Right-hander Brad Peacock got his chance to showcase what kind of a starter he was all season in the minors Wednesday in New York, and he did not disappoint.
Last week in relief of Stephen Strasburg, he came into a difficult situation and allowed four hits in 1 1/3 innings.
You wondered what it would be like for Peacock to start fresh, at the beginning of a game, and be able to control his surroundings from the outset. Well, he showed you what he could do.
With five innings of shutout ball against the New York Mets in a 2-0 victory, he allowed just two hits, three walks and struck out two batters. Peacock was able to demonstrate for all to see what he is capable of if given the chance to start.
And with the win, his season continues to make headlines. Peacock is now 16-3 in 24 starts between Harrisburg, Syracuse and Washington this season. With 179 strikeouts in 27 games, Peacock has shown he can not only compete at any level, but also dominate.
What might be more impressive is he wasn’t striking everybody out Wednesday, but he forced the Mets to swing under a lot of his stuff, inducing fly out after fly out to squelch any chance for a rally.
“I am more comfortable starting,” Peacock said last weekend at Nationals Park. “I just want to go out there and be relaxed and get strike one, and get ahead of the hitters.”
He certainly did that Wednesday, firing first pitch strikes 65 percent of the time.
Peacock told me last week leading up to the start that he wanted to keep the hitters guessing and not let them predict his pitch sequence or location.
“Last year, that had been my problem,” Peacock said. “In High-A, I would go two times around the order and I would be fine. But that third time around the order, I would be doing the same thing and I would be getting hit. I am just going to go in there and mix it up and try to keep them off balance.”
The Miami, Fla., native was honored last week as the franchise’s minor league pitcher of the year, and as he reflected on his season, he spoke about how far he has progressed since that day he was selected in the 41st round of the draft.
“I have been through a lot of ups and downs in my career,” Peacock said. “I worked my butt off in spring training with (pitching coaches) Randy Tomlin and Paul Menhart, so to finally have it pay off is a great feeling.”