“The only one with an ERA of 1.21…” 10G, 5-homer Kim Ha-Sung acknowledged the rookie who hit a home run.

안전놀이터Cincinnati Reds breakout left-hander Andrew Abbott, 24, pitched the game of his life but missed out on a win. A home run off Ha-Sung Kim (28-San Diego Padres) in the eighth inning was the only blemish. Kim continued his hot streak with five home runs in his last 10 games.

Abbott made his 2023 Major League Baseball debut against San Diego on 3 March at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, and pitched 7⅔ innings, allowing one run on four hits (one home run) with 12 strikeouts and one walk. Lowered his ERA to 1.21 in his sixth start of the season.

Threw a four-pitch mix of sweepers (22), changeups and curves (18+), led by a four-seam fastball (43) that topped out at 94.1 mph (151.4 km/h) and averaged 92.7 mph (149.2 km/h). His 12 strikeouts were a career-high and he induced 25 swings and misses.

According to MLB.com, “Abbott is 4-0 with a 1.21 ERA and 0.88 WHIP. Since 1912, when ERAs became an official record, only Tom Browning (Boston, 1984-1985, 0.96) has posted a lower ERA in his first six starts. In the six games Abbott has started, Cincinnati has gone 6-0.

San Diego hitters took a total of 50 swings on the day, 25 of which came up empty. The 25 swings induced by a rookie pitcher are tied for the third-most all-time since pitch tracking began in 2008. Tyler Mahle and Domingo Herrmann induced 26 swings and misses in 2018, which is tied for third with Cincinnati’s Hunter Green’s 25 on 30 April this year.

With such a dominant performance, Abbott retired the first eight batters of his debut, striking out Nelson Cruz and Trent Grisham in succession. But a 92.3 mph (148.5 km/h) four-seam fastball to the next batter, Ha-Sung Kim, turned into a miscue. The low trajectory, fastball sailed over the left field fence.

It hit 104 mph (167.4 km/h), travelled 383 feet (116.7 metres) and had a 19-degree launch angle. It was Kim’s 10th home run of the season, giving him five in his last 10 games. It was Abbott’s only run of the game. He also drew a walk in the sixth inning, the only walk allowed by Abbott. “Not only did he hit a home run off Abbott, but he was the only San Diego batter to draw a walk,” The Athletic wrote. After the game, Abbott said, “When I put all four pitches in the strike zone, there’s about a 25 percent chance they’re going to guess. He was the only one to hit it, and he took a good swing.”

After Kim’s home run, Abbott was pulled after 101 pitches. With a 2-1 lead, Abbott was in position to win the game, but the next pitcher, Lucas Sims, gave up a tying solo home run to Fernando Tatis Jr.

But Abbott’s pitching left a lasting impression. Cincinnati manager David Bell said, “Abbott did everything today. He pitched a long inning and had one of his best games. He showed us who he is.” “He’s pitching like he’s been here a long time,” said Cincinnati catcher Luke Miles, who was part of the battery. He has the ability to throw four pitches into the zone when he wants to.”

San Diego manager Bob Melvin said, “He wasn’t throwing 98 mph (157.7 km/h), but he was throwing better pitches than that. His breaking ball had hard-to-follow spin. Our hitters had a hard time keeping up with the high ball.”

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