Since limping to start his Washington Nationals tenure, CJ Abrams has started to catch fire, posting his first career four-hit game.
First, it was Luis García torching the New York Mets on Saturday — going 4-5, with a homer in a 7-1 victory. Then, it was Keibert Ruiz roasting the Mets Sunday — going 3-5 with two RBIs in another 7-1 victory. Most recently, it was CJ Abrams posting his breakout game, going 4-5, while scoring twice in yesterday’s 6-0 win against the Cardinals. Hitting ninth, Abrams continued to jumpstart the offense, recording his first career triple and first four-hit game in the majors.
Abrams started off his day lining the ball into center, just passed the diving glove of Tyler O’Neil, allowing him to flex off his speed and safely arrive at third. Lane Thomas quickly doubled him home to put Washington up 1-0. In his second AB, he crushed the ball into the outfield, but straight at the defender. From there, St. Louis was unable to find an answer for him.
With two on and one out in the sixth, Abrams came through with an infield single to load the bases. A Thomas walk, singles by García and Joey Meneses, and a Luke Voit sac-fly led to a 5-0 Washington lead.
On a 1-2 count in the seventh, Abrams poked a single between first and second, but he was quickly stranded. In his last AB in the ninth, Abrams roped a single into left. Three of the five balls he put into play were 100 MPH+ off of his bat, a much-needed improvement.
Abrams is slowly starting to quiet the doubters
When Abrams arrived in Washington D.C., he immediately had unfair expectations hovering over his head. But that’s to be expected after being the main prize in a Juan Soto/ Josh bell blockbuster trade. Unfair or not, Abrams was stuck in that position and had to sink or swim.
To start the season, San Diego promoted Abrams due to an injury to Fernando Tatís Jr., despite at the time the former only being in AA. His struggles were prominent and he was quickly sent to AAA where he immediately started raking — to the tune of .314/.364/.507 in 30 games.
Once the trade was finalized, the Washington Nationals wisely started Abrams at AAA where he continued to adapt to upper-tier pitching. He spent only eight games with Washington’s AAA affiliate before being called up after an injury to García. Over his first few games with Washington, it was obvious that he was overmatched and still needed seasoning in the minors.
After starting 7-50, he is 7-13 over his last three games. While it is a small sample size, there has been notable improvment from the speedster — he looks calmer at the plate, translating to more competitive ABs.