the first 14 right-handed batters he faced prior to June 25 (Rajai Davis, ninth-inning single).


  • Did not allow more than five hits in any of his first eight starts at Coors Field in 2021 and allowed five hits just once (Aug. 7 vs. Miami) … recorded eight-straight starts allowing five or fewer hits at home, tied for the second-longest streak in franchise history (Ubaldo Jiménez, 2008).
  • Posted a 3.27 ERA with 238 strikeouts in his collegiate career at Florida Atlantic University.
  • First team All-Sun Belt Conference during his junior year with a league-leading 2.97 ERA.
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