'He was unbelievable': Graham Ashcraft sets career highs as Reds snap losing streak

After the Cincinnati Reds completed a winless homestand, owners of the worst record in the National League, Graham Ashcraft offered a glimmer of hope for the future.

Ashcraft, a 24-year-old right-hander, put together arguably the best start of his young career and lifted the Reds to a 4-2 victory in their series opener against the San Francisco Giants on Friday

He permitted two runs across eight innings and struck out a career-high eight batters.

"He was unbelievable tonight, man," Reds catcher Aramis Garcia said 

"There were some cutters that he was throwing – literally, as I'm catching them, I'm like, 'oh my god.' Some of the cutters he was throwing to these lefties, they were literally 98-mph sliders. It was unbelievable." 

Ashcraft's dominant performance snapped the Reds’ seven-game losing streak.

Reds have a 24-46 record, the second-worst start through 70 games in franchise history. The 1934 Reds team, which finished with 99 losses, had the worst start at 23-46-1.

Developing pitching is the key to the Reds' rebuilding efforts and Ashcraft continues to show why he's a pitcher to build around. His cutter, which he holds like a four-seam fastball, is like a video game cheat code.

Ashcraft gave up a combined 17 hits and 10 runs in his two previous outings before Friday.

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