The 24-year-old Abbott (4-0, 1.21 ERA) has been a marvel while allowing five runs, including four on four homers, 20 hits and striking out 42 over 37 1/3 innings in six starts since debuting June 5. The left-hander set personal bests with 7 2/3 innings and 12 strikeouts while giving up a solo homer and three other hits during Sunday’s 4-3 win over San Diego.
“It’s been super fun to see what he’s been doing, and yeah, he’s feeling himself right now,” teammate Tyler Stephenson said.
Cincinnati is 6-0 in games pitched by Abbott, who according to the Elias Sports Bureau, has the second-lowest ERA among any Reds pitcher through his first six career starts. Tom Browning had an 0.95 ERA spanning the 1984 and 1985 seasons
“I kept telling myself, ‘Getting here is the dream, but staying here is the lifestyle that you want,'” Abbott said. “You want to go in and do your hard work every day and just put your head down and go.”
Abbott’s big-league dream was fulfilled with that June 5 start versus Milwaukee, when he allowed four walks but gave up only one hit and struck out six through six innings of a 2-0 home victory. That win prevented Cincinnati from being swept in a four-game set by the Brewers
The triumph also began the Reds‘ current 23-6 stretch, which has left them 10 games over .500 and two ahead of Milwaukee in the Central. Following this week’s four-game series sweep at Washington, the Reds have won eight of nine
Milwaukee, which avoided a third consecutive defeat by winning 6-5 over the Chicago Cubs on Thursday, has averaged 4.9 runs during its 13-7 stretch.
Meanwhile, it’s been an inconsistent season for scheduled Milwaukee starter and staff ace Corbin Burnes (6-5, 4.00 ERA), who has the chance to earn back-to-back winning decisions for the first time since April 11 and 17.
The right-hander had his cut-fastball working well and retired the first 15 batters he faced Saturday at Pittsburgh. In the sixth inning, he walked two batters and hit another before yielding his only hit, a two-run single to Jack Suwinski.
Burnes struck out seven over seven innings during the 11-8 victory.
“Whenever I command the cutter, it makes the secondary stuff even better,” Burnes said.
“It’s a positive step.”
Burnes, 2-1 with a 2.77 ERA in 15 career appearances (five starts) against the Reds, allowed a two-run homer to Jonathan India and one other hit in six innings of a 5-4, 11-inning Brewers win at Cincinnati on June 2. He walked four and struck out seven
Elly De La Cruz, another exciting Reds rookie, made his major-league debut four days later. The shortstop is batting .325 in 27 games, and 10-for-18 in the last four contests
Milwaukee star Christian Yelich, who clubbed a three-run homer on Thursday, went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts versus Abbott last month. However, he’s batting .362 with four home runs and 20 RBIs in his past 27 games.
–Field Level Media