street. Lewis – The Reds’ youth action took center stage on Saturday.
“Their level of preparation when they got here is really amazing,” said Reds boss David Bell. “So we’ve talked about how our player development system deserves a lot of that recognition, and they’re just really good players. So it’s been an easier transition than it needs to be so far.”
Matt McClain’s leadoff triple kicked off a two-run main run in the third. De la Cruz called it home, hitting a fastball up the middle that left his bat at 106.4 mph. Spencer Steer followed with a sacrifice fly to give the Reds a 5-0 lead.
“It’s really cool to be on a team like this,” de la Cruz said through a translator. “It’s always on and always competitive.” “So every time we go out, every time we either get a base hit or try to get the ball into play, we always run as fast as we can. So it’s really cool to be a part of that.”
De La Cruz’s home run on Steer’s two runs in the seventh inning was another glimpse of the phenom’s ability. He made the trip in 11.48 seconds, across the stop mark from third base coach J.R. House, and slid around Andrew Kneisner’s mark after hitting home from third in 3.17 seconds, according to Statcast.
“I see stopping too late; I can’t stop, it’s too late,” De la Cruz said in English. “And when I see the catcher moving forward, I say, ‘I get it.’”
De la Cruz nearly caught Jonathan India, who hit a 90-foot bunt to score from second on the play.
“When I crossed the plate, I turned around and he was already sliding. He’s the fastest human I’ve ever seen on a baseball field,” said India.
De la Cruz was just two steps off third when the ball came to a Cardinals relay guy…and still scored.
“You look where Eli was when the relay guy had the ball, there really shouldn’t have been any chance of a goal,” Bell said. “So that was fun to watch.”
Abbott (2-0) threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings. The 24-year-old became the first Reds player to win his first two league matches since left-fielder River Sanmartín did on September 27 and October 3, 2021.
Abbott’s second start was similar to his first, as the left-hander overcame early control issues before settling in and putting zeros on the board. He walked the bases loaded on first before making Paul DeJong fly out to right, retiring 10 of the next 12 batters he faced from that point.
“What a great way to start your major league career,” said Bell. “They’re important games for us. He didn’t give up any runs, and perhaps what was more impressive was how hard he worked in the first inning to get out of that. And to keep them from scoring there, that was a big part of the game today.”
Abbott allowed no runs in his first 11 2/3 innings of his MLB career, becoming the first Reds player to start his career with such a long streak since Amir Jarrett began his career in 2017 with 12 scoreless innings. He is also the first Reds pitcher since the mound was moved to its current distance in 1893 to begin his career with consecutive starts of at least five scoreless innings, according to Elias Sports.
“It’s just go out and have fun,” said Abbott. “There’s a lot of excitement in the team, you just have to harness it and put it in the direction of the right areas, and go out and do your job at the end of the day.”
India believes the best is yet to come.
India said, “It’s amazing what’s going on here.” “Once we hit our stride with this crew, everyone in the lineup shines, it’s going to be intimidating for sure. It’s going to be an incredible team. It really is. So I’m excited to see what the future brings.”
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