The story of the 2023 Cincinnati Reds season has been less about the players who are on the roster at the moment and more about when the guys on the Triple-A Louisville roster will get their shot to make a difference with the Reds. Matt McLain got that opportunity earlier this season and tonight, a player who was drafted the same weekend that McLain was got his shot and made the most of it. 2021 2nd round pick Andrew Abbott made his Major League debut tonight after an outstanding couple of months between Double-A Chattanooga and Louisville and he did not disappoint. He threw 6 shutout innings, allowing only 1 hit and 4 walks while striking out 6, halting the Reds’ losing streak and showing yet again why we are so excited about the future of this organization. That’s more than enough to earn tonight’s Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game. Congrats on the trophy and, more importantly, congrats on a hell of a debut.
Tonight’s game was more about pitching and less about hitting, as neither team could figure out the opposing pitcher. The Reds only had 6 hits of their own, but they made 2 of them count. In the bottom of the 3rd inning, Stuart Fairchild led off the inning by planting a ball about 10 rows deep in left field to give the Reds a 1-0 lead. Then, in the bottom of the 4th, Tyler Stephenson came up with 2-outs and knocked his 3rd dinger of the season into the seats in right-center to push the Reds’ lead to 2-0.
Meanwhile, Abbott continued to impress. After laboring through his first couple of innings and needing over 50 pitches to get through those innings, Abbott really settled down. He retired 10 straight batters after walking the first 2 in the 2nd inning and he didn’t allow a hit until the top of the 5th, a double to Joey Wiemer. But again, Abbott settled down and retired the next two with ease, and then struck out 2 more in the top of the 6th to finish off his debut. What a damn performance.
Enough can’t be said about the performance of the bullpen in this series. Despite the 0-3 start to the series, the bullpen has done their job and given the Reds a chance. Going into the game tonight, they had thrown 13.1 innings and allowed only 2 runs, which came in the 11th inning on Friday. The combination of Buck Farmer, Lucas Sims, and Alexis Diaz continued that performance, throwing 3 shutout innings and allowing only 2 hits, with Diaz striking out the side in the 9th to nail down the 2-0 victory.
- Here’s a stat:
Reds pitchers with 6+ IP, 1 or fewer hits, and no runs allowed in MLB debut (since 1901)— Joel Luckhaupt (@jluckhaupt) June 6, 2023
Andrew Abbott (6/5/2023)
- Speaking of debuts, outfielder TJ Hopkins, one of the other prospects tearing the cover off the ball in Louisville, made his debut over the weekend and collected his first Major League hit on a single to right in the bottom of the 3rd inning.
- Things don’t get much easier, as the Reds welcome the Los Angeles Dodgers to town tomorrow. Luke Weaver (1-2, 5.36 ERA) gets the start for the Reds and he’ll face off against Tony Gonsolin (3-1, 1.77 ERA). First pitch will be at 7:10 PM EDT. Go Reds.