(BaseballStL) -- Kevin Siegrist is a not who you want to see if you have a bat in your hands. The rookie pitcher has thrown just 28 innings on the year, but he's given up just nine hits.
His WHIP is .85 and he's allowed two runs. More impressive, he's struck out 40 hitters- three of whom fell Tuesday night in order.
Entering the game in the seventh inning, Siegrist got a true test as he faced the top of the Reds lineup. Both Shin-Soo Choo and Joey Votto are among the league's top hitters this season, and in a two run game, danger abounded.
"I have a lot of confidence this year no matter who I face," he said in the clubhouse Wednesday. "When they call my name I'm supposed to go out there and get outs."
He wasted no time, throwing 14 pitches and striking out the side. Mowing down some of the best bats in baseball is not exactly expected of a 24-year-old in his first season in the majors. Manager Mike Matheny said the coaches had seen indications but tried to temper their enthusiasm until the young hurler had been tested.
"When we put him out there we could see the hints of it but you hate to get too far ahead of yourself with a young pitcher that hasn't been put in different spots," Matheny said. "I think every young pitcher needs to prove that to themselves by getting up here and having success and that's what he's doing right now."
It would seem Siegrist has sufficiently proved it to himself that he belongs, though it hasn't stopped him from enjoying the ride. He said Thursday he is having the most fun of his career, and he craves the pressure situations.
"It's definitely a boost, facing Votto and those types of hitters," he said. "He's one of the best hitters in the game and to have success against him definitely gives you a boost."
The ceiling seems nearly unlimited for 41st round draft pick. Despite not having a ton of clout coming in, Matheny says his reliever has not met a test he hasn't passed.
"We continue to give him new obstacles and put him in different situations and tougher spots and he continues to answer," he said.
Among all pitchers with a minimum of 20 innings pitched, Siegrest's .64 ERA is second best in the majors.