"It really is fun for me every time," said the White Sox closer, who yielded a single to the American League Most Valuable Player candidate during the ninth inning of Saturday's 5-1 loss. "I like facing the best hitters.
"That's kind of when I'm the most focused. The most fun I'm having is when they are up there, and in my opinion, he's probably the best hitter in the league."
Reed entered the game with the White Sox losing primarily because he had not seen mound action since Aug. 25. He gave up a leadoff triple to Austin Jackson, and after ending an eight-pitch battle with Brennan Boesch via a strikeout, he engaged in another extended at-bat with Cabrera.
Cabrera, who had struck out in his three previous career at-bats against Reed, worked the count to 2-2 before fouling off two fastballs and a changeup. He then dropped a slider into right field for a run-scoring single.
That pitch was decent but not perfect, by Reed's admission. One thing that Reed has learned is that even the best of pitches sometimes get hit at the Major League level.
"Not just with him, but with any of these guys up here," Reed said. "It's a lot different than the Minors. Everyone up here can hit. Even when you make your pitch, they can hit it out of the park with any pitch you throw.
"With Cabrera, anything you throw up there he can hit. You have to make your pitch and just go with what's working best for you at the time. Locate it and hope that he's guessing on a different pitch. It was a good challenge and hopefully I get him again."