July 21, 2024

Graham Ashcraft, a Reds pitcher, refused to let anything stop him from defeating the Yankees in a stare down.

Before the first ball was thrown in Thursday’s battle between the Cincinnati Reds and the New York Yankees, competition was brewing. Graham Ashcraft was locked in a staring contest that he refused to lose.

Next to him was youngster Carson Spiers, who faced Yankees pitchers Ian Hamilton and Cody Poteet. After more than five minutes, the New York pitchers walked off, and Ashcraft and Spiers were declared winners. According to the Associated Press, Ashcraft didn’t mind disobeying the umpire’s signals on Thursday because it was his day off.

“We saw they weren’t moving and one of the guys told Carson to stay, and I was like, ‘I’m staying with you because I’m not moving,'” said Ashcraft. “I ain’t got nothing to do today, I’m staying until I win or I get ejected or both.”

Spiers left the field before Ashcraft. Being a rookie on a $740,000 salary, he dubbed the move a ‘business choice.’ However, Spiers was only on the field because his partner Lucas Sims did not have a cap. Spiers allowed Sims to borrow his. However, Spiers’ teammate persuaded him to stay on the field for as long as possible.
“Sims said, ‘Spiers, you got to stay here until the last one.'” So I was like, ok, whatever. I will stay. Sure enough, their guys stayed, too. So I was like, “Oh God, here I go.” I’ve been in it for a long time. And I noticed Graham slide over with me, and from there it was a long road.”

The pre-game standoff was not Cincinnati’s sole success on Thursday; the Reds won 8-4 to sweep the three-game series. Spencer Steer, who hit a three-run home run, credited Ashcraft (using his given first name, Douglas) with helping set the tone.

“That was pretty awesome of Doug just to kind of win that one for us and kind of give us a little edge before first pitch,” said Steer.

The Reds celebrated the Fourth of July in style, winning two games on the diamond. Graham Ashcraft and crew will hope to continue this energy into their upcoming series against the Detroit Tigers.

Graham Ashcraft, Reds eyeing playoffs

With three wins over the Yankees, Cincinnati improved to 42-45 on the season. They are 9.5 games behind the first-place Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central and 3.5 games out of a Wild Card slot. If the Reds want to make the postseason, they’ll need to keep winning series.

Graham Ashcraft has struggled to establish his feet in assisting Cincinnati with their goal. He has a 5-4 record, a 5.45 ERA, and a 55/24 K/BB ratio in 14 starts. Ashcraft’s most recent effort against the Yankees appeared to be a step in the right direction, as he pitched five innings of three-run ball in a 5-4 win. He had three strikeouts and two walks.

The Reds will be hoping Ashcraft continues to improve each time he takes the pitch. But if Cincinnati ever finds themselves in a stare-down, they know exactly who to contact.

 

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