People are calling 34-year-old Reliever Ted Abernathy of the Cincinnati Reds (right) all the names they can think of, and that suits him just fine, for it is a tip-off that he is pitching well. One rival says he is "a combination Koufax-and-Mandrake-the-Magician." A teammate, alluding to Abernathy's underhand delivery, calls him Angleworm and explains, "He comes right up out of the ground with the ball." It wasn't always that way. Years ago, as a sophomore in high school and then again in 1957 when he was pitching for the Senators, Abernathy tore a shoulder muscle. In 1959 he underwent surgery, and when he got back into action he found he had to abandon his sidearm motion and resort to underhanded means to get the batters out. He struggled in four minor leagues before making it back to the majors with Cleveland in 1963. Sold to the Cubs in 1965, he pitched in 84 games (a major league record) and was acclaimed the best relief pitcher in baseball. But he flopped with the Cubs last year (6.11 ERA), was sent to the Braves and finally was picked up in the winter draft by the Reds. He seemed just about washed up. Cincinnati, desperate for pitching, was patient with him in spring training, and by last week Abernathy was again king of the bullpen. He appeared in 14 of the league-leading Reds' first 25 games and, aside from one shaky effort, pitched 22 innings in which he gave up just two earned runs and eight hits. He saved nine games, two in a row last week. If he keeps up that pace, he will certainly regain the title he won in 1965 and which he covets beyond all others: Fireman of the Year.