If there’s such a thing as a stopper then it’s Andrew Abbott as far as things go in the current Cincinnati Reds rotation. The rookie left-hander allowed one run in 6.0 innings on Tuesday night and the Reds held on for a 3-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles. The victory put an end to their losing streak and take over 1st place in the National League Central Division.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (42-38)
3 5 1
Baltimore Orioles (48-30)
1 3 0
W: Abbott (4-0) L: Wells (6-4) SV: Diaz (22)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Baltimore made sure the saying “walks will haunt” held true in the second inning. Andrew Abbott issued a leadoff walk to Aaron Hicks and saw him come around to score after a single then sacrifice fly. Cincinnati would get that run back in the top of the 4th inning when TJ Friedl broke up the perfect game with a bunt single on an 0-2 count and then scored when Matt McLain doubled off of the wall in center to tie the game up.

The Reds offense got rolling again in the top of the 5th inning when Spencer Steer walked with one out and then Will Benson singled into center to put two runners on. Luke Maile and TJ Friedl couldn’t capitalize on the run producing opportunity, though, and both runners were stranded to keep the game tied up.

Matt McLain, who doubled in a run earlier in the game, led off the 6th inning with his 6th home run of the year – a 402-foot blast to center – to give Cincinnati a 2-1 lead. Andrew Abbott returned to the mound for the bottom of the inning and immediately got help from his defense as Jonathan India made a sliding catch while running towards center field on a flare. Abbott then struck out the next two batters to end the inning. It also ended his night, having allowed one run in six frames to go along with eight strikeouts on 106 pitches.

Lucas Sims took over in the 7th inning and he walked Cedric Mullins to begin the inning, but the Reds guessed right and called for a pitch out and Luke Maile threw Mullins out trying to steal second base. Sims then walked Jordan Westburg before Baltimore called on Ryan O’Hearn to pinch hit. The move didn’t pay dividends as O’Hearn grounded out for the second out of the inning. Sims jumped ahead 0-2 on Adam Frazier, but he would hit him with a breaking ball on the foot and turn the lineup over for the Orioles. Sims buckled down and was able to strike out Austin Hays to end the threat and hold onto the Reds 2-1 lead.

Almost immediately following the strikeout the game went into a rain delay. One hour and 43 minutes later the teams returned to the field to begin the 8th inning. TJ Friedl got the juices flowing again rather quickly, crushing a long home run into the right-center field seats about three minutes after the game resumed to extend Cincinnati’s lead to 3-1.

Buck Farmer entered the game for the bottom of the 8th, taking over for Lucas Sims after the rain delay. He gave up a 2-out double to Gunnar Henderson, but got out of the jam with a fly out to center and send the game into the 9th inning with the Reds holding a 2-run lead.

With the score still 3-1, Alexis Diaz entered the game for the bottom of the 9th inning with the bottom of the lineup due up. Cedric Mullins struck out to begin the inning, and then Jordan Westburg lined out to Nick Senzel in right field. After getting ahead of Ryan O’Hearn 1-2, Diaz hit him in the foot with a pitch and he took second base on defensive indifference. O’Hearn, though, thought the play was a foul ball and began trotting back to first base. Diaz had him dead to rights, but somehow threw the ball into center field and O’Hearn got back to second base with ease and the game did not come to an end. Diaz then walked Adam Frazier, turning the lineup over and bringing the winning run to the plate. The misplay and subsequent walk did not turn out to matter as a fly out to center ended the game.

Key Moment of the Game

TJ Friedl’s solo home run after the rain delay in the 8th inning. It gave the bullpen the tiniest bit of breathing room, padding the lead to two runs.

Notes Worth Noting

Andrew Abbott was outstanding once again. His ERA sits at 1.21 through five starts. He’s given up 16 hits in 29.2 innings, walked 12, and he’s struck out 30.

Matt McLain’s rookie year just keeps getting better. After his big day at the plate he’s now hitting .321/.378/.552 with 22 extra-base hits in 39 games played.

TJ Friedl’s been pretty good, too. He’s now hitting .313/.380/.480 on the season, and he’s also 12-for-13 in stolen base attempts.

Alexis Diaz is now 22-for-22 in save opportunities this season. He lowered his ERA to 1.85 with his shutout 9th inning.

With the Reds win and the Milwaukee Brewers 7-2 loss to the Mets, Cincinnati is back on top of the division by a half game.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs Baltimore Orioles

Wednesday June 28th, 7:05pm ET

Luke Weaver (1-2, 6.86 ERA) vs Kyle Gibson (8-5, 4.30 ERA)

76 Responses

  1. Melvin

    Back in first. McLain and Abbott fighting it out tonight for rookie of the year. 🙂

    • Tim

      Both of those guys are doing great. It’s really hard to pick between the two

    • Luke J

      Unless something drastic happens, Corbin Carroll will be the NL ROY. He is currently battling Acuna Jr. for NL MVP discussion. I think the Reds currently have the #2-5 ROY candidates (McLain, Abbott, Steer De La Cruz, in no particular order), but at this point in the race, Carroll is way ahead. Let’s root for that gap to close as the Reds rookies continue to dominate.

      • Thomas Atwood

        Carroll: .293/.370/.568 17 HR 154 OPS+
        McLain: .321/.378/.552 6 HR 142 OPS+

        That should be a closer race than it probably is. Like they say, sports writers dig the long ball.

  2. Melvin

    I’m not worried at all about Weaver tomorrow. The Reds have won his last five starts. hahaha

    • RedlegScott

      You can always count on Weaver to give up four runs in the first inning, then count on the Reds to get it back and then some by the 4th. Lol

      • Ted Alfred

        Maybe start using an opener tomorrow with Weaver, he does seem to settle down a bit after the 1st inning.

      • Melvin

        Maybe just spot them four runs and move on to the 2nd. At least it might save the bullpen a little. 🙂

    • greenmtred

      Your blood pressure may be better than mine, then, Melvin.

  3. CI3J

    Boy, Abbott is something. He doesn’t have overpowering stuff, but he knows how to pitch and is fearless. The other young pitchers on the team could learn something from watching him.

    I really wish Ashcraft could bounce back to where he was early in the season. A Abbott/Ashcraft combo could hold the fort until Greene and Lodolo are back.

    • SlippinJimmy

      Starting to wonder if “overpowering stuff” is what one really wants in a SP after all. I think I like the chances of a guy like Abbott staying healthy over a long career vs a guy who constantly throws 100.

      Besides, hitters can hit 100 anyway, and when they do, it tends to go pretty far…

      • greenmtred

        I agree. High velocity is effective if it comes with movement and control, but it may be shortening pitcher’s careers.

      • Dennis Westrick

        Yep! I’ve said it before! Abbott looks like Tom Browning reincarnated!

    • VaRedsFan

      Perhaps Abbott’s dad could speak to the other Reds pitchers.

  4. Rednat

    gratifying win in the sense that in years past that would be a game we would have found a way to lost. Games like these give me hope we can win the division this year. If we can grind out some more wins like this until August when we get Greene and Lodolo back and the schedule gets softer I think we will be fine

    • TR

      There’s nothing quite like good pitching and Abbott is keeping the Reds in the hunt during this tough period. But, he’s a rookie so every outing is not going to be positive. If the Reds can keep from falling too far below .500 in the next month, things look good as the season then heads toward the playoffs.

    • Jim Walker

      Agree. Friedl’s HR coming out of the rain delay was huge. It took the pressure off the Reds pitching and cranked up the pressure on the O’s offense.

  5. RedlegScott

    Given how well Abbott did, it’s tempting to go back to the idea of trading for starting pitching. If only Greene hadn’t gone down, too… Now it’s right back to “the other starters” with fingers crossed. Good luck, Weaver. May The Force be with you.

  6. Rick's Reds

    Where would we be on the season without McLain & Abbott’s production for rookies, throw one of my favorites Steer in there too, but not on this night, but for the season to date. Go Reds!
    Abbott, has a little Freddie Norman, Tom Browning, and a pinch of Glavine to his game.

    • DataDumpster

      It’s hard for me to identify why Abbott is so good. I don’t think he has the “stuff” of any of the Big 3 (at their best), but maybe he just knows how to pitch (a more cerebral but vastly underrated skill).
      Agree that Abbott, Steer, and McClain could each land a top 5 ROY placement if they all stay uninjured and consistent.

      • Rick

        I agree Data, I think the cerebral aspect sets him apart. Plus, he works the fringe quadrants really well with abrupt depth & spotting that fb at the top of the zone.
        We know the league will adjust to him & we’ll have to see how he and Maile counters.

  7. Rick's Reds

    Hey Doug, new poster question.
    Why are all of my posts getting stuck in moderation??
    Thanks, Rick

    • Doug Gray

      I have no idea. I’ve looked into it because I keep seeing them head there despite having eventually approved them all. For whatever reason the system does not like something related to your email address, IP address, or username. Don’t know why – none are blocked or contain any “moderated” words.

      • Rick

        Thanks, Doug.
        Love your site, including the milb info. Been following it for a long time. I’ll try a different sign in name(Rick) and my wife’s shared email.

    • Jim Walker

      Just a wild 30K view guess>>> The apostrophe in the handle????

      • Rick

        May be Jim, thanks. I’ve changed that to just Rick.

  8. Andrew Brewer

    Reds gotta focus now on each game, one at a time. We have San Diego coming up at home for three, then 4 at Washington, and 3 with the Brewers at home before the All Star Break. And we only have 3 Starters pencilled in, Abbott, Williams, and Weaver… As we found out during the Streak, the Reds can make it happen. As Yogi Berra said, “baseball is 90% mental, and the other half is physical.” We’ll see if the young Reds can rise to the occasion. The game tomorrow may set the precedent.

  9. Andrew Brewer

    OH, that’s three with the Brewers in Milwaukee…

  10. AMDG

    It will be nice when the big 3 of Greene, Lodolo, and Abbott are all healthy and pitching together.

    Hopefully between Stoudt, Williamson, Ashcraft, Phillips, and Free Agency, they can find 2 more competent starters to fill out that rotation (the smart $ is probably on Phillips and the free agent).

    • Indy Red Man

      It’s hard to say. Ashcraft can get it up there at 100 mph at times. Look out if he developed a splitter like Gausman or Mahle. Stoudt is interesting too, but has to stay healthy and work out the kinks. Too many walks

      • AC

        Ashcraft threw a sinker/splitter last year that was quite successful, but he hasn’t really thrown it at all this year. I have no idea why, but he seems to be throwing exclusively 2-seamers and sliders lately. Combined with the fact that his issues seem to stem from an inability to keep the ball down, and one has to really question pitch selection.

      • AMDG

        Maybe Ashcraft needs to be a reliever?
        Especially if he only has a couple reliable pitches.

        Over the last 8 games (a span where he has a 12.82 ERA) he has only given up 2 runs in the first inning but has been a disaster afterwards (12.00 or worse ERA in every inning after the 1st).

        For the season, he has a 1.29 ERA in the first inning.

        Since relievers typically only pitch 1 inning, it seems he could provide value in that role.

    • jmb

      Phillips hits 99 at times, I guess. As he only has two pitches, some don’t think he’ll make it as a starter in the Bigs. We’ll see.

      • RedlegScott

        Agree. Guys with only two pitches generally don’t make it. After the hitters have seen their stuff, the guessing game on pitch selection is practically over. It’s either this or that.

  11. Doc

    “Walks will haunt”. There were eight walks in the game, only one of which scored. That’s a .125 rate of walks scoring. On the other hand, there were eight hits in the game, three of which scored for a .375 rate of hits scoring. If I’m pitching, give me two walks over two home runs allowed any day.

  12. RedsGettingBetter

    This was a very huge needed win. If the team keeps playing just about .500 mark in the next games could stay fighting the division.
    Reds have 42 wins so far , that secures a winning record in first half (considering 81 games as a half season), they are in pace of 84-85 wins so I think it could be enough to be in fight for first place at the NL Central Division but the math isn’t all the truth here. The schedule is very tough in July and facing 9 times the Brewers could be decisive to reach or miss the playoffs berth…

  13. Beaufort Red

    I know EDLC is all the rage, but McClain is the more impressive ball player. He doesn’t hit the ball 110 mph or run the bases faster than anyone, but he delivers big. I’m afraid the MLB scouts have found holes in EDLC’s swing. He definitely can’t hit lefthanders. It IS the major leagues and the other guys are big league ball players. They learn quick. I hope EDLC and the coaches can once again cut down his strikeouts. With his speed, just putting the ball in play puts Incredible pressure on the defense. Oh yeah he shouldn’t be hitting cleanup. We have a great run producer in Steer.

    • Chris

      LOL. And you are judging this by the small sample size so far? EDLC will prove to be one of the best players you have ever seen, whether he’s batting right or left. Unbelievable!

      • greenmtred

        I think he’ll be great, but he’s having trouble with MLB breaking stuff now. Very small sample size, you’re right, and I hope he doesn’t get demoralized.

  14. old-school

    Well played and entertaining baseball game. Reds beat a good team on the road. Hope the pitching can hold on till the AS break. Saw an injury update from Ct Trent and it looks like Gutierrez will throw live BP in mid July with a rehab start date of august 4 and Antone throws live BP next week with a rehab stint starting July 19th. Santillan hasn’t been good in his AAA rehab so far but all signs suggest he is healthy.

    Gotta appreciate Krall’s honesty when asked about trade upgrades. From mark Sheldon: “Not right now. You’ve got the posturing portions of things…… Right now, the conversations are in places we dont want to go. We’re trying to figure out if there are other matches with different players.” When asked how confident he was the Reds could get a trade done for pitching….” I honestly dont know.”

    • Indy Red Man

      Antone? Blast from the past. He was electric! Overall though Krall needs to get cracking, but these bad teams are in no hurry so the price is higher.

      Hard to believe SD is 7.5 out of a playoff spot. They still have to scare the Reds to death. I’d take 2-2 with Weaver going today. The Nats are horrible so 3-1 there doesn’t seem out of the question

      • Jim Walker

        Wishing only the best for Antone and hoping he can contribute.

        However, sadly, experience indicates they may get just one burst from Antone before he flames (again). Nevertheless, if they prep him well and time it right, even that burst could be a huge difference maker given the dumpster diving they’ve resorted to lately.

    • Jim Walker

      I haven’t seen any of Santillan’s most recent rehab efforts. However, if he is still tipping the scales at 285, that could be part of his issue. It is one thing for a guy who has always been weighty to work at that size but quite another for a guy who was under 250 when he reached MLB to try and come back at ~35lbs (or more) heavier following an injury.

      • jmb

        His ERA certainly does not inspire hope.

  15. MBS

    McLain seems like a very complete player. The power is coming around to his milb levels. I never get nervous when the ball is hit his way. His K rate is really the only thing that needs a bit of improvement, but wow he’s a fun young player.

    • Chris

      His walk rate is subpar too. If his walk rate goes up, I expect his k rate will go down. Only issues I see with that kid. He is special.

  16. Mark Moore

    Woke up to the happy headline of a win and watched TJ swat his HR. Got to my desk and watched Diaz in the bottom of the 9th. Got a little exciting for a few minutes there …

    Another win and quality start for Abbott. He really seems to be stepping up in a big way. Hoping they can bear down and make it happen tonight and that a few of the guys who are on the struggle bus find some green space (or the seats) tonight.

    First place feels good again. Got to battle those Bernies, you know.

    • Jim Walker

      So how is it living on UK time?? 😉
      (Asked by a guy who has experienced actually living on European time despite physically being in North America)

    • Votto4life

      Mark where are you in the UK? My wife
      Is from a small town in the Lake District called Milum. It’s about 90 minutes from the Scottish border. We are headed over there in August.

  17. Indy Red Man

    When is Law coming back? I think his 1st inning opener gig could help stretch out these struggling starters. If he goes 25 pitches then maybe our scrub starters can get to the 6th with only 3 runs allowed. We could get back on some streaks potentially.

    • Indy Red Man

      He’s in rehab now! That’s good. He can help

    • MBS

      Getting Law back could be big for the pen. Law and Duarte can help shoulder the load. The main guys have been used a lot.

      Farmer (37G) Gibaut (36 G) Diaz (35G) Young (34G) Sims (30G)

    • jmb

      Maybe July 2, they are saying. Having him back will be huge! Dunn will be ready in September they’re also saying now. But then, everyone will be ready by then. The schedule is easy for the Reds in September, so if they’re close to first at the end of August…

  18. Protime

    You can’t win without reliable pitching. Abbott, and a solid bullpen confirm it last night. But, you must also have timely hitting. In close games, or come from behind situations clutch bench hitting is a game changer. CES is overdue for the show. For many years I witness the impact of a great pinch hitter, and role player, Manny Mota. So, if you don’t have or are unable to acquire pitching help, you should bolster your bench to stay competitive.

  19. Klugo

    The line we find ourself toeing right now is thePitch Count. If we are still contending in September/October, Greene and Lodolo should be fine, but what about Abbott? You know there is a number. Will they reach it? Will the plug be pulled if they do even if we are right in the mix, or even in the playoffs? Do they start managing it now?

  20. jmb

    Great win, great pitching performance, great catch by India, great game for Freidl and McLain! Oh what a bit of pitching by a starter can do! Everything about McLain just screams “I’m a second baseman!” doesn’t it?

    • Chris

      Actually, everything about McLain screams I’m a ballplayer, one who can play 2nd or SS. I personally like him at SS better than EDLC. I think EDLC might make more wild plays, but McLain is just steady, much like Cozart was. I don’t like how EDLC takes too much time to throw by always patting the ball in his glove before he throws.

      • MBS

        I think EDLC is just slowing himself down, it will be interesting to see him on some bang bang plays.

        I’d also like McLain to remain at SS. If they trade away India I’ll change my position on that, but he’s a steady Eddie at SS.

  21. Indy Red Man

    It’s debatable for sure, but I think McLain is a perfectly good SS. Of course Elly has the cannon, but how often does that really come into play? McLain looks smooth to me. I like Elly in RF because a big arm there really makes a difference and the Reds seem intent on a flyball pitching staff.
    Just the other day Fraley made a weak throw on a medium fly to RF and the guy scored easily from 3rd

  22. Jim t

    With some starting pitching we can win this division . Long way from a 100 loss season.

    Team is playing very well and when I think of everyone’s projections (me included )I laugh. Love the performance and character of this team.

  23. Beaufort Red

    I said last week I could see him in right. Most right fielders have the arm needed but especially throws to 3rd. From Clemente to Parker to Acuna. My bigger concern is EDLC’s empty at bats. He can’t hit lefthanders and I think major league scouts have found holes in his swing.. Unfortunately major league pitchers can adapt much faster than a rookie. And lastly, he should be moved down in the lineup. We have a clean up hitter in Steer.

    • Chris

      You’d be wrong. He will hit lefties and righties just fine. It’s amazing you say scouts in the MLB have found a hole in his swing, yet somehow ignore the idea that EDLC will adjust on his end. So reactionary in your analysis.

      • Jim Walker

        With the current technology, no doubt the top pitching minds of every organization, have been breaking down video and for weeks if not months to figure out how to best pitch EDLC.

        Despite these efforts, EDLC is still doing well enough from the LH side where bats ~70% of the time. The RH side is just taking longer for him to figure out. Also keep in mind there is only one of him for everyone to focus on; but, from his vantage point there are many pitching coaches and data analysts not mention scores of pitchers he has never seen before working to get him out.

  24. Optimist

    A fun little Abbott tidbit – on Doug’s current prospect list (included in each day’s Patreon MiLB game summary!) AA is listed at #14. Sure, it’s due very soon for the mid-season update, and, yes, there are 4 others ahead of him also on the MLB roster, but still, it shows the sweet spot they’ve hit in MLB player development.

  25. Beaufort Red

    I’m glad you’d be a major league scout. Have you seen him front the right side?
    Have you seen his last at bats. Everyone except you and Sadak aren’t a little concerned. And if you think major league scouts and pitchers can’t adapt faster than a 21 year old rookie you’re, well. If you followed his minor league career his biggest critique was swing and misses and this was against minor leaguers. It wasn’t until he cut down on his swing and cut down his strikeouts that he excelled. Maybe the Reds have a spot on their payroll for you. It won’t pay much though.

    • Indy Red Man

      He’s 21. Give it some time.

  26. Redgoggles

    For those pushing for trades to satisfy immediate SP gaps, think of how the Twins feel now (struggling O) without Steer, CES for Mahle (on IL.)

    Similarly, the Mariners. I know they resigned LC, but without that they went all in last year and gave up several pretty strong pieces that I’m optimistic will age well for us.

    Let’s be patient, Reds fans. The more we can be patient, the longer the window for winning is open even if it doesn’t start in 2023. It’s not like the current team cannot win with Weaver in the rotation.

    We need quality depth in the minors. Injuries will happen. If McClain and/or Elly does down, I’d rather see CES come up than Reynolds, for instance. We have been unaccustomed to having quality depth, but it’s critical to building a long term winning organization. I’d be very careful about trading from that now, when we are just beginning to see the window crack open. Another year or 2 of drafting/development and offseasons of wisely spending money could position some deeper playoff runs……and some fun baseball in the ‘Nati.