Reds keep the magic going with another comeback win over the Rockies

The Reds are on an 11-game win streak, the franchise's longest since 1957.
Published: Jun. 21, 2023 at 3:27 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (ENQUIRER) - After Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Andrew Abbott didn’t allow a run over the first three starts of his big league career, he allowed three home runs early in Wednesday’s series finale against the Colorado Rockies.

It’s normal for a rookie to face some challenges early in his MLB career. It’s normal for hitters to pick up on your tendencies, and it’s normal for a game to snowball away when a rookie starter faces his first tough stretch in a big league game.

Instead, Abbott flipped the script and responded like a veteran. Nothing has been normal about the Reds’ now 11-game winning streak, and Abbott’s mid-start adjustments gave right fielder Jake Fraley the chance to have his own magical moment in this winning streak.

Fraley’s two-run home run in the eighth inning propelled the Reds to a 5-3 win. Fraley got activated off the injured list during the middle of the Reds’ winning streak, and he has joined in on the party and continued to produce like one of the best hitters in MLB against right-handed pitching.

The Reds have been one of the best teams in baseball at picking up comeback wins this season. During the now 11-game winning streak, there have been a handful of games where the Reds fell behind by a few runs and could have let the streak die. On Wednesday, the Reds bounced back again from a deficit.

It started with Abbott’s mid-game turnaround.

Abbott allowed three home runs in the first four innings on breaking balls that clipped the edge of the strike zone. The Rockies strung together three good pieces of hitting to turn those into high fly balls, and they carried over the fence on a day when the ball was flying at Great American Ball Park.

Most young starters get taken out of the game shortly after that point and regroup for their next start. Abbott made mid-game adjustments, relying more on getting swings and misses with his slider and soft contact with his changeup. He only allowed four total hits with 10 strikeouts in his six innings.

After his 10th strikeout, Abbott calmly walked off the mound. He has only been a full-time starting pitcher for three years after starting his college career as a reliever, but Abbott has produced at a high level for all three of those years to make an extremely quick rise to MLB. He expects to pitch well, and his response was fitting on a first-place Reds team that hasn’t lost in nearly two weeks.

The Reds had one of their best day-game crowds of the year with 23,637 fans in attendance. This young, athletic Reds team has reenergized its fan base with its entertaining and successful brand of baseball, and they won again on a day when the Reds didn’t play their best.

The Reds ran into a double play on the bases, didn’t score a run because of a hitter’s interference call and couldn’t capitalize early on a bullpen day for a struggling Rockies pitching staff.

Then, a deep Reds lineup stepped back up to complete another comeback win.

Takeaways from Reds vs. Rockies

1. Just about every Reds player has had a special moment during their 11-game winning streak, and catcher Luke Maile had his turn on Wednesday. His two-run single started the Reds’ rally in the fifth inning. He improved his batting average to .247, continued playing standout defense and kept his great rapport with Abbott going. Of the Reds’ four signings to MLB contracts last offseason, Maile has been the most productive despite getting the lowest contract.

2. Following Maile’s single, Reds center fielder T.J. Friedl drove in the game-tying run with an RBI single up the middle. One day after his four-hit game, Friedl kept his momentum going and continued a 2023 season where he has been one of the most productive center fielders in MLB.

3. Reds reliever Lucas Sims looks like one of the best setup relievers in baseball. After Abbott exited the game, Sims overpowered the middle of the Rockies’ lineup and struck out two batters. He has always had one of the most electric sliders in baseball, and Sims is now much more consistent with his command and his approach from game to game.

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