05/30/2005 6:07 PM ET
Pitchers of the Week
Complete listing for the period May 23-29
By Jason Ratliff / MLB.com
Jason Grilli, Toledo
1 G, 1 GS, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 9.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 SO, 0 SV
Former first-round pick Jason Grilli threw his finest game of the season, allowing just four singles in shutting out Columbus, 6-0, on May 27. The 28-year-old right-hander was in complete control throughout, erasing two base runners on double plays and never allowing a runner to reach second base. He struck out eight in the game, and at one point set down 14 consecutive hitters. The win evened his record at 3-3 while his ERA dropped to 3.04.
Pacific Coast League
Ricardo Rodriguez, Oklahoma
2 G, 2 GS, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 1-0, 0.53 ERA, 17.0 IP, 10 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 9 SO, 0 SV
After allowing one run in eight innings on May 23, Ricardo Rodriguez was one run and one inning better his next time out, throwing a complete-game three-hit shutout against Memphis on May 29. In his first outing, just two days after his 27th birthday, the 6-foot-3 Dominican allowed a first-inning home run to Jorge Piedra, but then settled down to shut out the Colorado Sky Sox for the next seven innings in an 11-1 win. He then stretched his scoreless inning streak to 16 1/3 innings by shutting out the Redbirds six days later. Against Memphis, Rodriguez allowed just three hits and three walks and also benefited from four double plays, allowing him to face just 30 batters in the game. The right-hander, who has seen Major League action in each of the past three seasons, improved his record to 6-3 while lowering his ERA to 2.90. He leads the league in complete games (three), shutouts (two) and innings pitched (71 1/3). His six wins are tied for second-most in the PCL and his 2.90 ERA is 10th.
Joel Zumaya, Erie
1 G, 1 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 7.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 14 SO, 0 SV
Zumaya was absolutely dominant in his only start of the week, striking out 14 batters while no-hitting the Akron Aeros for 7 2/3 innings on May 26. The 20-year-old San Diego native was lifted with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth inning. He had thrown 123 pitches, topping out at 99 mph on the radar. SeaWolves closer Eric Almonte managed to escape the bases-loaded jam with a strikeout and then set down the first two batters in the ninth to get within an out of a combined no-hitter. But Jason Cooper hit a clean single to center to spoil the bid. The Detroit Tigers' 2002 11th-round pick evened his record at 3-3 and improved his ERA to 4.04. He leads the Eastern League in strikeouts (80) and walks (36).
Matt Wright, Mississippi
2 G, 2 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 2-0, 0.64 ERA, 14.0 IP, 11 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 10 SO, 0 SV
The Mississippi Braves pulled themselves out of the cellar of the Southern League's South Division, thanks in large part to Matt Wright, who all but ensured two victories by giving up just one earned run in his two starts. The 6-foot-4 right-hander from Waco, Texas, had been winless for nearly a month before leading the Braves to a 3-2 win over Chattanooga on May 23. He allowed two runs -- one earned -- on six hits and a walk in six innings. He was even better his next time out, shutting out the league's highest-scoring team, Montgomery, on five hits over eight innings. The two wins raised Wright's record to 4-5. His ERA still stands at 5.96.
Kyle Middleton, Wichita
2 G, 2 GS, 1 CG, 0 SHO, 2-0, 0.56 ERA, 16.0 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 7 SO, 0 SV
Corpus Christi and San Antonio batters managed to hit just .146 off Wichita ace Kyle Middleton last week. The 6-foot-5 right-hander allowed just eight hits in 16 innings while picking up his fifth and sixth wins of the season and lowering his ERA to 2.59 -- third-best in the league. He's leading the league in innings pitched (73 1/3) and wins. Taken by the Royals in the 49th round of the 1999 draft, Middleton threw the second complete game of his six-year professional career against the Hooks on May 23, allowing one run on three hits in a 5-1 win. Six days later, he was on the winning end of a 6-1 contest against the Missions, allowing an unearned run on five hits, while striking out six in seven innings.
Seung Song, San Jose
2 G, 2 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 2-0, 0.82 ERA, 11.0 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 10 SO, 0 SV
Just what California League hitters wanted to see -- another San Jose pitcher shutting down hitters. Seung Song allowed just one run over 11 innings in his two starts for the Giants, becoming the fourth different San Jose pitcher in seven weeks to win the Pitcher of the Week award. The 24-year-old Korean was 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in his first three appearances out of the bullpen. But since being moved into the starting rotation, the 6-foot-1 right-hander is 3-0 with a 0.56 ERA in three starts. Hitters have managed only a .158 mark against him in those games. He struck out a season-high seven batters in five innings against Visalia on May 28.
Chance Douglass, Salem
2 G, 2 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 2-0, 0.00 ERA, 14.2 IP, 10 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 12 SO, 0 SV
Hitters hardly had a chance against Douglass last week, as the Salem right-hander put up nearly identical lines against Kinston and Potomac to earn a pair of wins. The 21-year-old Texan threw 6 2/3 shutout innings in a 2-1 win over the Indians on May 23, then tossed eight scoreless frames in a 4-0 shutout of the Nationals. He allowed five hits in each game, striking out a combined 12 hitters.
Florida State League
Adam Harben, Fort Myers
2 G, 2 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 2-0, 1.29 ERA, 14.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 16 SO, 0 SV
Harben had a no-hit bid broken up with one out in the eighth inning of a 1-0 win over Brevard County on Sunday. He fanned the final batter he faced to give him a season-high 12 strikeouts in the game. While not quite as sharp in first outing of the week, the 21-year-old also picked up the victory in a 15-3 win over Vero Beach on May 24. The Twins' 2002 15th-round pick allowed two runs on three hits in 6 1/3 innings. Perhaps the most promising sign in his no-hit bid was the fact that Harben only walked two batters in 7 2/3 innings. The 6-foot-5 right-hander leads the Florida State League in walks with 30.
Anthony Swarzak, Beloit
1 G, 1 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 8.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 13 SO, 0 SV
Swarzak extended his streak of innings without allowing an earned run to 32 by blanking Cedar Rapids for eight innings on May 25. One of the Twins' top pitching prospects, Swarzak struck out a career-high 13 while allowing just one unearned run on two hits in a 5-1 win over the Kernels. The win was his fourth in as many decisions after starting the season 1-2. On the season, the Twins' 2004 second-round pick is second in the league in strikeouts (65) and seventh in ERA (2.17).
South Atlantic League
Kyle Bloom, Hickory
2 G, 2 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 2-0, 0.00 ERA, 12.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 6 BB, 8 SO, 0 SV
Hickory lefty Kyle Bloom allowed a single run over two starts for the Crawdads, picking up wins over Charlotte and Columbus and raising his record to 4-1. The Pirates' fifth-round pick in 2004 went six innings in each start, shutting out the RiverDogs on two hits en route to an 8-1 win on May 23, and yielding one run on four hits in a 4-3 win over the Catfish on May 29. The 22-year-old Illinois native has won his last three starts, allowing just one run in 17 innings and lowering his ERA to 1.73 -- fourth-best in the Sally League.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.