Gus Schlosser got Double-A Mississippi well on its way toward a win Wednesday night, starting the game and tossing six clean innings. Which was good because it wound up taking a long time to secure that victory.
Schlosser allowed just one hit and three walks while striking out four before handing off a bullpen that needed to provide eight more frames of work as the Braves finally topped the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, 3-2, in 14 innings.
"Felt pretty good tonight, the fastball command was pretty solid. I only threw my changeup a couple times, but every time I threw it, it worked out pretty well," he said. "It's always nice when you can put up a few goose eggs. I probably could have gone back out there [in the seventh], but I threw a lot of pitches the last inning and they kind of gave me a break. It got crazy there at the end, you can't predict that kind of thing, but it was nice to at least put up six scoreless for us."
The outing continued a remarkable maiden turn at the Double-A level for the 24-year-old. Schlosser, after recording a 4.84 ERA in 22 1/3 innings in April, has posted a sub-2.00 ERA in every month since.
That includes a 1.88 mark in May, 1.26 in June, 1.93 in July, and after Wednesday's effort, a 1.62 ERA in August.
Altogether, it adds up to a 2.25 ERA in 120 innings on the season, third-best in the Southern League. He has 91 strikeouts and 38 walks.
"I had pretty high expectations for myself [coming into the year]. In my eyes, am I having a great year? Not really. It's pretty solid, but I hold myself to high expectations, so it's not really too out of proportion," he said. "I know my changeup has gotten a lot better. Gene Garber helped me in Spring Training with that, and it's 10 times better than it was last year. And I think my mental side of the game is a lot better. Things don't bug me too much, you know if you have a bad outing it's not the end of the world."
Last year, the 2011 17th rounder went 13-7 with Class A Advanced Lynchburg, notching a 3.38 ERA with 139 strikeouts and 33 free passes in 165 1/3 innings.
Schlosser's batterymate Wednesday, third-ranked Braves prospect Christian Bethancourt, continued a torrid second half as well. He hit safely in his 19th straight game and extended his on-base streak to 40 games.
Since the All-Star break, the 21-year-old has batted .358/.382/.600 with six homers in 100 plate appearances. And on Wednesday, he ably sat behind the dish for all 14 innings.
"Luckily I think the first eight innings went pretty quick, but after 10 or so, it's a mental grind and he played as best you can in that situation," Schlosser said. "And his hitting has been ridiculous, really squaring up the ball. Can't ask for anything more from him."
Second baseman Tommy La Stella homered in the ninth to extend the game for Mississippi.Greg Golson scored the go-ahead run in the 14th on a wild pitch by Pensacola's Drew Hayes.