Jeremy Gabryszwski's biggest strength is probably that he rarely issues a walk. If you're going to reach safely against him, you're going to have to earn your way on.
There weren't many earning it on Saturday night as the Blue Jays prospect allowed two hits over six scoreless innings and struck out four without walking a batter to lead short-season Vancouver past visiting Salem-Keizer, 6-1.
"Control pitching is the exact word for my philosophy," Gabryszwski said. "My fastball was working and it felt really good, in and out, to lefties and righties. Changeup, curve were also working pretty well, but pretty much it was the location.
"My rhythm, being able to repeat my delivery, is the two biggest things. And if I can stay on a rhythm, I can repeat it pretty much every time. Lets me throw it where I want."
That's exactly how it played out Saturday at Scotiabank Field.
The 20-year-old right-hander said he throws a slider in addition to his changeup, curve and fastball, and he generally works around 87-90 mph. His control has been examplary this season: in 12 starts, he's issued nine walks or 1.23 per nine innings.
Gabryszwski (5-1) also has 35 strikeouts and a 2.59 ERA, which ranks sixth in the short-season Northwest League.
It's been a strong followup to his first real taste of the pros last summer with Rookie-level Bluefield, where he was 3-0 with a 2.35 ERA in 11 appearances. Over 46 innings, he's struck out 22 and walked four.
"Walks are one of my biggest pet peeves. I hate walking people, so I'm glad I have the location and do rarely ever walk people," he said. "I think when I got drafted I was mostly a thrower. I could throw strikes and that's pretty much what got me drafted, I could locate a little. But after these two years, I've learned really what pitching is -- how to read guys, how to throw to different guys, back people off the plate, what to throw in what count. I feel like I've come a long way, pitching-wise."
Gabryszwski also said that his off-speed stuff has come along this year, helping him with his success.
"I would say my curve developed a little more. I'm throwing my changeup for strikes more often. And my control of my fastball is a lot better, it's been great this season and is a big key for my season thus far," he said. "I'm staying on line to home plate, not falling off left or right and pretty much throwing strikes. I'm very fortunate to have a good year and, hopefully, I can keep it going."
Garrett Pickens gave up a run in the seventh, but Alonzo Gonzalez worked two hitless innings as Vancouver avoided a third straight loss.
Chaz Frank plated a pair of runs and Ian Parmley went 2-for-2 with a pair of walks out of the ninth spot in the lineup for the Canadians.