Kyle McPherson had a great start tonight in Altoona’s 1-0 win in 11 innings. He went five shutout innings, allowing two hits, no walks, and striking out five. He was delayed for 43 minutes by a rain delay in the second inning, but came back out allowing just one hit in the final three innings.
“I felt the best I’ve felt in awhile tonight,” McPherson said after the game.
The performance capped off a great season for McPherson, which saw him put up a 3.02 ERA at the AA level in 89.1 innings, along with a 82:21 K/BB ratio. This followed a 2.89 ERA in 71.2 innings in the Florida State League, with a very impressive 60:6 K/BB ratio. The combination will make McPherson a likely choice for the organization’s pitcher of the year, and he was announced as Altoona’s pitcher of the year prior to tonight’s game.
“Obviously this organization’s got big plans for him. I don’t think he disappointed at all this year,” Curve manager P.J. Forbes said.
There’s a good reason for his success this year, and tonight was just a microcosm of the great season he’s had. He pounded the strike zone, pitching to contact, yet his stuff was good enough to average a strikeout per inning. His fastball was sitting 90-93 MPH, touching 94, with some nice armside movement. He also displayed a nice curveball which he could pinpoint on either side of the plate, using the pitch as a strikeout pitch. He threw a few nice changeups, giving him a strong three pitch mix.
McPherson ended his season on a strong note. He struck out his last batter on a nice 1-2 curveball. To set up the pitch he threw an 0-1 fastball inside and low, brushing the hitter back off the plate. He followed that up with a curveball that caught the outside corner for a called second strike. McPherson finished it off with a curveball low and inside for the swinging strikeout.
“Pitching in is something I take pride in. I’m not really afraid to come in there,” McPherson said.
-Brock Holt was hit with a pitch and removed from the game. He said afterwards that it just got him in the right spot, and that there was no serious damage, but that he couldn’t throw heading in to the next inning.
-The game was delayed by two rain delays, which totaled one hour and 52 minutes.